Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for people of all ages in the United States. Many of these deaths are truly accidental. Unexpected issues with the vehicle, inclement weather or large animals entering the flow of traffic could all lead to fatal crashes.
However, there are also cases where another driver is obviously at fault for the death of someone in a collision. In the scenarios where surviving family members can show that an individual or business is responsible for a death, meaning it isn’t truly accidental, they can bring a wrongful death claim against that party in court.
Wrongful death lawsuits in Indiana can help family members recover expenses such as funeral costs and lost future wages that their deceased loved one would have earned. How can you tell if your family’s recent tragedy qualifies as a wrongful death?
When there were wrongful acts
Wrongful or illegal acts occur all the time. People drive far faster than they should, even in residential neighborhoods. They race on public streets. They get behind the wheel after having too much to drink or while under the influence of drugs. They commit a crime and flee the police, leading to a chase and a completely unnecessary collision.
When someone broke the law and their criminal actions directly led to the death of your loved one, you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim under Indiana law.
When an action or decision would have saved your loved one
Indiana also defines wrongful death as a death that results from the omission of another party. Omissions mean failing to act in a situation where there is an obligation to do so or where a reasonable person would act that way.
Not properly maintaining a vehicle could be an omission that leads to a preventable motor vehicle crash. Failing to use a blinker or monitor traffic properly before merging or turning could also constitute an omission in a collision scenario.
Many questionable driving behaviors that seem negligent or that result in tragic wrecks could also give rise to wrongful death claims. Familiarizing yourself with state law makes it easier for you to decide if pursuing a claim might benefit your family.