The death of a loved one could be difficult to overcome. When a death occurs because another person is negligent or intentionally causes the death of someone else, the devastation and grief is often more complex.

Families who experience these situations first-hand could turn to a compassionate Hammond wrongful death lawyer to help them seek justice for their loved ones and receive compensation for their damages. Speak to a compassionate personal injury attorney to learn about your legal options and eligibility to recover compensation.

Wrongful Death Claim Requirements in Hammond

A wrongful death occurs when a victim dies due to the negligent or intentional actions of another person. Many different situations could lead to a death action such as medical malpractice, a car accident, murder, or another crime as defined by Indiana law, defective products, or even dangerous drugs. A personal representative of the deceased could file a lawsuit on their behalf with the help of a skilled wrongful death lawyer in Hammond to seek damages as allowable by law.

In Indiana, if the deceased person is an adult, the personal representative for the deceased’s estate is the person who files a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative is usually the person’s surviving spouse, adult child, sibling, or parent. If the deceased person is a child, one or both parents or legal guardians could file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Under Indiana Code § 34–23–1–1, cause for a wrongful death claim must include:

  • A wrongful act or omission of another party that caused the death
  • The legal right of the deceased person to have filed an injury claim on their behalf if they had lived
  • Claim filing within two years from the date of the death

Criminal Versus Civil Law

The family of a deceased victim should be aware that a civil wrongful death lawsuit is separate and different from a criminal case. Criminal charges are brought by the state when the victim’s death was allegedly caused by the illegal activity of the defendant. If found guilty on criminal charges, the defendant could face such punishments as fines, jail time, probation, and community service.

Whereas, civil charges are brought by the family or personal representative of the deceased person. If found guilty by a judge or a jury for civil charges, the defendant will usually be required to pay monetary damages to the plaintiff(s).  It is important to note that if found guilty in criminal court, it does not necessarily mean that the defendant will be found guilty in civil court and vice versa. Although, a guilty verdict in criminal court could help with a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in a civil case.

Recoverable Damages for Plaintiffs and the Deceased’s Estate

By hiring a Hammond wrongful death attorney, the family and personal representative of the deceased could maximize their recovery of damages in the case. If the plaintiff is awarded compensation in a wrongful death civil lawsuit, the defendant will be required to pay damages. As per Indiana law, the damages will be determined by the court or jury and could include:

  • Reasonable medical, hospital, funeral and burial expenses (payable directly to the estate of the deceased person)
  • Lost earnings of such deceased person resulting from said wrongful act or omission
  • Grief and suffering

Consult with a Hammond Wrongful Death Attorney Today

If someone you love died prematurely due to the questionable actions of another person, consulting with a knowledgeable Hammond wrongful death lawyer should be a priority. An attorney could review your case to determine if a civil wrongful death claim exists and how much your case might be worth. To get your claim started, call today to schedule an appointment.