The death of a loved one is one of the most difficult losses a person can face. This loss tends to be even more challenging to overcome when the death was unexpected and could have been prevented. Beyond the emotional toll this type of loss can take, you could also be looking at significant financial strain, especially if the deceased was the primary earner for your family.
At the law firm of Vaughan & Vaughan, we are aware of the emotional and financial turmoil you are likely dealing with after an unexpected death. The last thing you need is the additional stress of pursuing an insurance claim or wrongful death lawsuit. Fortunately, our team of Monticello wrongful death lawyers has been handling these types of cases for over 100 years.
When you hire us to help with your case, we will handle all of your legal and financial concerns so that you can focus on your family and deal with your grief. Contact us today through our website or by giving us a call and schedule a free case consultation.
Proving Liability in a Wrongful Death Case
You won’t be able to move forward with your case until you first establish who is at fault for the death of your loved one. Although liability can often seem straightforward, proving who is to blame will likely be challenging. Most of the time, multiple parties may potentially hold a level of responsibility for the death.
Fortunately, you don’t have to try and prove liability alone. An experienced wrongful death lawyer serving Monticello, Indiana, can help.
What a Wrongful Death Attorney Serving Monticello Will Do on Your Behalf
After hiring a wrongful death attorney to represent you following the death of a loved one, there are several steps they will take to ensure you collect fair compensation from the responsible party. One of the first actions they will take will be to investigate the accident that resulted in your loved one’s death to prove fault and gather evidence supporting your compensation claim.
After that, your lawyer will figure out what damages you can pursue and calculate the full worth of your claim. Next, they will either file an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurer or submit the paperwork for a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party to the court.
If you take the route of a lawsuit, your attorney will then go through the steps of the pretrial process. Once this is complete, they will present your case at trial. However, there is a chance your case will not make it to this point. That is because your attorney will also negotiate with the at-fault party’s attorneys, attempting to come to terms on a settlement deal.
Make Sure to File Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit Before You Run Out of Time
One of the most important things to remember when attempting to recover compensation after the death of a loved one is the statute of limitations. In Indiana, family members typically have up to two years from the date of death to sue the liable party. If you miss this cutoff, you could end up losing your ability to pursue damages.
However, this deadline can be flexible in certain situations. If the details of the case permit, you may be able to submit your lawsuit long past the usual two-year deadline.
On the other hand, you may discover that the specifics of the situation instead place further limitations on the amount of time you have to file. For example, when the party responsible for your loved one’s death is a government entity, you will likely have months rather than years to take action. An experienced Monticello, Indiana, wrongful death attorney can help ensure all deadlines are met.
Damages You Can Recover After the Wrongful Death of a Loved One
After losing a loved one because of another party’s negligence, you can claim several types of damages. However, determining all the damages you are eligible to recover can be challenging.
Hiring an experienced Monticello wrongful death lawyer can help you ensure that you collect all the damages to which you are entitled. All recoverable damages are sorted into one of three main categories.
Economic damages account for any losses you suffered that impacted you monetarily. Because these damages are of a financial nature, they are easily quantified. Some of the economic damages most frequently available in a wrongful death case include:
- Medical expenses for treatment the deceased received before their death
- Funeral expenses
- Burial costs
- Lost wages for work you missed due to your loved one’s death
- Lost future earnings the deceased would have made in their lifetime
Non-economic damages are made up of all the other losses resulting from the death of your loved one. These damages are wide-ranging, and it can be extremely challenging to place a dollar amount on these losses. Some of the non-economic damages most frequently available in a wrongful death case include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Decreased quality of life
- Emotional distress
Instead of replacing the losses suffered by an accident victim, punitive damages are used as a means of punishing the liable party for their role in the death of your loved one. These damages are meant to serve as a deterrent to prevent similar behavior in the future.
The court only uses punitive damages in extreme cases. In order to qualify, the actions of the at-fault party must have been criminally negligent or carried out with the intent of causing harm.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Monticello Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Securing the right attorney to help with your case is essential when attempting to recover compensation after the death of a loved one. You need to make sure you hire an attorney with a proven track record of winning favorable outcomes for their clients in cases like yours.
At Vaughan & Vaughan, our team of wrongful death attorneys in Monticello is here to help. Reach out to us today by completing our online contact form or giving us a call and schedule a free case review.