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Wrongful Death Attorney in Lafayette, Indiana

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The pain of losing a loved one in an accident is unbearable, especially when that accident was caused by someone else’s careless or negligent behavior. 

In such an unfair situation, grief can be paralyzing. Additionally, if your loved one died in an accident, you are likely left with a financial burden as well as intense grief. A wrongful death attorney in Lafayette can alleviate the financial aspects of your suffering by fighting for your loved one’s rights, even after their death. 

Even though you already know that financial compensation will never be enough to heal from your losses, getting justice can be a bright spot in a dark time. 

A wrongful death attorney can secure justice and financial relief for your family post-loss.

Common causes of wrongful death lawsuits in Lafayette

Although some accidents are truly unpreventable, an unfortunate fact is that human negligence causes many fatal accidents every year, even here in Lafayette. 

Some of Indiana’s most common types of wrongful death accidents caused by negligence are: 

  • Bike accidents
  • Car accidents
  • Dog attacks
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Nursing home abuse and neglect
  • Occupational hazards
  • Rideshare accidents
  • Semi truck accidents
  • Slip-and-falls
  • Surgical or hospital malpractice

For a successful wrongful death claim, enlist a skilled and experienced attorney to assess your case.

Filing a Claim with a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Lafayette

Wrongful death cases are similar to personal injury lawsuits, but there is one key difference. In a personal injury case, the injured party brings the claim, but in a wrongful death case, the claim is filed by the deceased person’s estate. 


To file a wrongful death claim, you need to have the support of a qualified and experienced wrongful death attorney who can review your case, file all of the appropriate documents, build a claim against the responsible party, and negotiate on your behalf. 

11 potential stages of a wrongful death lawsuit

Every wrongful death lawsuit is unique, and your attorney can help you understand what to expect from each step in the process. These 11 steps are a general overview of what you can expect, but your exact case may unfold with some differences. 

  1. Initial consultation (free, no obligation).
    During your free consultation, you will meet with your attorney to learn about the case and review the circumstances of your loved one’s death. If there are other people involved with handling the estate, they may also join you for this meeting.

    At this stage, your wrongful death attorney will consider the potential liability of the responsible party or parties. They will also offer advice about your best steps moving forward, including whether or not you have a strong legal case for a wrongful death claim.

  2. Retaining your attorney’s services.
    After your free, no-obligation initial consultation, you will decide what you want to do next. Do you want to pursue a wrongful death claim or not? Do you feel good about the attorney you met with, or would you prefer to find someone else?

    If you choose the attorney you met with, you will sign a retainer contract that outlines their services, fees, and pay structure. At Yosha Law Firm, we talk with our clients about our contract, which states that you will only be charged if we win your case in the form of a settlement or court award.

  3. Investigation of the accident
    Your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident that caused your loved one’s death. To do this, they may interview witnesses, collect photos and videos of the scene, acquire surveillance footage, review medical records, examine police reports, and more.

  4. Identifying the defendants
    An accident may be caused by one individual, a group of people, or an entity like an organization or municipality. If your loved one was killed in a car accident, the fault may lie 100% with the negligent driver who struck them. However, sometimes an accident may be caused by multiple parties.

    For example, a surgical error that results in a patient’s death could be the result of the surgeon’s actions and the hospital’s policies, which means you would need to name multiple defendants in your lawsuit.

    A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney will be able to identify all potential defendants for your case to ensure the best chances of real accountability.

  5. Documenting and calculating damages
    Often, our clients don’t realize just how much they may be eligible for when it comes to damages after a wrongful death. Your attorney will help you create a full accounting of your damages, including medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of income, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering.

  6. Negotiations (Part 1)
    Most of the time, cases are resolved before they go to court. One of the ways to avoid a lengthy court process is to negotiate with the responsible parties and their insurance companies before filing a lawsuit.

    Your attorney will negotiate on your behalf to get the most possible compensation from the responsible parties. However, you do not have to accept any settlement you are offered. It’s not uncommon to receive such a low offer at first that you need to file a lawsuit.

  7. Filing the lawsuit
    When you can’t come to a reasonable agreement with the responsible party during the negotiation phase, your attorney will file the appropriate documents to initiate a lawsuit. This complaint will explain the legal claim you are making about the wrongful death, the damages you are seeking, and the argument about the responsibility of the negligent party or parties.

