Current through P.L. 255-2023
Section 34-23-1-2 - Wrongful death actions; damages(a) As used in this section, "adult person" means:(1) an unmarried individual:(A) who does not have any dependents; and(B) who is not a child (as defined in IC 34-23-2-1); or(2) a married individual: (A) who does not have any dependents; and(B) whose death was caused by the married individual's spouse.(b) If the death of an adult person is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another person, only the personal representative of the adult person may maintain an action against the person whose wrongful act or omission caused the death of the adult person.(c) In an action to recover damages for the death of an adult person, the damages:(1) must be in an amount determined by a:(2) may not include: (A) damages awarded for a person's grief; or(B) punitive damages; and(3) may include but are not limited to the following:(A) Reasonable medical, hospital, funeral, and burial expenses necessitated by the wrongful act or omission that caused the adult person's death.(B) Loss of the adult person's love and companionship.(d) Damages awarded under subsection (c)(3)(A) for medical, hospital, funeral, and burial expenses inure to the exclusive benefit of the adult person's estate for the payment of the expenses. The remainder of the damages inure to the exclusive benefit of a nondependent parent or nondependent child of the adult person.(e) Aggregate damages that may be recovered under subsection (c)(3)(B) may not exceed three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000). A jury may not be advised of the monetary limits placed on damages under this subsection. If the jury awards the plaintiff damages under subsection (c)(3)(B) in an amount that exceeds three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000), the court shall reduce that part of the damages awarded to the plaintiff to three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000).(f) A parent or child who wishes to recover damages under this section has the burden of proving that the parent or child had a genuine, substantial, and ongoing relationship with the adult person before the parent or child may recover damages.(g) In an action brought under this section, a court or a jury may not hear evidence concerning the lost earnings of the adult person that occur as a result of the wrongful act or omission.(h) In awarding damages under this section to more than one (1) person, the court or the jury shall specify the amount of the damages that should be awarded to each person.(i) In an action brought under this section, the trier of fact shall make a separate finding with respect to damages awarded under subsection (c)(3)(B).Amended by P.L. 162-2022,SEC. 24, eff. 7/1/2022.As added by P.L. 84-1999, SEC.2.