Practice Areas

Wrongful Death

Making things right
after a wrongful death.

There is no “right” way to lose someone you love. But when that loss could have been avoided, it seems especially wrong. And it is.

While there is nothing we can do that will change the emotional pain of your loss, there are precise legal remedies that can help to at least alleviate some of the financial burdens that are a part of this new and painful reality.

In Indiana, when someone dies because of the carelessness, recklessness, or negligence of another, their next of kin may have a claim for wrongful death.

If that’s you or the people you love, we encourage you to speak to our experienced attorneys about whether you have a case before accepting any type of insurance settlement that could impact your right to recover financially in the future.

This may be the last thing you want to think about. And we understand that. But the sad truth is, the insurance companies are counting on that.

Which is why you can count on us.
“I finally got someone that cared about me and my family. I felt like he actually cared about what would happen with my son’s kids, not just seeing how much money he could make. That wasn’t the issue with Eric. He even showed up for a fundraiser for my son’s kids and he didn’t have to do that.”
-Sue L.
More client reviews at

What Happens Next

Opening a case isn’t difficult. We’ll be here to guide you through it. Here’s how that process usually looks.
1. Meet in person with one of our experienced lawyers.
If we’ve spoken by phone and think you may have a case, it would be ideal if we could meet face-to-face. That will give you a chance to tell us what you know, share any important documents or evidence, and for us to answer any questions you have.
2. We’ll get to work collecting evidence.
(contracts, police reports, medical records/bills, insurance information, photographs, etc.). Information is currency in the legal world. We’ll turn over every stone to find it.
3. Deal with insurance companies.
Insurance adjusters often control defense strategies. We know their playbook and tactics. We’ll tell you exactly what to expect and craft a legal strategy to fight their predictable defenses.
4. Legal Research.
Identifying which legal issues may be relevant to your specific case and anticipating how other parties might respond to those issues will strengthen our legal strategy. Our experienced legal staff will do this research upfront, so we’re prepared for anything.
5. Draft legal paperwork and file suit.
In many cases, we can broker a settlement before filing suit. But experience tells us that lawsuits are often inevitable, so we’ll draft legal pleadings for you that will withstand legal challenges.
6. Formal Discovery.
Once we’ve filed your case, we’ll use the court’s rules of “discovery” to subpoena records, collect sworn answers to our questions, and to depose witnesses under oath. The other side will do the same. We’ll help you through every step of that process.
7. Work with Experts.
If we believe it will strengthen your case, we’ll solicit the expertise of independent medical professionals, engineers, economists, or other subject matter experts on your behalf.
8. Take the case to trial.
If the other party(ies) won’t agree to a satisfactory settlement, we’ll be ready to take your case to trial. Unlike many lawyers, we actually try cases to juries and judges, and we do it very well.

Types of Wrongful Death Cases

Indiana’s wrongful death statutes are as complex as they are definitive. The available remedies are not the same in every instance or even for every victim. Our experienced attorneys can help you determine if you have a case and what the potential recovery amount could be.

A wrongful death claim can arise from any of these scenarios.

Vehicle Injuries

Car Accidents
Trucking Accidents
Motorcycle Accidents
ATV Accidents
Boating Accidents
Drunk or Impaired Driver Accidents

Medical Malpractice

Medical Diagnosis Errors
Medical Negligence or Carelessness
Defective Drugs and Devices
Birth Injuries
Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
Surgical or Emergency Room Errors
Hospital Safety Errors

Jail or Prison Death

Medical Neglect
Inmate Violence
Transport Vehicle Accidents
Guard Assaults

Workplace Injuries

Construction Injuries
Logging Injuries
Toxic Substance
Defective Equipment


Dam Drowning
Swimming Pool Drowning

Indiana dam drowning case.

A wonderful husband and father of three was killed when his kayak was pulled over a low-head dam. These dams are often referred to as “Drowning Machines,” yet there were no warning signs or other safety measures in place to protect recreational users of the river to prevent this foreseeable and preventable tragedy. The attorneys at Pavlack Law aggressively pursued a claim against the dam’s owner and secured a confidential settlement that will provide financial security for the family’s future.
See More Results

Good to Know

Helpful information about Wrongful Death laws in Indiana
  • A wrongful death claim is a civil claim. Damages are monetary and paid to the estate or survivors. Although it is also possible that the State could bring a criminal suit against the same defendant.
  • In Indiana, a wrongful death claim typically must be filed within two years of the date the death occurred. But there are some rare exceptions.
  • Indiana Code limits the dollar amount of damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death suit. That amount changes depending on whether the deceased was a parent, spouse, or unmarried adult.
  • In addition to medical bills, damages can include financial compensation for:
    • Funeral and burial expenses
    • Medical and hospital bills
    • Lost wages
    • Benefits the deceased would likely have earned
    • The cost of pursuing the wrongful death suit.
  • The State of Indiana does not allow damages to be paid for pain and suffering in a wrongful death suit. However, Indiana does permit surviving parents to seek damages for the loss of the child’s “services, love, and companionship” as well as for counseling for parents and surviving siblings.
  • Experience and statistics consistently show that settling a wrongful death claim without a lawyer often results in a lower settlement.
When you’re ready, we can help.
One of the ways we stand with you is by taking on the financial risks of your case.
This means you can have the best possible legal representation without worrying about how you’re going to pay for it. You only pay us when we win your case.
Call us and let’s get started. (317) 251–1100