There is no amount of money that will ever replace the life of a loved one. As terrible as it is to learn that a loved one has died, it is even worse when you have to live with the knowledge that his or her death was preventable. You may be feeling a mixture of powerful emotions about this situation, but one thing is certain: you deserve to be compensated for your losses. If the accident was caused by the other person's careless or reckless actions, you have a right to pursue monetary damages. While the money will not undo what has happened, you can at least recover compensation to offset the considerable economic hardship that follows in the wake of a fatal accident.
The Ohio Department of Health lists unintentional injuries as causing 5,030 deaths in a recent year. Motor vehicle collisions were the cause of one out of every five accident-related deaths statewide, based on statistics provided by the Ohio Department of Public Safety. This included car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents and other traffic crashes statewide. No matter what cause led to the death of your loved one, The Moore Law Firm is prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Ready to discuss your claim with a wrongful death lawyer in Cincinnati? Reach out to our firm today for a complimentary case evaluation.
Ohio's Wrongful Death Statute
Ohio Revised Code Ch. 2125 establishes a cause of action after a death that occurs due to the neglect, wrongful act, or default of another person or party. "Wrongful act" is typically associated with intentional acts of violence, such as assault or murder, while "neglect" refers to legal negligence. Negligence occurs when a person or party breaches their legal duty of care, causing injuries or death to another person. Wrongful death claims in Ohio are essentially the same as traditional personal injury cases, with the only difference being that the plaintiff has died and the claim is being brought on his or her behalf.
Family members can claim a number of damages following a 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.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in Ohio?
Every case of negligence, whether it is personal injury or wrongful death, has a deadline to file a legal action and preserve the right to obtain compensation. This is called the statute of limitations. For wrongful death cases in Ohio, the statute of limitations is two years after the person’s death. The estate waives the right to file for compensation if they file after those two years. If you were to try to bring the case before a judge, without question the judge would seek to throw out the case almost immediately. Therefore, it is imperative that you find legal counsel now to discuss how to begin the claims process.
Who Has the Right to Sue for Wrongful Death?
In Ohio, a wrongful death lawsuit must be brought by the deceased individual's personal representative. This representative cannot be another entity or corporation, only an individual. Once the claim has been brought, the following parties may receive compensation for damages:
- The deceased individual's surviving spouse
- The surviving children of the deceased
- The deceased individual's surviving parents
In most cases other family members may not be compensated unless they can prove that they suffered a significant compensable loss as a result of the individual's death.
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one as a result of another person's negligence, you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses. Whether you were hurt in a truck accident or auto accident, have suffered injuries as a result of a medical malpractice incident or were a victim of corporate negligence — the simple fact is that you should not be forced to pay the price for another person's careless or reckless actions.
The legal system gives you the right to seek justice for these wrongs — take advantage of your rights. The most effective step you can take to secure your right to fair compensation for your losses is to hire a wrongful death attorney to advocate on your behalf and represent your case to the insurance company.
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