Every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 37 million people are unintentionally injured each year. A number of these injuries will result in the death of the victim. When negligence, wrongdoing, or carelessness causes a person to lose their life, family members may be overwhelmed and distraught. Often, this situation is one of the worst things to have occurred. Although it may be difficult to think about legal action, it is highly recommended that loved ones do not delay in exploring their options. A wrongful death lawyer Indianapolis, IN can navigate your family through this process.
If you have lost a loved one, and believe it was the result of negligence, please call Ward & Ward Law Firm to speak with an Indianapolis, IN wrongful death lawyer. We sympathize with what you are going through and would like to extend our utmost support and condolences to you and your family. We also know that you may be faced with a copious amount of bills related to the death, and unsure about how you will pay them. Hiring a wrongful death lawyer is essential to recover the damages you may be entitled to.
Tips to Help You Choose an Indianapolis, IN Wrongful Death Lawyer
The Lawyers’ Reputation – One of the most effective ways to find a good wrongful death lawyer is to ask for a recommendation from people who you know. If no one has any recommendations, or you are unsure about what they say, you should do an online search for the best wrongful death lawyers in Indianapolis, IN. This search should help to guide you in the right direction. Find out what people say through reviews and take a look at the lawyers’ AVVO profile if they have one (some lawyers do not and this is okay).
Schedule a Consultation – Once you have found a wrongful death law firm, you should schedule a consultation with the lawyer. In fact, it might help you to schedule a couple of consultations with different firms. Take this time to get a feel for their background, previous cases, and legal style. You can also ask questions about their intended strategy, experience, and knowledge.
Their Cost – Most lawyers who handle wrongful death cases will work on contingency. This means they won’t charge you anything upfront. However, some firms ask you to pay a retainer fee as a condition for taking your case. This is something you should consider before you work with a law firm for a wrongful death case.
Are You Looking for the Right Wrongful Death Lawyer?
When you have lost a loved one to negligence, you should not delay in calling a wrongful death lawyer. Filing a claim will not bring your loved one back, but it may help you to recover monetary damages that will offer a sense of closure. If you would like to learn more about Ward & Ward Law Firm and how we may be able to help you, we invite you to schedule a case review with one of our wrongful death lawyers Indianapolis, IN families trust.
How Does the Wrongful Death Claims Process Work?
If you choose to file a wrongful death claim, the process may unfold in a few ways, depending on your circumstances and your goals for your case. Some claims are resolved after an insurance company, multiple insurance companies, and/or other responsible parties offer a settlement that the loved ones of the deceased believe is fair. However, there are other scenarios in which loved ones choose to pursue arbitration, mediation, attorney-led negotiation, and even trial to obtain fair compensation from those whose conduct led to their loved one’s death.
When you meet with the experienced Indiana legal team at Ward & Ward Law Firm, we’ll be able to explain how your unique case might progress. No two wrongful death cases are exactly alike. Therefore, it’s a good idea to avoid making assumptions about your case until you’ve met with our Indianapolis, IN wrongful death lawyer team.
Who and When – Wrongful Death Claims Basics
Generally speaking, the spouses, children, and parents of someone who passed away due to another’s actions or inactions have grounds to bring a wrongful death suit. As does the individual managing the estate of the deceased. However, state laws are varied in this regard. As a result, it’s important to speak with an attorney if you’re unsure of whether you have standing to bring a wrongful death claim.
You should also keep in mind that wrongful death claims are affected by a “ticking clock” known as statute of limitations restrictions. These regulations dictate how much time can pass before eligible individuals can no longer bring a wrongful death suit under the law. Generally speaking, the sooner you talk to an attorney, the better. Even if you “technically” have several months or a few years to explore your options, as time passes, evidence can become compromised. Acting quickly will help to ensure that your claim is as strong as possible.
Examples of Wrongful Death Claims
The untimely death of a loved one can be devastated. For many people, this will be one of the most difficult periods of life. When the death was avoidable, but happened because of the negligent actions of another person, emotions can run particularly high. Known as a wrongful death, these situations may be open to recovering compensation. Having a wrongful death lawyer in Indianapolis, IN on your side can benefit you.
At Ward & Ward Law Firm, we handle a broad range of wrongful death cases. Many involve the following:
Commercial Truck Accidents
Most commercial truck accidents are classified as an auto accident. There are differences, especially when comparing them to a passenger vehicle accident. One of these is the size of the truck. Usually, commercial trucks are massive, and because of their size and weight, deaths are more common in an accident.
