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What you need to know about wrongful death in Ohio

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2024 | Wrongful Death & Serious Injury Litigation

The truth is that no amount of money can ever bring a loved one back to life. But if their death was unexpectedly caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing, wrongful death laws can help your family recover compensation for the financial and emotional burdens you now face.

In Ohio, a wrongful death occurs when someone dies due to the wrongful act or neglect of another person or entity. This means the death wouldn’t have happened if not for the other party’s actions or inaction. Common examples include car accidents caused by drunk drivers, medical malpractice leading to death or product defects resulting in a fatality.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

The person appointed by the court to handle the deceased’s estate (usually the spouse or an adult child) is typically responsible for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. In some cases, other surviving family members, like parents or siblings, may also be eligible to file, especially if they can demonstrate financial dependence on the deceased.

Wrongful death lawsuits can recover various damages, including:

  • Medical and funeral expenses: Compensation for medical bills incurred before death and funeral costs.
  • Lost income and earning capacity: Recovering the income the deceased would have generated for the family if they had lived.
  • Loss of companionship and guidance: This covers the non-economic losses such as emotional pain and suffering from the loss of companionship, love and support.
  • Loss of household services: The value of the services the deceased provided around the house, such as childcare or housekeeping.

Before embarking on this endeavor, it’s crucial to acknowledge that wrongful death cases can be complex, involving investigations, evidence gathering and navigating legal procedures. Effective communication with opposing parties and insurance companies can increase the odds of favorable outcomes.

Time limits: The statute of limitations

There is a two-year statute of limitations in Ohio for wrongful death lawsuits. This means you and your family generally have two years from the date of your loved one’s unfortunate and unexpected passing to file a claim. It’s crucial to try and ensure you don’t miss this deadline; otherwise, your family may have to forfeit any compensation.

Losing a loved one unexpectedly is devastating. While a wrongful death lawsuit can’t bring them back, it can help to alleviate financial burdens and provide a sense of justice. If you believe someone else’s negligence caused your loved one’s death, taking legal action can help you and your family receive the compensation you deserve.