Police continue their investigation into a fatal car accident that occurred in the early morning hours of May 2, 2017, according to a report in the Indy Star. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department was working with the Greenfield Police Department to determine the cause of the collision, which killed a woman. Officials report that the vehicle, carrying four individuals, was traveling southbound along Indiana Route 9 when the driver lost control along a curve in the road. The car struck a utility pole head-on, and it was at this impact point that the woman was seated. She was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other individuals injured in the incident were taken to Indianapolis area hospitals. Her tragic death may allow for surviving family members to file a lawsuit for compensation under two different theories of liability for wrongful death in Indiana.
Indiana Wrongful Death Cases: At the core of a wrongful death case is compensating the immediate family of the deceased. To prove the cause of action, you must prove that:
- The person’s death was caused by the negligent actions of the defendant;
- The death of the victim caused harm to the loved ones he or she left behind; and,
- You, as the plaintiff, are a beneficiary that falls within certain categories.
The key to success in a wrongful death case is element #3: You must have “standing” to sue as the spouse, parent, or child of the decedent.
Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit are based upon the losses you suffer due to the victims’ death. In general, they include emotional distress, loss of companionship, and other relationship factors.
Survival Actions Under Indiana Law: Essentially, this lawsuit is a variation on a personal injury case – only the person died instead of merely suffering injuries. The damages are intended to compensate the deceased for the losses suffered between the time of the accident and the moment of death. Only the personal representative of the deceased person may sue in a survival action, whether this individual is appointed by a court or in the decedent’s will. The representative is a type of agent, acting on behalf of the deceased victim. It’s possible to recover compensation for funeral costs, the expenses related to the person’s final illness property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Our Indianapolis Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help
Indiana area officials may not complete their investigation into what caused the fatal crash for some time, considering the complicated issues involved. However, if negligence was involved in the car accident, parties with standing may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit or survival action – or both, depending on the circumstances. As you can see, these cases are extremely complex, so it’s wise to retain an attorney with extensive experience in such matters. A skilled lawyer can help you obtain the highest amount available under the law, whether in court or in negotiations with an insurance company. If you’ve lost a loved one due to the actions of another person, please contact the Indianapolis offices of Holland & Holland LLC today.