There are several elements that must be examined by an Indianapolis, IN wrongful death lawyer to determine how the accident happened and who was at fault. Some things to consider include:
Each of these things may be considered to build a case that is sound and irrefutable.
Car accidents are very common, and can result in a death of an occupant. In 2019, there were at least 39,000 car accidents that resulted in a wrongful death case. The number is alarming, and has risen. Most fatal car accidents are a result of at least one of the following:
Bicycle, Pedestrian, or Motorcycle accidents
Cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians have an increased risk of being severely injured or losing their life in an accident. This is because they lack the protection the drivers of cars have in a collision. In more cases than not, the driver of a car is negligent.
Hospitals and doctors are supposed to provide safe medical treatment to patients. Doctors and other medical professionals are supposed to have ample amounts of training so as to avoid causing unnecessary harm to patients. Despite the protocols that have been established, medical malpractice does happen. Sometimes, it can be fatal. Our wrongful death lawyers in Indianapolis, Indiana know of cases involving:
Some occupations have a higher risk of injuries and deaths. When workers are working in a dangerous environment, and the company fails to take the necessary safety precautions, there is a greater chance of a wrongful death accident. These types of cases are particularly unique in that workers’ compensation may be the only available type of compensation available. Only if negligence, on part of a third party, can be identified will a wrongful death claim likely be able to be filed. Either way, it is a good idea to talk with a wrongful death lawyer. Accidents in the workplace that may be prone to a death include:
There are many other examples of a wrongful death. If you believe your loved one died because of negligence, please call Ward & Ward Law Firm right away.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you’ve lost a loved one due to another’s negligent, reckless, or intentional behavior, please connect with our Indianapolis, IN wrongful death lawyer team today. You may be hesitant to connect with a lawyer at this time because you’re understandably already overwhelmed by the emotional and practical wake of your loss. We understand this and we’re here to help. Exploring your legal options is a necessary task at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that this task needs to be unnecessarily stressful or burdensome. We are proud to represent the interests of those who have lost loved ones due to the actions or inactions of others. Our Indianapolis, IN wrongful death lawyer team will do all we can to advocate on your family’s behalf with focus, determination, compassion, and respect during this challenging time. Please schedule a consultation today. We look forward to speaking with you.
Losing a loved one is always hard. If they died in an avoidable accident, it can be especially difficult. Every wrongful death attorney at Ward & Ward Law Firm has witnessed the traumatic aftermath of tragic situations like these. Family members may wonder if there is any justice possible or a way to hold the guilty person responsible. Sometimes loved ones have legal options they can pursue against the person who killed their spouse, child, or sibling. Call us at Ward & Ward Law Firm and request a free consultation with a wrongful death attorney who may be able to help you.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a civil action taken with the help of an Indianapolis, IN wrongful death attorney by a family member on behalf of the estate of the victim in order to collect financial compensation. This lawsuit is completely different from a criminal lawsuit which if the defendant is found guilty can result in jail time or a fine depending on the circumstances. The members of the victim’s family cannot get any damages from a criminal case, which is why many loved ones who were dependant on the victim for financial support file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful death claim regulations vary by state. Your Indianapolis, IN wrongful death attorney will be able to advise you on the laws in your state and how they affect your claim. There are laws common to most states that talk about the lawsuit procedures when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Civil Suit?
If the deceased family member had a will, often times the court will choose the executor of the will to be the represent the deceased’s estate in the wrongful death claim. This person is called the Plaintiff.
The person the wrongful death claim is filed against is called the Defendant. The claim will charge the Defendant’s actions were intentional or negligent and was at fault for the death of the victim.
Components Necessary to Win a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The following four components need to be proven by a wrongful death attorney in Indianapolis, IN in order to win a wrongful death lawsuit:
Burden of Proof is Less in a Wrongful Death Civil Case Than in a Criminal Case
In a criminal case the Defendant can only be found guilty if a proven ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. In a wrongful death civil case, the Defendant can be found guilty with a ‘preponderance of the evidence’, meaning the Defendant is more likely than not be the cause of the victim’s death.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney Indianapolis, IN Relies On
Talk to a Indianapolis, IN wrongful death attorney and see if your case contains the necessary components to file a civil claim against the person you believe to be responsible for your loved one’s death. The attorneys at Ward & Ward Law Firm will review the evidence and details of the case and work with you to determine the next steps that need to be taken.
