Experiencing the sudden, unexpected loss of a loved one can leave people in emotionally and financially vulnerable circumstances. Between the grief you feel and the unexpected loss of income, you may feel like your whole world has turned upside down.

While only time and support can help you heal from the emotional impacts of a traumatic loss, wrongful death litigation could help you defray some of the financial consequences of your loved one’s passing. Indiana does restrict wrongful death lawsuits only to certain individuals. There are also certain kinds of specific financial losses that only particular family members can seek.

Dependent family members have the strongest claim in court

Only those who were either dependent upon the deceased or who have a direct blood relationship to them can typically bring a wrongful death lawsuit against an individual who caused the death through negligence or omissions, such as a failure to act. A wrongful death lawsuit can hold someone accountable for the impact their poor decisions have had on the deceased and their family.

Spouses and children, in particular, have the strongest claims as dependents, and they are typically the only ones who can claim loss of support or companionship in an Indiana wrongful death lawsuit. In the event that the deceased person does not have a spouse or dependent children, their parents, siblings or other family members can potentially bring a wrongful death claim against the individual responsible.

In circumstances with no surviving family members, a representative of the deceased’s estate may be able to initiate wrongful death proceedings to recoup financial losses such as medical, funeral and burial expenses.