  8. Discovery phase
    During the discovery phase of a lawsuit, attorneys for both the defendant(s) and the plaintiff exchange information and evidence.

  9. Negotiations (Part 2)
    Throughout the process, you will have continued opportunities for settlement negotiations. The defendant’s representatives may offer a settlement at any time, giving you the opportunity to accept or reject their offer. 

  10. The trial
    If the parties have still not reached a settlement, it’s time for the claim to go to trial. Check out our blog post about the stages of a personal injury trial to learn more–the stages of a wrongful death trial are the same.

  11. Resolution
    At the end of the trial, the final decision will be passed down by either the judge or a jury. The verdict on the responsibility of the negligent party will contribute to the total compensation you are awarded. Your attorney’s fees will be deducted from your court award, and you will keep the remainder of your expenses.

Yosha Law Firm stands by you in tough times, ready to help with any questions after a tragic loss.

Lafayette Wrongful Death FAQ

The attorneys at Yosha Law Firm are dedicated to supporting our clients through this incredibly difficult time. Our hearts go out to every person who has lost a loved one in a tragic accident, and you can come to us with questions anytime. It is always our goal to offer clear and accurate answers to your questions.

Who can sue for damages after a wrongful death of an adult? 

The personal representative of the decedent’s estate is the only party who can sue for damages after a wrongful death of an adult. The damages awarded from the lawsuit are then generally distributed to the decedent’s heirs through a probate court process. This ensures that the decedent’s family members are the beneficiaries of the damages, even though only the personal representative files the lawsuit.

If the decedent left a will, the damages will be distributed according to the instructions in the will. If the decedent died without a will, the damages will be divided according to the state’s intestacy statute. So while only the personal representative can bring the lawsuit, the end beneficiaries are the decedent’s heirs and family members.

Who can sue for wrongful death of a child?

In the case of the wrongful death of a child, the parents or legal guardians of the child have the standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes:

  • One or both biological parents
  • One or both custodial parents
  • One or more legal guardians

Indiana law defines a child as a person under the age of 20, or under the age of 23 if they are enrolled in a college, university, or trade school.

In addition to claiming damages for medical expenses, funeral costs, and loss of companionship, parents and guardians may also seek compensation for the mental health and psychiatric treatment required to cope with the tragic loss of the child.

Furthermore, if the parents or guardians are now responsible for any outstanding debts that belonged to the child, those expenses can also be included in the request for compensation.

The key difference from a wrongful death of an adult is that children typically do not leave behind an estate, so the parents or legal guardians directly bring the lawsuit on behalf of the child

How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Indiana?

In Indiana, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of the victim’s death. This is different from the typical personal injury lawsuit timeline, where the two-year period starts from the date of the accident.

The reasoning behind this is that death from an accident is not always immediate. The victim may survive for weeks, months, or even years after the initial accident before succumbing to their injuries. Therefore, the two-year window to file a wrongful death lawsuit begins on the date of the victim’s passing, not the date of the accident.

This means that even if a significant amount of time has elapsed since the accident that caused the victim’s death, you may still have the right to bring a wrongful death case against the negligent party, as long as you file within two years of the date of death.

If you have lost a loved one due to an accident, it is important to consult with a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss this important deadline and preserve your legal rights.

When should I contact a wrongful death attorney?

When dealing with the tragic loss of a loved one, the last thing you may want to think about is taking legal action. However, it is crucial to contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.

Wrongful death cases can be complex and time-consuming to build. The sooner an attorney can get involved, the sooner they can start gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and building the strongest possible case on your behalf. 

Even if you are still grieving and feel overwhelmed, it is important to reach out to a wrongful death lawyer as soon as you are able. They can guide you through the legal process, handle communication with insurance companies and the responsible parties, and fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your tragic loss.

Yosha Law–Lafayette Wrongful Death Attorneys

You and your loved ones deserve justice for the negligent actions that caused you to experience this tragic loss. At Yosha Law Firm, we are committed to helping you get that justice. 

Our Lafayette IN, wrongful death attorneys know how to navigate the complexities of Indiana’s wrongful death laws, including how to help you get the most compensation possible for your deeply unfair loss. 

Reach out to us today or set up a free consultation. We are here to listen to your story and help you find your best steps forward.

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