The experienced Indianapolis wrongful death attorneys at our office have represented hundreds of families throughout Indiana who have lost loved ones in tragic accidents. It is important in a wrongful death claim that you obtain the best legal advice possible. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or any other type accident, you wish to see the responsible party held accountable.
While a criminal action may be involved, you’ll have little or no control over the proceedings. Another avenue for seeking accountability is a civil wrongful death lawsuit which you can file and participate in fully. The primary purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to compensate the families of victims for the economic and emotional losses associated with the death of a loved one.
According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the number of deaths in the United States for 2011 was 2,513,171. Homicides (intentional killings) accounted for 15,953 deaths, accidents accounted for 122,777 deaths, deaths with undetermined intent (unknown whether it was intentional) accounted for 4,446 deaths, and complications in medical or surgical care accounted for 2,580 deaths.
According to the Indiana State Department for of Health there were 58,168 deaths in Indiana in 2012. A total of 2,749 of those deaths were caused by accidents. 773 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents, 414 from falls, and 72 from complications in medical care. These are some of the types of accidents causing death that result from no fault of the deceased and lead to wrongful death claim.
Recovering emotionally from the loss of a family member is one of life’s most difficult challenges. Following the unexpected death of a family member, the responsibilities that are required of you to financially take care of the matter and emotionally care for others are extremely difficult. When recovering from grief, it is helpful to obtain a knowledgeable Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer to take at least a part of that burden from your shoulders.
Steps in Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim
- Speak with an Indianapolis wrongful death attorney before you accept any offer from an insurance company. While the insurance company may act friendly and caring toward you, their ultimate goal is to minimize any payments. They will look for reasons to deny claims or to pay only a portion of what a claim is actually worth.
- We will investigate and gather evidence. As your attorney, one of our most important jobs is to gather the facts to establish your case. We will investigate the accident and establishing who was at fault (there may have been a number of responsible parties).
- We will work with experts to determine your financial loss. The effect the loss of your family member will have on you and your family financially can be hard to predict. Only by understanding the full scope of your loss can we help you obtain the full financial compensation you deserve.
- We will negotiate with the insurance company. We work to negotiate a fair wrongful death settlement with the insurance company. We keep you informed of all insurance settlement offers and advise you whether we think the offer is fair or whether a lawsuit is likely to achieve a better result. The choice is always yours, but we ensure you have the information you need to make the decision.
- We will bring your wrongful death lawsuit to court. If a wrongful death lawsuit is the only way to get you the financial compensation you need, we are proven effective advocates for you in the courtroom.
What Happens After a Wrongful Death Case?
Upon resolution of a wrongful death claim, the one who receives the funds varies from State to State. In Indiana if there is a widow or widower, after payment of expenses, the rest of the money goes to the spouse and is shared with the dependent children (kids under 18), if any, or dependent’s next of kin. If the family member who was killed leaves no widow/widower or dependent children, the money goes to pay the reasonable medical services, funeral and burial expenses, and the personal representative for the reasonable cost of administrating the estate. What remains is divided by statute between surviving parents and adult children; each must prove a “genuine, substantial, ongoing relationship” with the deceased (the cause of justify specifies the amount for each). The combined damage that may be recovered may not exceed $300,000. These cases are tricky and require an experienced Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer as a result.
In the case of a child’s death, the funds awarded go to the father and mother jointly if both have custody. If there is separate custody, the parents are awarded an amount apportioned by the Court. If there is no custodial parent the money goes to the custodial grandparent. In these trying times it is recommended that you seek out an experienced Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer.
Seek Help from an Experienced Indianapolis Wrongful Death Lawyer
Please remember that every wrongful death claim is subject to a time limit, “statute of limitations” (IC 34-23-1-1). Meeting with a knowledgeable Indianapolis wrongful death attorney as soon as you are emotionally able is imperative! At the Indiana law offices of William “Bill” Hurst, an Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer can help family members obtain financial compensation. We genuinely care about you and about meeting your needs. Contact our office or call toll free at 1(800)636-0808 for a free consultation with an Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer. ¡Hablamos Español!
You know us, you trust us, and we are here for you.