When you suddenly lose a member of your family, you may want someone to blame. In fact, it is quite natural for people to look for someone to blame even in circumstances where no one individual is clearly at fault.
If there is someone that you can blame, it may be easier to grieve. It can also mean that your family can recoup the financial losses you suffered because of your tragic loss. When does Indiana state law allow you to file a wrongful death claim against the person or business that you blame for the death?
When there are signs of wrongful acts or omissions
Your situation needs to meet specific legal criteria for you to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Specifically, you need to have proof that the responsible party failed to do something or that they broke the law. If someone else caused the death through wrongful acts or omissions, surviving family members can file a civil lawsuit.
In a drunk driving crash, for example, getting behind the wheel with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit is misconduct. Businesses could have responsibility for negligent facility maintenance, negligent security practices or illegal behavior by their employees.
Before the statute of limitations passes
Your right to civil compensation is not indefinite or permanent. It is temporary. With rare exceptions, you will only have two years from the date of the deceased person’s death to file the lawsuit. You can seek compensation for the value of their life, but not for grief and suffering. Understanding the rules that govern wrongful death claims can make it easier for your family to seek justice.