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What scenarios may lead to wrongful death lawsuits?

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2024 | Wrongful Death

People grieving the death of a loved one often struggle with daily life. Their emotions may overwhelm them, making just taking care of themselves and showing up to work a challenge. The idea of planning for the long-term future may seem all but impossible.

That’s exactly what needs to happen in cases where someone else or a business is to blame for the tragedy. Trying to demand justice in the civil courts may seem like a burden to someone trying to come to terms with their grief.

However, taking legal action is often necessary for those who want financial or emotional justice after the death of a loved one. The law in Indiana allows people to pursue wrongful death lawsuits in very specific scenarios. When is a wrongful death lawsuit potentially an option after the premature passing of a family member?

The law provides two reasons for litigation

The wrongful death statute in Indiana is very clear. The parents of a deceased minor child or the personal representative of an adult’s estate can initiate a wrongful death lawsuit in one of two scenarios. Litigation is possible when one party causes someone’s death through omissions or a failure to act. Wrongful death lawsuits are also possible when wrongful acts or misconduct lead to someone dying.

Omissions are essentially negligence-related concerns. The failure to properly test a product before releasing it to the public could constitute an omission if the product fails and causes tragic situations. So could driving in an obviously unsafe manner. Generally, a reasonable person has to recognize that the failure to act was likely to create harm to others.

Wrongful acts involve intentional misconduct. Frequently, allegations of wrongful acts relate to criminal activity. An assault or a drunk driving incident might meet the standard necessary for a wrongful death lawsuit pursued due to misconduct.

In such cases, a criminal conviction can go a long way toward helping the family pursue justice in the civil courts. However, it is also possible to sue over wrongful acts or omissions when the state does not have sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction at trial.

Families seeking justice after the loss of a loved one may want to learn more about Indiana’s rules for wrongful death lawsuits. A successful lawsuit can limit the financial harm that a family experiences after someone’s death caused by negligence or intentional wrongdoing.