After someone is killed in an accident that was caused by someone else's negligence, that victim's surviving family members can seek compensation from the party that is responsible for the accident. Under Ohio law (Ohio Revised Code §2125.02),
wrongful death damages can only be awarded for the benefit of the deceased victim's surviving spouse, children, parents or other "next of kin." Here is a list of the damages that these family members can claim following their loved one's death, as listed under the state legal code:
- Loss of financial support (based on the amount of money the decedent would have reasonably earned earn had he or she not be fatally injured)
- Loss of the services that would have been provided by the decedent
- Loss of society of the decedent (may include loss of companionship, protection, guidance, training, consortium, care, etc.)
- Loss of inheritance (by the decedent's lawful heirs at the time that the victim died)
- Mental anguish caused to the decedent's family members
In addition to these damages, a court may also choose to award punitive damages, or additional damages that are awarded solely for the purpose of punishing the negligent party. These types of damages are typically awarded in cases that involve the most heinous incidents of negligence. These damages are separate from the ones listed above, which are considered compensatory damages.
After the wrongful death of a loved one, it is important for the surviving family members to seek the compensation they are rightfully owed. While it is true that this money could never fully compensate a family for a lost life, it does provide important financial support for the individuals who are left behind. With this compensation, the family members will have one less avenue of hardship to deal with as they grieve the loss of their deceased loved one. Furthermore, wrongful death claims and lawsuits help to hold the negligent parties accountable for their actions, which can provide some level of closure for the families that have been affected.
There are a couple of ways that you can seek wrongful death compensation. You can file a wrongful death claim with the at-fault party's insurance company and negotiate a fair settlement, or you can file a wrongful death lawsuit and pursue an award of damages from the court. At The Moore Law Firm, we have highly experienced Cincinnati personal injury attorneys who can guide you through each step of the claims or litigation process. Our lawyers have more than four decades of combined experience practicing law, which makes them well-equipped to assist you and your family. Contact us so we can provide you with a
free case evaluation!