Indianapolis Wrongful Death Lawyers

Let Tabor Law Firm Help You Seek Justice for Your Loss

Indianapolis Wrongful Death Attorneys

One of the hardest things a family can face is the unexpected loss of a family member. After such a loss, you may be faced with numerous financial uncertainties and emotional challenges. It is important to remember, however, that you have the right to take legal action if your family member’s death was caused as a result of negligence.

At Tabor Law Firm, we know these challenges can be overwhelming. Our wrongful death lawyers in Indianapolis are here to offer the compassionate, personalized legal services you deserve after the loss of a family member or loved one. We can handle all of the legalities of the case, giving you time to grieve and take care of your family.


We invite you to reach out to us at your earliest convenience for a free consultation. Call (317) 236-9000 or contact us online to learn more about your options.

What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is a civil suit brought against an individual whose negligence caused the untimely death of another person. Indiana Code 34-23-1 regulates wrongful death law in the defines wrongful death as, “the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another."

Wrongful death can be the result of many different types of accidents, anywhere from drunk driving to medical malpractice. Many people wonder, is wrongful death the same as murder charges? Wrongful death claims are civil suits while murder or manslaughter is a criminal charge brought by the state. Since they are two separate charges it is possible for one individual to be charged with murder and have a wrongful death claim filed against them. Learn more by reading our blog post, “When Does a Fatal Accident Become an Instance of Wrongful Death?”

How Do You Prove "Wrongful" Death?

Not every untimely or accidental death will meet the standard of a "wrongful" death, so how do you know if you have a case? You must be able to prove that recklessness, negligence, or carelessness played a role in your loved one's death; in other words, if they died as a result of another person, company, or entity’s negligence. For example, if a drunk driver crashes into another motorist, killing him or her, the drunk driver is automatically considered negligent, since they knowingly violated the law. The death of the other motorist, therefore, is considered “wrongful.”

The causes of wrongful death are varied and often include:

This list is not exhaustive; if your loved one’s death was the result of someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentional actions, you may be entitled to file a claim and seek recovery for your losses.

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Indiana?

According to Indiana Code 34-23-1, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. This representative acts on behalf of the surviving family members, who, in turn, become beneficiaries of the estate.

Only certain individuals – spouses, children, and, in certain cases, parents can recover damages. The estate is directly compensated for any medical and funeral expenses, while the court divides damages for lost wages between the surviving family members. There isn’t a cap on these damages, so the court is responsible for making sure the settlement or verdict is reasonable.

A wrongful death lawsuit can yield the following monetary damages:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Medical bills and expenses
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Property damages
  • Legal costs
  • Loss of healthcare and retirement benefits
  • Loss of inheritance

Common types of noneconomic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering from survivors
  • Loss of the decedent’s care, nurturing, and guidance
  • Loss of the decedent’s love and companionship
  • Loss of consortium

Punitive damages are awarded to punish a defendant due to grossly negligent and malicious conduct. These damages are extremely high to deter others from behaving in a similar manner. Of course, the outcome of a wrongful death case often depends on the quality of a claimant’s legal team.

At Tabor Law Firm, LLP, we can investigate your case, identify the negligent parties, and collect evidence that proves the defendant is ultimately responsible for your loved one’s death. With this information, we can develop a custom litigation strategy that maximizes your claim by holding the defendant accountable for their actions.

The Child Wrongful Death Act & the Adult Wrongful Death Act

Indiana has two additional statutes that can impact your wrongful death case: the Child Wrongful Death Act (Indiana Code Title 34-23-2-1) and the Adult Wrongful Death Act (Indiana Code 34-23-1-2).

The Child Wrongful Death Act applies to decedents who pass away without spouses or dependents. Under this statute, parents or legal guardians can pursue compensation for the injury or death of a child. A “child” can refer to a person under the age of 20 or a student under the age of 23, who is unmarried and has no dependents. Per the Indiana General Assembly, this definition also includes a viable fetus. Click here to visit our blog post to learn more about filing a claim for an unborn fetus.


Likewise, the Adult Wrongful Death Act applies when a decedent, who is not a child, passes away without a spouse, children, or dependents. As in all wrongful death cases, a representative of the deceased estates must file a claim, damages of which are recoverable by the any surviving parents and / or children. Damages recoverable in this type of claim include:

  • Medical and hospital bills
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of love and companionship

This statute prohibits recovering grieve or punitive damages and places a $300,000 cap on total recoverable damages. Additionally, family members are only eligible to recover compensation if they provide proof of an ongoing relationship with the deceased.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in Indiana

A wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of your loved one’s passing. If you miss this deadline, the court may refuse to hear your case, or the defendant may request a dismissal per the statute of limitations. In either occurrence, your path to monetary damages will be eliminated. Of course, there are legal nuances and exceptions that can test the statute of limitations, including the Discovery Rule. Keep in mind that, if it is unclear who the personal representative of the estate is, determining this will also take some time, so do not postpone taking action.

Wrongful Death from a Car Accident

The most common type of wrongful death lawsuits are those that result from a car accident or other motor vehicle accidents. Our firm represents clients who have lost a loved one from a tragically fatal vehicle accident. They are often linked to a reckless or drunk driver, and can even be traced back to the vehicle manufacturer or corporation if a malfunction was the cause.

Regardless of the situation, our team has the resources and experience to help build a powerful and dynamic case aimed at getting you and your family the best possible result.

How Our Firm Can Help

Tabor Law Firm offers emotional support and provides decisive legal action in wrongful death claims. Our Indianapolis wrongful death lawyers pursue all avenues of relief against the parties at fault, whether they include individuals, corporations, manufacturers, or a combination of these.

We are committed to the Tabor Law Firm mission of providing you with:

  • The representation you want: We can take over negotiations with the insurance companies so that you can put your focus where it needs to be—grieving your loss and beginning the healing process.
  • The direction you need: It may be more than one entity that caused your loss, and each needs to be held accountable for the pain and suffering they have caused. Trust Tabor Law Firm to give you the direction you need.
  • The recovery you deserve: It's often difficult to think of how many ways your loss might affect you. Our experienced team knows where to look to uncover the whole picture so you can ask for what you need. Whether in settlement negotiations or at trial, we can help.

While you do not legally need a lawyer to file a wrongful death claim, a seasoned legal representative can help you navigate the complex legal system as well as provide support in ways that would otherwise be unavailable. An attorney is also able to take a case to trial in cases where a claim cannot be settled. Click here to learn more about how our attorneys can help you with a wrongful death claim by reading our blog post.

Talk to Our Indianapolis Wrongful Death Lawyers Today About Your Rights

Indiana's wrongful death laws are varied and complex. The elements of damages can differ depending on the decedent’s age at the time of death, as well as the number of people who depended on him/her in life. Additionally, Indiana law only allows certain individuals—including surviving spouses, children, and, in certain cases, parents—to recover damages, and wrongful death claims must be brought by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate.

Contacting a knowledgeable and experienced wrongful death attorney for assistance with your claim is critical. The compassionate attorneys at Tabor Law Firm are available 24/7 to offer the legal assistance you need. We understand that no amount of compensation can reverse the lasting effects of an accident or replace a loved one. But we also believe that the security of your family's financial future is important.

Contact our office online or call (317) 236-9000 for a free consultation with a member of our legal team.

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