The family of an Indiana ironworker who was killed during a construction project has been awarded $11 million after a Cook County jury awarded damages. Joel Ogiego was crushed by equipment in January of 2015 when a crane technician admitted to failing to get an all-clear from Ogiego before moving an overweight load.
The family is reportedly pleased with the verdict and hopes to send a message to companies that overloading equipment should never be acceptable, especially when it is a potential risk to other workers on the project.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When a loved one is killed at the hands of another negligent party, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The wrongful death may occur from a personal injury, medical malpractice, or a work injury like in the case above. While a lawsuit can never bring back your loved one, it can help reduce the financial burden that results from the loss. An experienced wrongful death attorney can review your case and help you understand all the factors that could affect your situation.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Indiana, all wrongful death lawsuits have to be filed by a legal representative of the deceased person’s estate. This is most often the person’s next of kin such as a spouse, adult child, siblings, or parents. It is important to know that any damages will be awarded to the deceased person’s spouse and children first. If there is not a surviving spouse or children, other relatives who were dependent financially on the deceased person may then be awarded damages.
Limits on Damages
Civil damages is the term used for the money that is recovered in a wrongful death claim. In Indiana, some claims have caps, or limits, on the damages that are available. Below is a review of some possible claim limits in the state of Indiana:
- If the deceased was an adult and a spouse and children are surviving, there is no limit to the damages. The amount awarded is left up to the jury, who will determine damages based on the details of each case such as wages lost, medical bills, etc.
- If the deceased was a child, there is also no limit to damages. A child is defined as someone who is under 20 years of age, or under 23 years of age if enrolled in college.
- If the deceased was an adult, had no minor children, and was unmarried, the non-economic damages will be capped at $300,000. Medical bills, burial and funeral costs, and attorney fees may be awarded in addition to the non-economic damages.
- In medical malpractice claims, the cap for all claims is $1,250,000.
For wrongful death lawsuits against government entities, there is an exception to the above rules. For cases against entities such as the state, a town or city, or a school, the cap is $700,000 regardless of medical costs and attorney fees.
Contact an Indiana Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have lost a loved one in an accident, you may be entitled to damages for loss of financial support, loss of love and affection, medical expenses, burial and funeral costs, and attorney fees.
The attorneys at Tanzillo, Stassin, and Babcock, P.C. have decades of experience helping clients receive the compensation to which they are entitled. They will listen to you and help develop the best possible course of action to receive the greatest outcome available. Contact them to schedule a consultation today.