Filing an Indianapolis Wrongful Death Action

State law allows certain surviving relatives to pursue a lawsuit against the party who is liable for their loved one’s passing. These cases are known as wrongful death actions, and they are appropriate when the negligent acts of another person result in your loved one’s death.

When you have questions about filing an Indianapolis wrongful death action, now is the time to seek answers. A dedicated wrongful death attorney could review the facts of your case and guide you through the litigation process during this challenging time.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Indianapolis varies depending on the age of the deceased. Unlike most states with a single standard that applies to every case, children are treated differently than adults in Indiana. This can have significant ramifications for how a claim is handled.

In situations where a child passes away due to negligence, a lawsuit must be brought by one or both parents. If these individuals are divorced, the parent who had legal custody is entitled to pursue compensation. If both are no longer living, the legal guardian retains the power to sue.

It is worth noting that the definition of a child is fairly broad. It includes unmarried individuals under 20 and those 23 and younger who were in school at the time of the passing. In addition, parents can take legal action on behalf of a fetus who has reached viability and died due to negligence.

With adults, the right to file a wrongful death claim is in the hands of the estate. The court will appoint someone to serve as administrator, and one of their roles will be to handle the lawsuit. If there are any proceeds, these will be paid to the heirs.

men in black suit holding a coffin 

Is There a Deadline for Filing?

Every Indianapolis lawsuit seeking a monetary award must comply with a legal deadline known as the statute of limitations, and unjust death actions are no exceptions.

In most cases, the deadline expires two years from the date of a person’s passing, both for adults and children. However, when an individual lives past the day they were fatally injured, this might not line up with the two-year anniversary of their initial injury.

How Long Can Wrongful Death Cases Take?

There is no way to predict with certainty the timeline to resolve a claim after filing a wrongful death action in Indianapolis. Every case is unique, including the relevant facts and involved parties. With so many components at play, it can be hard to know when—or if—a case will result in a negotiated settlement.

In some scenarios, the parties meet a resolution without requiring a lawsuit. This is a common outcome when liability is not in dispute, and the only question is the appropriate amount of damages.

Settlements might only take a few months, but lawsuits can last years. If the defendant refuses to take responsibility, the litigation process can take time to play out.

Get in Touch With an Indianapolis Attorney About Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Today

The loss of a loved one is an unimaginable event that can reshape your life forever. Filing a lawsuit might be your only opportunity for justice, but it can be challenging to manage alone.

Reach out to a lawyer today to discuss filing an Indianapolis wrongful death action. Our team could help set up an initial consultation to learn more about your situation and provide valuable legal advice.