What Happens After a Fatal Car Accident?

A woman died in a fatal collision with a flatbed tow truck in Indianapolis in 2019. Within two days of this unfortunate event, another person died, and two more were hospitalized in a two-car crash in Bartholomew County. The aftermath of such collisions can be beyond tragic, which is why most people wish to know what happens after a fatal car accident.

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you will need the assistance of an experienced Fort Wayne Car Accident Lawyer to get the compensation you deserve.

Fatal Car Accident and Wrongful Death in Indiana

Every fatal car accident is tragic, but not each one will result in a wrongful death claim. In Indiana, the plaintiff must show that the negligent acts of another person caused the accident so as to file a wrongful death lawsuit. They must also establish that the accident caused harm to the deceased’s loved ones and family members.

Essentially, you can file a wrongful death claim for a fatal accident that results from speeding, running a red light, failing to yield, or other dangerous behaviors. You will need to establish the following:

  • That the negligent acts of someone else caused the victim’s death
  • The death caused harm to the victim’s surviving dependents.
  • You are a beneficiary with a right to claim

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death claims are designed to reimburse survivors for their emotional and economic losses following the loss of a loved one. For this to happen, the plaintiff must prove that they shared a substantial and ongoing relationship with the deceased. Common beneficiaries in wrongful death claims include:

  • The dependent children of the deceased
  • The surviving spouse of the deceased
  • The parents or guardians of the deceased
  • The executor of the deceased’s will

If more than one party is eligible for compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit, the court will rule on how to split the total damages awarded.

Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim for a Child’s Death

A parent or guardian can pursue a wrongful death claim if they lose their child in a fatal car accident. A child in Indiana is defined as someone who is not yet 20 years old, enrolled in a college, is unmarried, and without dependents. In such a case, the plaintiff may get compensated for the following:

  • Loss of love and companionship
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Medical costs before the death
  • Uninsured debts
  • Reasonable attorney fees
  • Costs of psychiatric and psychological counseling needed by the parent or guardian

Contact a Fort Wayne Car Accident Lawyer Today

Fatal car accidents are all too common in Indiana, with over 800 deaths recorded every year. While there can be no consolation for such a loss, knowing what happens after a fatal car accident can help you protect your right to seek compensation.

At the Delventhal Law Office, LLC, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of car accident victims. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal accident, contact us at 260-484-6655 to discuss your case with an expert Fort Wayne Car Accident Lawyer.


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