In most United States lawsuits (unlike almost every other Western system of justice), each party is responsible to pay its own attorney’s fees, win or lose. This is called the American Rule. There are some important exceptions to the American Rule in Indiana. One of them relates to Indiana’s Wrongful Death statutes.
When someone dies because of the negligence of another, Indiana law allows recovery for the wrongful death of that person. One particularly devastating wrongful death is when a parent dies leaving behind a spouse and minor children. The Indiana Court of Appeals rendered an important decision for families of a father or mother who suffered a wrongful death. In the case SCI Propane, LLC v. Frederick , the Indiana Court of Appeals held that even though Indiana’s General Wrongful Death Act does not explicitly grant attorney’s fees to the wife and children in a successful wrongful death case, they nevertheless interpret the act to compel a defendant to pay attorney’s fees to the family of a loved one as part of a judgment.
This is a very important decision because the death of a loved one is devastating to a family, and it ensures that the surviving family receives adequate compensation, and the attorney representing the family is paid by the party actually responsible for the death. Hewins Law Firm represents families who have lost a loved one because of a wrongful death. Contact Evansville, Indiana attorney Charles Hewins for a free consultation