Fatal Car Accidents
The law firm of Steve Willsey, Attorney at Law, has represented many people who have been hurt or lost family members in car and truck accidents. We know all too well that lives can change in an instant. For those who are seriously injured, this can mean a future filled with painful medical procedures and diminished earning capacity. For the families of those who have suffered a wrongful death in a fatal car accident, it can bring an even greater sense of emotional grief and financial devastation. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident in the Indianapolis area, attorney Steve Willsey can help you assert your rights.
Although the exact figure varies from year to year, there are typically around 800 or so traffic fatalities in Indiana annually. About half of these tragic collisions involve excessive speed or impairment from alcohol or drugs. Behind these statistics are thousands of people whose lives have been forever altered by the loss of a spouse, parent, or child.Pursing a Wrongful Death Claim under Indiana Law
The Indiana Wrongful Death Statute, codified at Ind. Code. § 34-23-1 et seq., provides that when one person’s wrongful act or omission causes the death of another person, the personal representative of the deceased person may bring suit against the responsible party. The statute of limitations for filing the wrongful death lawsuit is two years. If suit is not filed within this time period, there is no recovery in most cases.
In order to be successful in a wrongful death suit, the personal representative of the decedent (the party appointed by the probate court to represent the deceased person’s estate) must prove a case of negligence against the party whose action or inaction allegedly caused the decedent’s wrongful death. To do this, the personal representative must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the decedent, that he or she breached that duty, and that the decedent lost his or her life as a result of the defendant’s breach of duty. Quantifiable damages also must be identified.
The amount of damages that may be recovered varies depending upon a number of factors, including the age of the decedent and whether or not the decedent was married or had children. Some possible types of damages include:
- Medical bills;
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Lost earning capacity;
- Loss of services; and
- Loss of companionship.
In some situations, damages may be capped at a certain amount set by law. It is also possible that the law of comparative fault may reduce a family’s recovery if their deceased loved one was partly at fault for causing the fatal accident. Because of the complexity and nuances associated with wrongful death litigation, a thorough investigation into the case is required.Explore Your Options with an Indianapolis Attorney after a Fatal Car Accident
Since there are so many variables in wrongful death cases, an Indianapolis family who has lost a loved one should contact a lawyer who is knowledgeable in this area of the law. While insurance adjusters and others working on the claim may seem sympathetic, their real interest is in protecting the insurance company’s bottom line with a quick and cheap settlement. Steve Willsey is here to put our experience to work for your family, standing up for your interests – and only your interests - every step of the way. Call 888-783-3500 today or complete our contact form to schedule a free evaluation of your case. We represent individuals across the state of Indiana, including in Marion, Boone, Hendricks, and Morgan Counties.