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Understand the basics of wrongful death

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2021 | Personal Injury, Wrongful Death

When an accident causes a loved one’s death, you may feel that the situation should not have occurred. You may consider pursuing a wrongful death suit.

Wrongful death occurs when someone takes actions that result in the death of another person. Someone may commit misconduct that causes death or they may act in a negligent manner. Several situations can result in wrongful death:

  • Medical malpractice. Doctors may make mistakes that cause death or they may fail to take precautions when they see signs of a problem.
  • Work accidents. Employers may fail to enforce safety protocols or they may require people to work in unsafe environments.
  • Motor vehicle accidents. Intoxicated drivers may collide with other cars or strike pedestrians with their vehicles. People may also cause fatal car crashes if they behave negligently behind the wheel.

When one of these situations occurs, your family may have expenses from medical treatments and a funeral.

Who can begin a wrongful death suit?

According to the Indiana General Assembly, you have to be a personal representative of the deceased if you want to file wrongful death charges. You may be a family member, such as a spouse, or a parent or child. You may need to demonstrate that you had a continuous relationship with the deceased and that the loss of this person has had a significant effect on your life. If the deceased is a child, parents and guardians can usually pursue a wrongful death suit.

What happens during a wrongful death suit?

You typically have to show that misconduct or negligence resulted in the death of your loved one. If a court agrees that a wrongful death occurred, you may receive damages. This compensation allows you to pay for your loved one’s medical expenses and also helps to replace the loss of one income.

If you want to pursue wrongful death charges, you usually need to file a complaint within two years of your loved one’s death.