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MICHIGAN CITY PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER DISCUSSES WRONGFUL DEATH ACTIONS IN INDIANA

Guy DiMartino Oct. 31, 2014

Michigan City personal injury lawyers explain Indiana's wrongful death statute.

With the recent news reports of people being killed in car accidents, we have decided to explain how the Indiana Wrongful Death Act applies to injury and accident cases. At common law, the law that was brought over from England and developed throughout the years in our courts, there was no cause of action against a person or corporation that negligently caused the death of another person. To say it another way, any cause of action died with the injury victim. This result was considered very unfair, so England in 1846 and in the individual states after that, a law was made that allowed the survivors and heirs of a person killed by another person's negligence the ability to seek redress in the courts.

Indiana has two wrongful death statutes. The adult wrongful death statute is codified at 34-23-1 and the child wrongful death statute is codified at 34-23-2.

The things that you may have to know about the adult wrongful death statute are as follows:

The case must be brought within 2 years

  • The case is brought by the personal representative of the decedent's estate

  • Money damages received for medical, hospital and funeral expenses are payable to the estate so it can pay the decedent's bills

  • Other Money damages will be distributed between the decedent's heirs and survivors

  • Damages for loss of love and companionship are capped at $300,000

  • Money damages may not be awarded for grief or punitive damages

All negligence actions except for medical malpractice have to be brought under the wrongful death statute. These include deaths from car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, premises liability, products liability, nursing home negligence or any other general negligence cases.

Indiana accident law is complex. If you have any questions about how the wrongful death statute works, please call our Michigan City personal injury lawyers at (219) 874-4878 or fill out the internet consultation form on the right.