People hurt due to negligence, reckless behavior or intentional misbehavior can file a personal injury claim against the individual or entity responsible for the injuries. But not all people are fortunate enough to recover justice in their lifetime.
A wrongful death lawsuit is how the deceased’s surviving family members can fight for that unrecovered justice. It is a personal injury claim made on behalf of the deceased. Wrongful death can happen anytime, in the most mundane of situations.
Daily events that can result in wrongful death
To understand how a person or a company can be accountable for a person’s death, one must see the events, situations and accidents where wrongful death can happen. Here are common incidents that can cause wrongful death:
- Motor vehicle and bicycle accidents (Examples: car accidents, motorcycle accidents and truck accidents)
- Premises liability accidents (Examples: a child drowning in a negligent neighbor’s swimming pool, exposure to hazardous substances, slip-and-falls and manual work accidents)
- Construction accidents (Examples: falling debris, faulty equipment or machinery, and inadequate safety protocol)
- Medical malpractice (Examples: wrong diagnosis, too little or too much anesthesia, and leaving gauze inside a body after surgery)
- Defective products (Examples: tainted food or medication, mechanical defects in cars or machines, deceptive advertising, and undisclosed toxins or hazards)
- Abuse and neglect in nursing homes and other rehabilitative institutions (Examples: improper caring for an older adult, deficient monitoring of prescriptions or medications, and unconsented physical restraints)
- Intentional violence (Examples: theft or burglary, sexual assault, and domestic violence)
It is easy to rule these common events as faultless accidents when the deceased is unable to represent themselves in court.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
In Indiana, when death is a consequence of another’s actions or lack thereof, any personal representative of the deceased can bring an action to court. A person who wants to file a wrongful death lawsuit must do so within two years of the person’s death, otherwise the court may dismiss the action.
A loved one’s wrongful death could look like their own negligence when they were not to blame in the slightest. Justice is not vengeance. It is defending what is right and letting the truth prevail.