What protects the loved ones of those killed in car crashes?

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2021 | Car Accidents

There are car crashes every day in Indiana, and most of them don’t result in severe injuries. However, collisions remain a leading cause of death for people of all ages. Fatal wrecks do occur, and they can leave family members with hard-to-process grief.

These crashes can also cause financial devastation for the surviving family members of the person who died. Particularly if your deceased loved one was the primary wage-earner for your household, you may need support and protection after your unexpected loss.

How does Indiana law protect you after a fatal car crash?  

A wrongful death claim may be possible

Indiana has a wrongful death statute that allows people to take legal action when they lose a loved one. If you can show that the death was the result of someone’s wrongful act or omission, meaning they broke the law or didn’t do something that they should have, a wrongful death claim may be possible.

The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate is the one to file the claim. If they succeed and the courts award them compensation, that money goes to the closest family members of the deceased individual. Spouses and children are frequently the primary beneficiaries of wrongful death claims in Indiana, but parents and other close family members can also receive proceeds from a successful claim.

How do wrongful death claims work?

The plaintiff, who will be the personal representative for your loved one’s estate, files a lawsuit against the person or business ultimately responsible for the crash. Using evidence including police reports, medical records and even collision reconstructions, the representative and their attorney help show the courts how the other party caused the death of your loved one.

When they file, they will request a specific amount of compensation based on the losses caused by the collision. Everything from a lifetime of wages to the loss of someone’s services in their own home can contribute to the amount of compensation the family ultimately receives. The courts consider the situation and the beneficiaries of the claim when deciding how much compensation to award the plaintiffs and also how to order the distribution of those funds when there are several beneficiaries.

Bringing a wrongful death claim will limit the financial losses a family suffers after a crash and give them justice by holding someone accountable for their loss.