Who Can Recover Money in Indiana Wrongful Death?

In Indiana, wrongful death is defined as when “the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another.” Basically, one person’s action or inaction directly causes the death of someone’s loved one. These situations are often unexpected and always devastating for friends, family, colleagues, and others. Though many people may be emotionally and financially affected by a wrongful death, the question of who can legally recover damages from the negligent party has a relatively narrow answer.

Recovering Damages from Wrongful Death in Indiana

Indiana wrongful death recoveries may or may not be capped, depending on the statute which applies:

A table describing Indiana wrongful death statutes for adults who are married or have dependents, single adults with no dependents, and children age 20-23 and younger

Some of the expenses that may be covered for the estate and/or immediate survivors are:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical and hospital expenses
  • Lost wages and benefits from the deceased’s employment
  • Legal fees and costs of the case

When damages are awarded for expenses like the funeral, hospital expenses, and legal fees, these will be paid to the estate of an adult, or the parent/guardian of a minor. It is then the responsibility of the estate or guardians to pay the outstanding bills with the money that was awarded.  Any amount left over will be divided among the surviving spouse and any dependent children.

Unfortunately, Indiana does not allow recovery for the grief or suffering caused by a wrongful death. This is different from loss of love or companionship, as well as household services, that can be included in the claim.

No two negligence cases are alike, and this is especially true when one party’s negligence results in the wrongful death of another. Cline Farrell Christie Lee & Bell is a team of Indiana attorneys that helps those permanently affected by negligence regain peace of mind and move forward in life.  Learn more about our Indiana wrongful death lawyers.