Indianapolis Wrongful Death Attorneys
Answer Frequently Asked Questions

FAQS

HOW DO I FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?

Gather your information; this is what will later become known as “the facts of the case.” To do that, you’ll need to answer these questions: What happened? When? Where? How? To whom? And, what or who is at fault? Then it is helpful to talk to an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Preparation, through your attorney, will include setting up an estate within the county court system, investigating the case and notifying the responsible parties of the intent to file suit. This will be followed by negotiations and potential settlement. If no settlement is reached, the case will go to court, which includes pre-trial, trial and/or arbitration phases. Within these phases, attorneys will conduct discovery, interviews/interrogation, requesting documentation and more. In Indiana, the filing deadline for a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the person’s death.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE WRONGFUL DEATH SETTLEMENT?

Every wrongful death claim is different, and it is difficult to determine the exact value without close examination of the specific case. A few potential factors that will determine the settlement amount include the measurement of the financial impact to the survivors and the ability and/or desire of the defendant to settle. Other factors may include:

  • Expenses related to emergency or other medical care necessitated by the negligent, intentional or reckless act of the defendant (prior to death). 
  • Expenses related to funeral care. 
  • The decedent’s expected lifetime earnings. 
  • The decedent’s benefits (pension, insurance) and potential inheritance.
  • Non-economic damages: familial leadership and support. 
  • Loss of love and companionship.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SETTLE WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIMS?

It varies. Some cases can be settled in months. Many, especially those that result in personal injury, can take one to four years to resolve. 

WHO CAN FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?

Eligible persons include spouses, siblings, half-siblings, parents and children of the deceased.

WHO GETS THE MONEY IN A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?

Compensation is divided amongst the survivors in the immediate family. The qualifier for eligibility is that there must have been a level of financial dependence prior to the death. If a spouse and children survive the victim, the spouse will get the first $30,000 plus half of the settlement that remains. The children will get the other half, divided equally. If there are surviving parents, but no spouse, the parents will share equally.

CLARITY

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SUCCESS STORIES

Nate consulted with medical experts, dug in and proceeded with the civil suit. I remember him telling me several times that [my wife’s] story was compelling and was deserving of his team’s full commitment and skill. We eventually settled before trial and were thrilled with the results, we felt justice prevailed. Nate was patient, thorough and a trusted advisor to us through this.

–T.H.

He went to bat for us with health care providers and workman’s comp people. He fights for what is right. He really cared about what happened to my husband. Now, he will be taken care of for the rest of his life.

–T.R.

Scott did a truly amazing job for us. It was not just about the legal work; he was there for us every step of the way. From rehab, through settlement and even making sure appropriate financial arrangements were in place for the future. He went to bat for us with health care providers and workman’s comp people. He fights for what is right. He really cared about what happened to my husband.

–T.R.

Belinda was very responsive. I am very pleased. They are great at what they do.

–L.H.

Mike Miller and the firm were all excellent to work with and were extremely professional.

–C.M.

We worked with Brad Kallmyer who was phenomenal. He listened well and was very thorough and professional. I give all the credit to Brad. The staff was very kind, very understanding. They made my mom feel important. Brad’s integrity and the firm came through for us. They were great.

–C.M.

Words cannot express how tremendously grateful my husband and I are to Nate and his team during the most difficult times in our lives. He walked us through every step with the up most respect, never hesitating to answer any and all questions, or simply giving us a word of encouragement. It was a relief to know that he was always on our side, fighting for our case and believing that it was worth fighting for.

–C.L.

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