A wrongful death may occur when a person dies due to the actions of another person. Wrongful deaths can be the result of negligence, recklessness, criminal conduct and other actions. In Indiana, certain laws dictate just who may pursue wrongful death damages, when they must do so and what losses they may not be able to seek through their lawsuits.
Closely related family members can file wrongful death lawsuits when they lose loved ones. If the decedent was married, their spouse may file such a claim. Similarly, decedents' children or parents may file wrongful death claims if the decedents were not married or the facts of the case support such actions.
Wrongful death claims are subject to statutes of limitation, which curtail the window of time in which individuals may pursue their damages. In Indiana, wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the date on which the decedent passed away. For example, if a person died on January 1, 2019, any wrongful death action filed based on their passing would need to be initiated before January 1, 2021.
Most actual damages may be pursued when a wrongful death claim is pursued, and these damages can include lost wages, medical and funeral costs and even the costs of litigating the wrongful death claim. However, surviving victims may not be able to get damages for their emotional suffering, and may be limited or capped in the amount of damages they can be awarded. Anyone in Indiana with a potential wrongful death claim may need to get more information about how the law applies to the facts of their case.