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What constitutes ‘wrongful death’?

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2021 | wrongful death

Under Indiana law, the family members of loved ones who died as a result of the willful or negligent acts of another party may file a wrongful death claim. Courts award millions of dollars to victims of violent crime, medical malpractices, and car accidents in Indiana every year.

The wrongful death laws in Indiana allow for large monetary awards to plaintiffs in successful wrongful death suits. To meet the legal standards of wrongful death, the case at hand must have certain elements. Below are the critical pieces that make up a wrongful death suit.

The elements of wrongful death

The most obvious component of wrongful death is the death itself. Next, the plaintiff (the victim’s family) must prove in an Indiana court of law that the person who caused the death (the defendant) did so either willingly with the intent to kill or with negligence, meaning that there was not necessarily a motive to kill but instead the offender failed to act appropriately to prevent the death.

After either intent or negligence is established, the next element is monetary injury; the plaintiff must be able to demonstrate that the death has, in fact, has a negative financial effect that can be measured. And lastly, an appointed representative of the victim’s estate must be available to receive any awards arising from the judgment in the case.

Common examples of wrongful death

Any death that resulted from intent or negligence is theoretically grounds for a wrongful death claim, and the facts of each case vary. However, the most common situations that give rise to wrongful death claims in Indiana include:

  • Car accidents
  • Criminal activity (murder, assault, etc.)
  • Workplace exposure to toxic or dangerous materials
  • Medical malpractice

Seeking justice in wrongful death cases

If a loved one died under circumstances like the ones described above, then you might be eligible for financial awards in Indiana courts. If you seek justice in the court system, you are going to need the help of a legal expert familiar with the intricacies of Indiana wrongful death laws.