If you have reason to believe that the death of your loved one was caused by someone else's negligence, you may have a legal claim for compensation for medical bills, funeral and funeral expenses, lost wages and benefits, and other losses.
At Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak, we have helped many families obtain the compensation they need and have obtained millions on their behalf. A South Bend wrongful death lawyer from our office is ready to review your situation during a free initial consultation.
Founding PartnerDaniel Pfeiferis a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which is made up of less than 1 percent of US trial lawyers.
You are under no obligation to take any legal action and you do not pay anything in advance to use our services. There are no charges unless we help you recover.
Financial support(844) 678-1800Today. We are here to help.
How Wrongful Death Is Defined In Indiana
Under state law, a wrongful death is defined as a death caused by the wrongful act or omission of another person. A wrongful death lawsuit is considered a civil action. These cases can be brought to court where the deceased person could have claimed personal damages had he survived, even if the death is the subject of a criminal investigation.
A wrongful death can be caused by many different situations, such as:
- car accidents
- motorcycle accidents
- defective products
- truck accidents
- slip and fall
There may be more than one person or entity responsible for a wrongful death. For example, the manufacturer and the driver may be liable for a fatal car accident caused by vehicle failure because the driver could have corrected the problem before the collision occurred.
Can Family Members File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Indiana, a wrongful death claim must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased person's estate. The estate representative is appointed by the court and is usually the survivor of the testator:
- adult child
Any compensation claimed will be awarded to the spouse, children or any person who was financially dependent on the deceased if there are no children or spouse. If the decedent had no spouse, minor children, or other dependents, damages would be awarded to her parent or adult child. These people would be beneficiaries of the inheritance.
What if the deceased is a child?
If the decedent is a child, one or both parents may file a wrongful death claim. A child is anyone under the age of 20 or under the age of 23 who is enrolled in a certain type of school.
If both parents are divorced, the custodial parent may apply. If both parents are deceased or have had parental rights revoked, the case must be filed by the child's legal guardian at the time of her death.
Filing a wrongful death claim can be complex. That is why we encourage you to speak with one of our experienced South Bend wrongful death lawyers about his legal rights and options.
Benefits of Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer
Building a successful wrongful death is no easy task. During this difficult time, it can be beneficial to have a knowledgeable and dedicated attorney by your side to help you navigate the court process.
Our legal team is intimately familiar with wrongful death penalty laws and what it takes to protect your prospective case. We understand the deadlines that must be met and we are ready to ensure that all legal documents are completed correctly and submitted on time. Failure to meet the deadlines could jeopardize the case.
We have many decades of experience helping victims throughout the South Bend area and state. We understand the financial impact of a wrongful death on your loved ones and family. Our firm prides itself on operating on a contingency fee, which means you only pay us if we obtain compensation for you.
We also offer a free initial consultation to review your claim and determine if you are eligible to file a claim. Even after this meeting, you are under no obligation to continue using our services.
Pfeifer, Morgan, and Stesiak. Without prepayments. Phone:(844) 678-1800
What damages are available in a wrongful death case?
Each wrongful death case is unique. Damages are intended to compensate the estate and relieve family members who suffer financial loss as a result of the death of a loved one.
In general, the damages available for wrongful death could include:
- Funeral, burial and/or cremation expenses
- Loss of income, benefits and financial support
- Loss of affection, companionship, leadership and care
Funeral and burial expenses are paid to the estate. Otherwise, damages will be divided among the survivors or other survivors of the decedent based on a court decision.
It is important to note that some wrongful death cases have limitations or caps on damages. If the deceased is of legal age, single, and has no minor children, the non-economic damage (eg, loss of love and affection) is capped at $300,000.
There is no limit to damages if the decedent was an adult with a surviving spouse or children, or if the decedent was a child, unless it was due to medical malpractice or a government agency.
To find out what your potential case might be worth, check out our blog atWrongful Death Damages.
Restoration of damage in a survival action
In Indiana, filing a survivor claim is different than filing a wrongful death claim. While a wrongful death seeks to compensate families for losses sustained after or as a result of the death of a loved one, a survivor's lawsuit compensates families for the harm their loved one suffered prior to death.
Claims for damages by the real estate agent in a survivor lawsuit include:
- Medical expenses for hospitalizations and related treatments until death
- Lost wages from the time of the accident until your death.
