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Indiana wrongful death guidelines you should know

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2021 | wrongful death

The loss of a loved one always tends to shake up one’s world, even if it comes naturally after someone has lived a long, productive life. A premature loss of a loved one far sooner than they should have left from your life can be even more devastating. You may have counted on them being there to help you carry financial burdens and for emotional support, and now they’re gone. 

While no amount of money can ever take away the pain that their untimely loss has left behind, a wrongful death claim can help provide for your family and hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.

What are the wrongful death statutes in Indiana?

There are three different wrongful death statutes, including:

  • Indiana Code 34-23-1-1: This is the general Indiana Wrongful Death Act that applies to adults who left behind dependents or a spouse.
  • Indiana Code 34-23-2-1:  The state’s Child Wrongful Death Act, which covers the wrongful death of minors.
  • Indiana Code 34-23-1-2: This is the state’s Adult Wrongful Act, which addresses what rights any loved ones may have to file a wrongful death lawsuit after an unmarried adult without any dependents dies.

These statutes collectively spell out how Indiana law allows a spouse, children and surviving parents to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, depending on who survives the decedent.

Indiana’s wrongful death statute of limitations

State statute 34-11-2-4 requires family members to file wrongful death lawsuits within two years of the decedent’s passing.

Wrongful death statutes also spell out what type of damages a family member can recover after their loved one’s wrongful death. These include:

  • Any attorney’s fees associated with pursuing a wrongful death action
  • Hospital costs and any additional medical expenses
  • Lost wages and benefits to include future earnings
  • Reasonable funeral and burial costs

State law caps how much a family member can recover on their unmarried loved one’s behalf at $300,000. Indiana law doesn’t allow family members to recover compensation associated with pain and suffering or grief.

Proving liability necessary to move forward in filing a wrongful claim can be challenging to do. You’ll want to carefully build your claim if you wish to recover maximum compensation in your case.