Tag Archives: wrongful death attorney in Indianapolis

Medication Mistakes with Children | Personal Injury Lawyers in Indianapolis

A recent study showed that medication errors involving children are growing, with some errors causing serious injuries and even death.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Most of the data was obtained through the National Poison Database System.  It records information to the 55 U.S. poison control hotlines.  Approximately 25% of all errors occurred by giving a child the same medicine twice.

Indiana’s Child Wrongful Death Statute

Legislation to compensate for the loss of your child

Losing a loved one is never easy, especially when you know the death could have been avoided had someone acted in a more careful manner. Dealing with the loss of a child can be devastating, and Indiana laws allow different forms of compensation in these cases. Wrongful death attorneys in Indianapolis can help you pursue a claim on behalf of your child.

The Child Wrongful Death Statute (CWDS) in Indiana defines a child as anyone less than 20 years-old, or less than 23 years-old if they were enrolled in school. Before a 2009 amendment, a covered child was one who was born alive. This meant the death of a fetus or a stillborn was not entitled to damages. Now, however, parents of a fetus that has “attained viability” can recover compensation in a wrongful death case.

Limitations on compensation

There are time limits constraints on how long damages are recoverable, including:

  • The loss of the child’s services and parent’s and minor sibling’s counseling is limited from the death of the child to the date the child would have turned 20 years-old (or 23, if the child was enrolled in school).
  • The loss of the child’s companionship and love is limited to the date of the last surviving parent’s death.
  • There is no time restriction on the eligible healthcare, hospitalization, funeral and burial costs, the administration of the child’s estate and attorney fees that plaintiffs can recover.
  • The CWDS does not award punitive damages.

Hire an experienced wrongful death attorney to represent you

Adding a wrongful death claim to your emotional recovery is not easy, and the process can become more complicated if both parents are no longer married but were raising the child together. An Indianapolis wrongful death attorney can help relieve the burden of this process by giving you sound legal advice, making sure you have the necessary paperwork and helping you meet the deadlines.

The attorneys at the Ward & Ward Law Firm offer free consultations and are available 24/7. Call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501.

By Charlie Ward

[email protected]

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225

Indiana State Supreme Court Rules on Wrongful Death Trial Court Order Balancing Conflicting Constitutional Interests

Indianapolis IN Accident Attorney By Charlie Ward

In Estate of Meux v. Cozmanoff, the Supreme Court upheld the trial court order that Defendant be required to answer Plaintiff’s Complaint in an effort to balance conflicting constitutional interests.

On March 6, 2012 Britney Meux was struck by a car operated by Jason R. Cozmanoff while jogging with three co-workers. Mr. Cozmanoff fled the scene of the accident and Britney later died from her injuries. Mr. Cozmanoff was criminally charged with thirteen crimes.

Weeks later a civil suit was filed against Mr. Cozmanoff by the administrators of Ms. Meux’s estate for gross negligence and/or willful and wanton misconduct.

Adverse parties assert different constitutional interests

Cozmanoff was conflicted as information and testimony given to Plaintiffs during discovery could be used against him by the prosecutor in his criminal trial. But if he were to invoke the Fifth Amendment guaranteeing protection from being called as a witness against himself in the civil suit, the trier of fact could have inferred Defendant’s responsibility for the wrongful death of Britney Meux.

Defendant Cozmanoff moved the trial court for a stay of all civil proceedings pending a resolution of his criminal prosecution citing the Fifth Amendment privilege.

“The Fifth Amendment, incorporated to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, Malloy v. Hogan, 378 U.S. 1, 6 (1964)” states as follows:

“…protects the individual against being involuntarily called as a witness against himself in a criminal prosecution but also privileges him not to answer official questions put to him in any other proceeding, civil or criminal, formal or informal, where the answers might incriminate him in future criminal proceedings.”

U.S.C.A. Const. Amends. 5, 14


The Plaintiff opposed his motion arguing the following:

  1. Defendant Cozmanoff’s criminal case might not be resolved for years;
  2. Discovery was necessary to identify other potential tortfeasors who must be joined to the case before the two-year statute of limitations ran; and
  3. The stay would offend Article 1, Section 12 of the Indiana State Constitution guaranteeing “Justice shall be administered freely…and without delay.” [Emphasis Added]

The civil trial court granted a limited stay of discovery as to Cozmanoff only but having done so ordered the Defendant to respond to Plaintiffs’ Complaint. Plaintiffs would still be free to investigate “outside the context of formal discovery.”


On March 12, 2014, The Indiana State Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling, finding reasoning to support the trial court’s decision in the matter of The Estate of Meux v. Cozmanoff as follows:

“When two adverse parties each assert different constitutional interests, the court must consider each interest ‘in the light of the other, and in the context of the issues and interests at stake.’ Hostetter v. Idlewild Bon Voyage Liquor Corp., 377 U.S. 324, 332 (1964).”

The opinion further states:

“Our ruling today does not mean the trial court was constitutionally required to impose the stay;simply that it did not abuse its discretion by so doing.”

A Law Firm With Over 85 Years of Combined Experience

The attorneys at Ward & Ward Law Firm have over 85 years of combined experience in wrongful death litigation. Often, person’s alleged to be responsible for the wrongful death of another, must face criminal prosecution while simultaneously undergoing civil suit. Our attorneys maintain an up-to-date working knowledge of legislation and rulings and utilize every legal tool at our disposal to uncover the truth and analyze the facts of a case including private investigators, witness interviews, testimony undertaken by deposition and discovery of physical evidence and documentation through the Freedom of Information Act.
If you are looking for a wrongful death attorney, attorney, Charlie Ward, would like to offer you a free consultation with no obligation. Call 317-639-9501 today and ask for Charlie..

Charlie Ward, Personal Injury Attorney

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225