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February 22, 2022

When Should I Sue Someone for Wrongful Death?

Suing for Wrongful Death in Indiana

Survivors might be entitled to file a wrongful death claim if a loved one died due to the carelessness of some other person or business (such as a car manufacturer). When someone dies due to someone else’s negligence, wrongful death suits are filed for recovering monetary compensation for the grieving family members’ losses, such as lost wages, loss of consortium, and burial and funeral costs. 

  • Suing wrongful death in Indiana
  • What Is a Claim for Wrongful Death?
  • When Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim?
  • File your wrongful death claim with a personal injury lawyer now!


In this article, we’ll cover the basics of wrongful death lawsuits, such as what they are and who can bring them.

What Is a Claim for Wrongful Death?

When another person’s negligence causes someone’s death, you can make a wrongful death claim. In the United States, the ability to sue for wrongful death is still a relatively new idea. This type of litigation was not permitted under “common law” (the English laws imported to the United States). A wrongful death case was first allowed by federal and state courts in the late nineteenth century. We now have wrongful death legislation in every state.

Medical malpractice cases and defective products liability are only two examples of serious reckless acts that can result in the accidental death of a loved one. Negligence (failure to do as a sensible person would have done) and being careless on an intentional note are both legal faults for individuals, organizations, and government entities.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A personal representative of the surviving spouse or family members must file a wrongful death lawsuit. The legal representative is generally the executor. The parties authorized to file the claim may differ from state-to-state, such as:

Close relatives

In all states, spouses, biological and adopted children, and parents of unmarried children can sue for wrongful death.

Financial dependents and potential spouses

People who were financially reliant on the dead, and putative spouses” may be entitled to seek compensation in some jurisdictions.

Distant relatives

Some jurisdictions enable distant relatives, such as siblings and grandparents, to sue for wrongful death. A grandmother parenting a child, for example, may act.

Those who are poor

Some jurisdictions enable surviving family members to sue for loss of care or assistance even if they are not connected by marriage or blood.

Deceased fetus’ parents

It depends on the state. In numerous other places, parents cannot sue for wrongful death to recoup emotional and financial damages. In some places, parents may only sue for wrongful death if their kid was born alive then died. Consult with a wrongful death attorney in Elkhart to to see if such a claim is authorized.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Wrongful Death?

You can file wrongful death claims against an extensive array of individuals, businesses, government organizations, and employees.

For instance, in a car accident with a poor highway and a drunk-driving person, the defendants in a wrongful death action could include:

  • the at-fault motorist or employer in the car crash
  • the defective roadway’s architect or constructor
  • a government official who failed to issue proper warnings about a road risk that contributed to the auto accident
  • the maker, supplier, or installer of a defective product or harmful car component
  • the people who provided liquor to the drunk driver, as well as the owner of the establishment where they served the alcohol

When Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim can be filed when a victim who would otherwise have a viable personal injury claim is killed at the hands of the accused’s improper action. This can happen in several circumstances, including:

When a victim is murdered.

For example, Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman’s families sued O.J. Simpson in civil court. The accident victims’ families’ civil claims were distinct from the government’s criminal prosecution against Simpson.

When a patient dies due to medical misconduct

Failure of a medical professional to diagnose conditions or negligent care may be grounds for a wrongful death claim. 

Negligence-related car accident deaths

You may file a wrongful death suit if a person dies in an automobile accident.

These are only a few instances of wrongful death civil lawsuits. A wrongful death claim can arise from practically any personal injury circumstance, except for work-related deaths, which are typically handled solely through the worker’s compensation program.

What Needs to Be Proven?

To find the perpetrator accountable in a wrongful death action, the plaintiffs must bear the same burden of evidence that the victim might have faced if the victim had lived. So, in the case of negligence, this entails proving that 

  • accused has breached a duty of care
  • the violation was a direct and immediate cause of the death
  • the death caused the damages sought by the claimant. 

Damages for Wrongful Death

In a wrongful death lawsuit, damages—categories of damages for which a survivor may be compensated—include:

  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering of the deceased until their time of death
  • the medical expenses that the deceased person experienced before dying as a result of the catastrophic injury 
  • burial and funeral expenses
  • loss of the dead’s expected income 
  • loss of any inheritance due to the death 
  • value of the services the deceased would have supplied
  • loss of care, direction, and fostering that the deceased would have offered to their loved ones 
  • loss of comfort and love, and 
  • loss of companionship

File your wrongful death claim with a personal injury lawyer now!

A wrongful death lawyer can assist you in determining the reason for your loved one’s death and investigate your wrongful death claim. Evidence collecting, interviews, and other information evaluation can help your legal representative identify who committed the wrongful act.

Depending on the facts, this might be a concern. In wrongful death lawsuits, evidence is essential. An Elkhart wrongful death lawyer at Wilson & Kinsman LLC can help you file a claim for wrongful death, saving you the stress of going through the legal process alone. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t have to pay upfront. If you hire our dedicated team, we don’t charge attorney fees until we recover compensation for you. Call Wilson & Kinsman LLC now at 574-891-5084 for a free consultation.


I was charged with an OWI in Elkhart County and Eric was my first call. He was very helpful and personable throughout the entire process. I certainly appreciated his honesty and professionalism. Eric is definitely well experienced in handling these matters. Thanks to his help and guidance, we were able to have all of our necessary steps done before going to court that helped to retain driving privileges. The judge even remarked at how well the case had been managed during the hearing. With Eric's help, I was able to obtain specialized driving privileges very promptly. I am still able to tend to my life's responsibilities and my work. I would highly recommend Eric to anyone else needing help with OWI/DUI charges.


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