Depending on the circumstances of your loved one’s passing, legal authorities may deem it appropriate to charge that person with a criminal offense. Again, depending on what happened, they may be charged with one of the following crimes:
Manslaughter. There are different types of manslaughter charges, the details of which can be explained in more detail by a wrongful death attorney :
Homicide. This is the act of someone intentionally killing another person.
It is important to understand that only a law enforcement agent can arrest someone for murder. A private citizen cannot bring criminal charges against someone they believe killed a person. In addition:
After the person is charged with manslaughter or homicide, it is up to the Indianapolis, IN prosecutor to decide if they want to pursue the charge or let the person out of jail.
If the prosecutor and the defense attorney do not agree to a plea bargain, then the case will proceed to trial. At any time leading up to the trial, and even during the trial, a plea agreement might be reached at which time the judge will dismiss the case.
As a result of the long and complicated legal process for criminal charges, the accused may never be convicted, even if in fact they killed another person. This can be devastating to the surviving family members of the deceased. Learn about What is the difference between a wrongful death claim and a survival action claim?
Wholly and completely separate from possible criminal charges against the person you believe killed your loved one, you may be able to pursue a civil lawsuit against them. With the help of a wrongful death attorney, you can take that person to court. It can be much easier to get a guilty verdict from a civil court jury than from a criminal court jury. If you win your case against the killer, they will not receive jail time as a result, but they may be legally obligated to give you financial compensation. Depending on the circumstances and their financial situation, the monetary award to you could be substantial. It can pay for the medical care your loved one may have needed prior to passing away, and it can replace the income you would otherwise not receive from your deceased family member. It can also pay for your children’s future educational costs and other necessities.
Information On Wrongful Death Settlements
When a loved one has passed away due to someone else’s negligence, one of the best ways you can recover damages after their death is through pursuing a lawsuit with help from an Indianapolis, IN wrongful death attorney. This lawsuit can help you get the money you and your family need to pay off the deceased’s medical bills, funeral costs, and even emotional damages that occurred. While a wrongful death claim can bring about a great deal of peace to a grieving family, they can also be quite complicated. Therefore, one of the best steps you can take when filing a wrongful death claim is first consulting with a wrongful death attorney Indianapolis, IN. One of the factors that makes a wrongful death claim so complex is determining exactly how much the settlement is worth, and, in the end, this is entirely unique to each case.
How Do Wrongful Deaths Happen?
Unfortunately, wrongful deaths are not uncommon and happen when one person negligently kills another person, either directly or through indirect actions. This can happen if someone was texting and driving and hit another car, thus killing the driver. It can also happen if a waiter spills water and someone slips and falls and dies from a brain injury. Even more serious cases of wrongful death occur when a medical professional negligently performs a procedure that they did not have to perform, using tools that they need not need to use, or fails to give their patient the right form of treatment in time.
How Does an Insurance Company Determine a Wrongful Death Settlement?
Determining the settlement for wrongful death cases becomes tricky because each case is usually unique to the individual and there are many factors that an insurance company must consider. For example:
When your wrongful death attorney Indianapolis, IN makes a case for the settlement, it cannot simply be a number that is randomly assigned. Instead, there needs to be serious evidence for why this number is appropriate to settle on, and your Indianapolis, IN wrongful death attorney can even employ the help of expert witnesses—like an economist—to help determine the proper amount.
What If You Disagree With the Settlement Offer?
If you do not agree with the settlement offer that the defendant’s insurance company laid out, you can take this claim to court to prove that you are seeking a fair amount of damages. Like any trial, there is no guarantee that a court will side with you, and you may end up leaving without the number you and your wrongful death attorney, Indianapolis, IN had discussed.
Should I Hire a Lawyer?
Hiring a lawyer for your wrongful death claim can mean the difference in whether you get a reasonable settlement. Fighting this battle alone can become quite complicated very quickly, and it is best to do this with the help of a wrongful death attorney Indianapolis, IN who knows the ins and outs of wrongful death claims. For more information on wrongful death claim and to speak with a trusted Indianapolis, IN wrongful death attorney, contact Ward & Ward Law Firm at 317-639-9501.
If you lost a loved one due to the negligent or wrongful act of someone else, call us at Ward & Ward Law Firm today to speak with a wrongful death attorney Indianapolis, IN families trust to get justice.