No one warns you how expensive death can be. Funeral expenses, will readings, and the distribution of property can leave you both emotionally and financially spent. While you may have the right to take legal action against the party liable for your losses, would it be worth the financial cost?
More often than not, yes. Wrongful death claims can help you secure post-accident compensation for the wrongs done to your loved one.
How much, though, does it cost to hire a wrongful death lawyer? When you work with Vaughan & Vaughan, you work with Indianapolis wrongful death lawyers who prioritize your financial health. Our team’s contingency fee agreements ensure that you only pay for our services if we win your case.
Vaughan & Vaughan Offers Wrongful Death Services on Contingency
Vaughan & Vaughan offers its wrongful death services on a contingency fee basis. What does this mean? It means that prior to assuming your case, our team makes you a promise. We will not charge you for our services unless we win you a fair, loss-based settlement.
Should we win your case, our contingency fee agreements ensure that you don’t have to pay for our services with your savings. Instead, we agree to take a percentage of your settlement. In doing so, we make post-case transactions straightforward and stress-free.
You can learn more about our contingency fee agreements during your first FREE case evaluation with our wrongful death lawyers in Indianapolis.
Outlining Wrongful Death Services
What services do you get when you work with a contingency-based lawyer? Vaughan & Vaughan doesn’t short you on benefits. Our wrongful death services include the following:
- An initial investigation into your loved one’s accident
- Conversations with bad faith insurance providers
- Mediation in conversation with police officers and a liable party
- The composition of a comprehensive wrongful death claim
- Representation in negotiations, a trial, or both
You can outline your desired services when you first meet with our team. We can then adjust what services you may need based on the way your wrongful death case plays out.
Wrongful Deaths and Indiana’s Criminal Courts
You cannot assume criminal action against the party liable for your loved one’s death, even if their death constitutes a homicide. Only the state can issue criminal charges against a negligent party. The state’s attorneys must then prove the liable party’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
When you file a civil claim against the liable party, you must prove “by a preponderance of evidence” that the offending party caused your loved one’s death. That burden of proof is less steep than that needed to make criminal charges stick against the liable party.
That said, the state may still have the evidence it needs to prove that your loved one’s death resulted from someone else’s criminal behavior. Should the offending party find themselves convicted of a crime, don’t hesitate to bring that conviction to a civil judge’s attention. A criminal conviction can serve as proof of liability in Indiana’s civil wrongful death cases.
Do You Have the Right to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Only certain parties have the right to take a loved one’s wrongful death case to civil court. The identity of these parties does not impact the cost of hiring a wrongful death lawyer.
Indiana allows the deceased’s child descendants to take legal action on their behalf. This means that children may act on behalf of a parent or legal guardian. Indiana recognizes the term “children” to refer to:
- Unmarried parties without dependants under 20 years old
- Unmarried parties under 23 years old who are pursuing secondary education
Indiana does not, however, allow adult descendants to pursue legal action after the deceased’s wrongful death. Instead, only the deceased’s personal representative or executor may take legal action on their behalf.
Parties interested in pursuing legal action against a negligent party can meet with an attorney to discuss their relationship with the deceased and their subsequent right to assume legal action on the deceased’s behalf.
You May Not Need to Go to Court to Win Wrongful Death Damages
Many families want to avoid what they see as the “circus” of civil litigation when they’re contending with life-changing grief. Our Indianapolis wrongful death attorneys understand that. Fortunately, you may not have to go to civil court to secure the damages you need to recover from a loved one’s wrongful death.
Our team can arrange out-of-court negotiations with the party liable for your loved one’s passing. While these conversations can prove emotionally challenging, our team can step in and keep them civil. If you can reach a settlement agreement with the liable party during this process, you can avoid going to trial.
When to Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you decide that you do want to work with an Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer, make sure you schedule your initial case consultation before your statute of limitations expires. Indiana Code section 34-11-2-4 allows survivors representing wrongful death victims no more than two years to file claims with Indiana’s civil courts.
You will not have the chance to request fair compensation for your losses if you try to file a wrongful death claim after your statute of limitations expires. With that in mind, don’t hesitate to schedule an initial consultation with an attorney well within your two-year filing period. Even if you don’t decide to move forward with civil action, you can maintain your right to act.
We Want to Help Your Family Recover from a Heartbreaking Loss
It’s said that grief never really leaves you. You learn to live with the loss of a loved one, but their presence and the losses thereof linger for months and years after they’ve left your life. In that way, a wrongful death claim can’t bring your loved one back or alleviate your grief. It can help you get your life back on track, though.
What’s more, the wrongful death lawyers with Vaughan & Vaughan help you take your claim to court without breaking the bank. Our contingency fee policy ensures that we don’t get paid unless you do.
Learn more about your right to file a wrongful death claim during a free case evaluation today.