Someone dying will have a massive impact on their family and social circle. Although it is very natural to search for someone to blame, only a small percentage of annual deaths are legally actionable events. Some deaths in Indiana will meet the very specific standards set for wrongful death claims.
It may be possible to file a civil lawsuit against an individual or a business that caused the death of a person through misconduct, negligence or omissions. If your family hopes to pursue such a claim, there will generally be two kinds of damages that you can ask for when you file the lawsuit.
Economic losses related to the death
For most families, the pursuit of economic damages will comprise the biggest portion of their wrongful death claim. The law allows you to seek hospital bills and funeral costs, as well as lost earning potential. Even the household services your loved one performed, such as changing the oil in your cars or providing child care for your grandchildren, could contribute to the overall value of your wrongful death claim.
The loss of love and companionship you suffer
State law does not allow you to seek punitive damages, but you can hold the responsible party accountable for your emotional something caused by your grief. The state typically caps such losses at $300,000, but seeking loss of companionship compensation can be a way to impose a more significant penalty on the party responsible.
It can be hard to properly value a wrongful death claim
Families often reject the idea of a wrongful death claim because they don’t understand what kind of compensation they could request. By the time they learn the truth, they may have allowed the statute of limitations to lapse, which will bar them from bringing a lawsuit.
It can be easier to manage a wrongful death claim with professional legal help, as a lawyer can help you put a price on your claim and can also manage the negotiations and court paperwork required when pursuing a wrongful death claim. Recognizing that the pursuit of financial justice could give your family closure may help you decide that a wrongful death claim is the right step for your family to take.