- Personal property damage
- experience pain and suffering
Deadline to Take Legal Action
The state adheres to a statute of limitations, which sets a specific limit for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. If the lawsuit is not filed within this time limit, the case will likely result in a dismissal in court.
As a general rule, you have two years from the date of death to take legal action. There may be exceptions to this rule. Our South Bend wrongful death attorneys are ready to set the deadline applicable to your situation and ensure that a lawsuit is filed before the two-year window closes.
Helpful Resources After the Sudden Loss of a Loved One
The sudden loss of a loved one is a life-changing experience. However, there are resources to help families in such difficult times. In addition to support from family or friends, support can also be found from various support groups and grief counseling organizations.
The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) provides a list ofnationwide bereavement services, including a 13-week program called GriefShare that helps people who have lost someone understand their grief. Seminars and self-help groups are led by people with shared experiences.
the mourning committeeBeacon Children's Hospitalin South Bend offers personal and online resources for anyone who has experienced the loss of a child.
Indiana University South Bend also offersGrief and loss counselingHelp students deal with the death of a loved one.
Contact a South Bend Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence, we encourage you to contact Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak. We believe that anyone who has caused harm to you and your family must be held accountable for their actions. Our company has recoveredMillions of trials and comparisonson behalf of our clients.
Request a free, no-obligation legal consultation with a South Bend wrongful death lawyer today. After this initial consultation, you are not required to take legal action. If you decide to continue, we do not charge any advance payment. You only pay if we help you get compensation.
Our office is also conveniently located about 10 minutes fromSouth Bend Memorial Hospital.
Get the legal help you need. Phone:(844) 678-1800
Free case report
No fees unless you collect
Pfeifer, Morgan y Stesiak
53600 N. Ironwood Road,
South Bend, IN 46635, NJ 07604
Truly the best and most honest attorneys ever. The staff is also extremely competent and professional.
I wouldn't know what to do if I thought I didn't have these guys on my side. Thank you.
matt and carolina
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Very smart, very organized, honest, hardworking and they make you feel comfortable, they are there to listen and give the best advice, people you don't have to worry about playing and doing business with.
I called Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak for help with a medical/dental claim. JEFF STESIAK was F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S and got me the compensation I deserved!
They were very helpful and communicative. Absolutely to suggest.
Wrongful Death Notices
- Filing a COVID-19 Wrongful Death Lawsuit
- Types of Compensation Awarded in Wrongful Death Cases
- How Much Is My Indiana Wrongful Death Lawsuit Worth?
How may we help you? To prove that your loved one was a victim of a wrongful death, you will have to show that the defendant owed your family member a duty of care, the defendant breached that duty, and your relative died as a result.What is the highest wrongful death settlement? ›
|Attorneys:||Alan M. Feldman, Daniel J. Mann, Edward S. Goldis of Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock & Dodig LLP; Andrew R. Duffy, Robert J. Mongeluzzi, Benjamin J. Baer of Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky PC|
Wrongful death attorneys know exactly how much your claim is worth and what you're entitled to. Wrongful death payouts vary greatly and require a large burden of proof. An experienced attorney will build the best case to show what your loved one endured leading up to their death.What is wrongful death in a civil case? ›
Wrongful death is a civil cause of action brought by family members and dependents against individuals who knowingly or negligently cause the death of another person.What is crucial when collecting evidence for wrongful death? ›
The medical records of the deceased serve as the most critical evidence to be collected in the case of a wrongful death suit. With accurate review of medical records, lawyers can find points to confirm that the deceased person's injuries are directly connected to the negligent party's actions.What is an example of death due to negligence? ›
For example, that a truck driver cuts off the driver and as a result the driver dies. The plaintiff has to prove that there was no duty of care by the defendant has taken while driving the car which resulted in the death of a person.What are five reasons you might need a lawyer in your life? ›
- Personal Injury. ...
- Someone in Your Family Died Without an Estate Plan. ...
- You Want to Start a Business. ...
- You Need an Estate Plan. ...
- You are Going Through a Nasty Divorce. ...
- A Contract is Involved. ...
- You Received a Letter from an Attorney.
If you believe that your lawyer has been negligent in handling your case—and that negligence has ended up costing you money or injuring you or your legal rights—you may be able to bring a malpractice suit against your lawyer.Why you should always get a lawyer? ›
A Lawyer Can Present Your Strongest Case
Pleading guilty or admitting fault isn't the only choice, even if there's evidence pointing directly at you. When you hire a lawyer, they can explain all of your options and can help you avoid potentially severe penalties even before a trial begins.
