What Happens to a Personal Injury Claim in Indiana When the Plaintiff Dies from an Unrelated Cause?

What Happens to a Personal Injury Claim in Indiana When the Plaintiff Dies from an Unrelated Cause?

William Bill Hurst – Your Indiana Lawyer


The Accident Circumstances

Imagine you have just survived a harrowing car accident; you were sitting at a stop light when out of nowhere a drunken teenager driving an SUV came careening through the red light and into your car. The car was totaled but, aside from a broken arm and a few cracked ribs, you miraculously survived the day. Though you are alive, you still have medical expenses and a totaled car that needs to be replaced. Wisely, you decide to hire an Indiana drunk driving attorney to get you the money you need to get healthy and replace your car. Now imagine, three weeks after surviving the ordeal, you are out celebrating the beginning of your recovery with a nice steak dinner. Unfortunately you don’t chew your food well enough and a piece of steak gets caught in your throat and you choke and die. What happens to your legal case against the drunken teenager that hit you!?


Indiana Injury Survival Law

In the old days (pre-1998) any cause of action against the drunk driver would have been dropped due to the death of the one bringing the case and the fact that the death was unrelated to the original accident. In 1998 the Indiana Legislature passed the “Indiana Survival Statute” (IC 34-9-3). This statute made it possible for the dead person’s (“decedent”) personal representative to continue the case, even though the original victim was gone. According to section 4 of the statute, a personal representative can “maintain an action against the wrongdoer to recover all damages resulting before the date of the death for those injuries that the decedent would have been entitled to recover had the decedent lived.” All money recovered then goes to the decedent’s estate. This unfortunate situation happens particularly often to elders involved in accidents, who are often sick to begin with and die from causes that cannot be directly linked to the accident.


Seek Help from an Experienced Attorney

If you have a loved one who has died from causes unrelated to an accident before they could be fully compensated, contact the injury attorneys at the Indianapolis law office of William “Bill” Hurst or call us toll free at 1(800)636-0808 for a free consultation. We have more than 35 years of experience helping victims and their families get results and fair financial compensation for their personal injuries.¡Hablamos Español!

22 May

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)—being brain injuries—are exceedingly complicated. Your brain houses everything that makes you uniquely you, and as such, even a seemingly minor injury can have significant consequences. In fact, TBIs are known as silent injuries because they’re often invisible to outside observers—yet they can have life-altering consequences and can be extremely difficult to…

15 May

If someone else’s negligence has caused you to suffer an injury, you’re no doubt going through a difficult time and very well may want to put the entire thing behind you as quickly as you can. That’s understandable, but personal injury law is complicated—and leaving your claim to fate or to the discretion of the…

08 May

Memorial Day kicks off our summer here in Indianapolis. Just like everywhere else in the country, we like to get outside with family and friends, fire up the grill, and commit to enjoying the day and all that it has on offer. With Memorial Day, however, comes increased driving dangers, especially with the Indianapolis 500…

William W. Hurst

Bill Hurst has successfully represented hundreds of accident victims, and has limited his practice to personal injury cases for over thirty-five (35) years.

Tags: ,

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *