Indianapolis Wrongful Death Attorneys
What Is Considered A Wrongful Death?
Death is a natural part of life, and we all go through our mourning stages in different ways. If a loved one in your life has passed on, the beginning stages of grief can be difficult to navigate. If their death was due to the misconduct of another person, it can make matters even more difficult. Fortunately, it might also mean you have the right to seek justice. Hayes Law Office provides representation in Indianapolis to individuals whose loved one has experienced a wrongful death. In order for a wrongful death to have occurred, a person’s death must have happened and someone else’s negligence or misconduct must have caused it. Lastly, a personal representative must have been appointed for the estate of the decedent (person who has passed).
Types Of Wrongful Deaths
The following situations constitute a wrongful death:
Intentional killing – In addition to facing charges in a criminal case, an individual who is guilty of intentionally killing another can face charges in a civil case. This happens when the families of the victim bring a civil lawsuit for wrongful death against the defendant.
Medical malpractice – This occurs when a health care provider is negligent and the patient is harmed. In order to qualify as a wrongful death, an individual must die as a direct result of the negligence, carelessness, wrongful act, or lack of action on the health care provider’s behalf. Some instances that could constitute medical malpractice include misdiagnosing or failure to diagnose, surgical
errors, birth injuries, delayed treatment, and medication mistakes.
Automobile accidents or airplane accidents – When a wrongful death occurs due to an automobile accident, it means that an unintended fatality has been caused by someone’s negligence or recklessness during the car accident. When you think of these cases, you likely think of the death as being the fault of another motorist on the road, but it could also be due to the negligence of the vehicle manufacturer. It could even be the fault of the authorities who were in charge of facilitating safety on the roads. The same tragedy that can occur on the roads can also occur in the sky. If you are suffering the loss of a loved one who died in an airplane crash, you might be able to file a wrongful death claim. In these cases, we would have to determine that the crash was preventable and that negligence was involved in the crash.
Occupational exposure to dangerous conditions or substances – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, has specific standards that are designed to protect laboratory workers from harm due to hazardous chemicals. If a workplace has violated these standards and facilitated an unsafe working environment that resulted in the death of an employee, their loved ones might be able to file a wrongful death claim.
Injury from hazard on another person’s property – If your loved one was killed as the result of a dangerous condition on an individual’s property, you might be able to file a wrongful death claim against the property owner. Examples of this would be dangerous conditions that were neglected to be fixed or ongoing dangers such as open construction sites. It is important to note that property owners do not owe trespassers any protections in terms of wrongful death. If your loved one was trespassing on another’s property at the time of their death, you will be unlikely to have a case. However, if your loved one was a licensee, meaning they entered the property as a guest, this means the property owner was responsible for warning them of any potential hazards. Furthermore, if your loved one was an invitee, meaning they entered the property at a potential financial benefit to the owner, this means the owner was responsible for creating a safe environment for the guest. Failure to do so on their part would support your claim in
a wrongful death case.
Nursing home negligence – When we place our loved ones in nursing homes, we also place our trust in the facility to take care of them in their old age. Unfortunately, in some nursing homes, situations occur where our loved ones pass due to negligence, abuse or other poor conditions in the facility. If this happens, immediate family members and those who have suffered financially from the loss might be able to file a wrongful death claim.
What Damages Are Awarded In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The primary measures of damages in wrongful death lawsuits are pecuniary (financial) injuries.
Examples of pecuniary injuries and other injuries for which a loved one might be able to receive compensation include:
- The decedent’s pain and suffering pre-death (also called a survival claim)
- Medical treatment costs
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of the decedent’s expected income
- Loss of expected inheritance
- The value of the services the decedent would have provided
- Loss of care or nurturing the decedent would have provided
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of consortium or the decedent’s ability to provide for their spouse
At Hayes Law Office, we are passionate about making sure that justice is served. We will work diligently to defend the rights of those who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to potential wrongful death. When you work with us, we will take every step we can to protect your best
interests during these difficult times.