Immediate family members. In all states, immediate family members like spouses and children (including adopted children) and parents of unmarried children can recover compensation in a wrongful death action. Life partners, financial dependents, and putative spouses.
To prove an element by a preponderance of the evidence simply means to prove that something is more likely than not. In other words, in light of the evidence and the law, do you believe that each element of his/her [claim/counterclaim] is more likely true than not?What is the definition of punitive damages? ›
Punitive damages are awarded in addition to actual damages in certain circumstances. Punitive damages are considered punishment and are typically awarded at the court's discretion when the defendant's behavior is found to be especially harmful.How is death compensation calculated? ›
Wrongful death lawsuits are calculated by the harm caused to both the victim and the survivors, typically the victim's family, filing the lawsuit. To calculate compensation, the court will total all the associated economic and non-economic damages, including: Medical bills. Loss of earnings.What is the most money awarded in a lawsuit? ›
- $2.2 Billion Pharmacist Medical Malpractice in Kansas. ...
- $2 Billion Monsanto Roundup Case in California. ...
- $1.1 Billion Drunk Driving Accident Case in North Dakota. ...
- $60 Million Train Derailment Case. ...
- $38 Million Hyundai Motors Co.
What is the average payout for a Roundup lawsuit? The average payout for an individual who has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or other cancers is between $5,000 to $250,000 in compensation. One report stated that the average amount per client suffering from cancer is $160,000.What are 3 things that must be determined upon a person's death? ›
When a death occurs, a physician or medical examiner must fill out a death certificate. In order to properly complete this document, they must determine three things: the cause, the mechanism, and the manner of death.What are the 3 informations needed in a death investigation? ›
- their medical history.
- the circumstances of their death.
- an initial review of their body.
The Coroner Service conducts investigations into deaths that are unnatural, unexpected, unexplained or unattended. Coroners determine the identity of the deceased and cause of death. They classify the manner of death as natural, accidental, homicide, suicide, or undetermined.What are the 4 examples of negligence? ›
While seemingly straightforward, the concept of negligence itself can also be broken down into four types of negligence: gross negligence, comparative negligence, contributory negligence, and vicarious negligence or vicarious liability.What are the four D's of negligence? ›
To protect yourself from medical malpractice and seek justice whenever needed, it is vital to be aware of the four D's: duty, direct cause, damages, and dereliction of duty.
The classifications are natural, accident, suicide, homicide, undetermined, and pending.What are 3 things lawyers do? ›
- Advise and represent clients in courts, before government agencies, and in private legal matters.
- Communicate with their clients, colleagues, judges, and others involved in the case.
- Conduct research and analysis of legal problems.
- My case will be easy money for you. ...
- I have already done the work for you. ...
- I forgot I had an appointment. ...
- I've already talked to a lot of other lawyers. ...
- I don't have all my documents.
While the act of overbilling can simply be a lawyer overcharging for services, there are numerous ways this can occur, for example: Padding a bill: This occurs when a lawyer lies about how much time was spent on a matter. By overstating time spent, the bill becomes inflated.What is unethical for a lawyer? ›
Attorney misconduct may include: conflict of interest, overbilling, refusing to represent a client for political or professional motives, false or misleading statements, knowingly accepting worthless lawsuits, hiding evidence, abandoning a client, failing to disclose all relevant facts, arguing a position while ...What happens when you say you want a lawyer? ›
Police are required to stop their interrogation at the time you ask for an attorney, and cannot question you further until you have an attorney present. You must clearly communicate that you are asking for an attorney and that you do not wish to be questioned anymore.Is it worth getting a good lawyer? ›
If an individual faces a serious legal matter, it is often worth it to hire an experienced lawyer. Attorneys with experience in the specific type of law required for the case can provide invaluable guidance and representation. They will likely have a better understanding of the law and how to navigate the court system.What are the benefits of hiring a lawyer? ›
- Know the environment. ...
- Help you understand the charges and penalties you face. ...
- Take care of paperwork. ...
- Knowledge of the law. ...
- They will not let you get taken advantage of. ...
- Devoted to defending you. ...
- Keep things moving along quickly. ...
- Can save you money.
