Fort Wayne Wrongful Death Lawyer
The death of a loved one is devastating under any circumstances, and we know how difficult it can be to think about anything but the loss you are experiencing after a family member passes away. Fatal accidents can be even more distressing when they could have been prevented if someone had been more careful. At the Bellinger Law Office, we know that no amount of compensation will ever bring back a loved one, but we also know how important it can be to hold the liable party accountable for their actions. By filing a wrongful death claim, you may be able to recover damages for certain losses. A dedicated and compassionate Fort Wayne wrongful death attorney can speak with you today about your situation and can discuss your legal options with you.
What is a Wrongful Death in Fort Wayne?
Wrongful death refers to a situation in which the wrongful act or negligent behavior of one or more parties caused the death of another person. Wrongful death law is similar to personal injury law in that it allows an injured party to hold the responsible party accountable for the injuries they have caused. In personal injury law, the person who actually sustains the injury is the one who must file the claim. In wrongful death law, another person connected to the deceased—typically a spouse or a child—must step in to seek justice on behalf of the deceased and file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
In a wrongful death claim, the person who files the claim, known as the “personal representative” of the deceased, can seek compensation related to the deceased’s losses (such as hospital bills and mental anguish prior to death), as well as damages for the personal representative’s losses (such as funeral expenses incurred and loss of companionship).
Who Can File a Fort Wayne Wrongful Death Claim?
Which parties or family members are eligible to file wrongful death claims varies from state to state. In Indiana, a wrongful death claim on behalf of a child can only be filed by one or both of the child’s parents. If the parents are divorced, it typically must be the parent with primary physical custody who files the claim.
For adults, only the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may file a wrongful death claim. In most cases, the personal representative is an immediate family member of the deceased, but not necessarily.
The personal representative can seek both economic and non-economic damages, which are both types of compensatory damages. These are designed to compensate a plaintiff for losses. Those damages may include but are not limited to:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral costs
- Grief and sorrow
- Loss of companionship
Time Limits for Filing a Fort Wayne Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Like other civil claims, wrongful death lawsuits have a statute of limitations. This is the amount of time a plaintiff has after an accident or injury has happened to file the claim. Under Indiana law, a wrongful death claim must be brought within two years after the death occurred, regardless of whether the victim was a child or an adult. Courts are often strict about this deadline, and family members who believe they may have a wrongful death claim should not wait to discuss their situation with an experienced local attorney.
Learn More from a Fort Wayne Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you need help learning more about Indiana’s wrongful death laws, including how the statute of limitations will apply in your case or how to file a claim, our compassionate Fort Wayne wrongful death lawyer can help. Contact Bellinger Law Office today for more information.