"[I]t is jurisprudentially settled that when death occurs due to a crime, the following may be recovered: (1) civil indemnity ex delicto for the death of the victim; (2) actual or compensatory damages; (3) moral damages; (4) exemplary damages; (5) attorney's fees and expenses of litigation; and (6) interest, in proper ...Who can sue for wrongful death in Indiana? ›
Under Indiana law, only the personal representative of the wrongful death victim's estate has the authority to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In most cases, the personal representative is the executor named in the victim's will.
In New York, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of the decedent's death.What are the different burdens of proof? ›
The Different Burdens of Proof
There are three burdens of proof that exist for most cases: proof beyond a reasonable doubt, clear and convincing evidence, and preponderance of the evidence.
Substantial evidence is defined as such amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion.What is quantum of evidence? ›
The quantum of evidence is the amount of evidence needed; the quality of proof is how reliable such evidence should be considered. Important rules that govern admissibility concern hearsay, authentication, relevance, privilege, witnesses, opinions, expert testimony, identification and rules of physical evidence.What are vindictive damages? ›
3] Vindictive or Exemplary Damages
In case of a wrongful dishonour of cheque from a businessman, the compensation will include exemplary damages even if he has not suffered any financial loss. However, a non-trader is not awarded heavy compensation unless the damages are alleged and proved as special damages.
These are (1) how reprehensible the defendant's conduct was, (2) the disparity between the harm experienced by the plaintiff and the punitive damages award, and (3) the difference between the punitive damages award and the civil penalties and remedies imposed in similar cases.What is moral damages? ›
Moral damages are a type of extraordinary damage that compensate an employee for mental distress or other intangible injury arising from the employer's breach of its duty of good faith and fair dealing in the manner of dismissal.What must be proved as evidence of negligence? ›
Generally, the burden of proof in a negligence claim rests on the claimant who must show, on the balance of probabilities, that they were injured by a negligent act or omission for which the defendant is responsible.What are the four things you need to prove to win a negligence case? ›
Most civil lawsuits for injuries allege the wrongdoer was negligent. To win in a negligence lawsuit, the victim must establish 4 elements: (1) the wrongdoer owed a duty to the victim, (2) the wrongdoer breached the duty, (3) the breach caused the injury (4) the victim suffered damages.What is negligence resulting in death? ›
Wrongful Death Caused by Negligence. Oftentimes, an individual's death occurs from another person's negligence. Negligence is the failure to behave with a level of care that a reasonable person would exercise in a similar circumstance. In other words, negligence is simply a mistake made by another person.
A negligence claim requires that the person bringing the claim (the plaintiff) establish four distinct elements: duty of care, breach, causation, and damages.What element of negligence is hardest to prove? ›
Many articles discuss what negligence is and how to prove it, but the least understood element among these four is causation. Additionally, out of these four elements, causation is typically the most difficult to prove, especially in medical malpractice cases.What is the most difficult element of negligence to prove? ›
Causation. The third element of negligence can be the most difficult to prove in some cases. There must be a clear link between the breach of duty and the cause of the victim's injury.What 3 things must a plaintiff prove? ›
The four elements that a plaintiff must prove to win a negligence suit are 1) Duty, 2) Breach, 3) Cause, and 4) Harm.What are the 3 common defenses used against a negligence claim? ›
The most common negligence defenses are contributory negligence, comparative negligence, and assumption of risk. This article will discuss all three defenses, when they're used, and how they're established.What is negligent infliction of emotional distress example? ›
For example, while a mother and her son are on a sidewalk, a driver negligently swerves onto the sidewalk, hitting and injuring the son. If the mother suffers serious emotional distress, she may have a negligent infliction of emotional distress claim against the driver because she witnessed her son's injury.What is a real life example of negligence? ›
Some common negligence case examples under this category include, but are not limited to, the following scenarios: A driver runs a stop sign and slams into another car. A driver operates illegally in the bicycle lane and hits a bicyclist. A driver runs a red light and hits a pedestrian in a crosswalk.What are the 3 elements of negligence? ›
Negligence occurs when someone fails to act with a reasonable level of care and someone is injured. There are many types of negligence claims, but they require the plaintiff to prove the same three elements: negligence, causation, and damages.What three factors must a claimant suing for negligence prove? ›
All three elements must be proven for a claim to succeed – duty, breach, and causation. It is fair to say that the causation element of a claim in a medical negligence claim is often the more difficult to prove.What is one thing that the plaintiff must prove in negligence? ›
The plaintiff must show that the defendant owed her a legal duty of care under the circumstances. The duty of care can arise from different factors, such as the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant.