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Wrongful death claims: Eligible claimants and available damages

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2019 | Wrongful Death

The loss of a loved one is always difficult to cope with. Matters can get worse if that death is due to the negligence of someone else. In those cases, the kin of the deceased not only have to deal with the emotional loss but also the financial loss that accompany an unforeseen death. Fortunately, there are provisions in Ohio law that allow a person’s family to claim compensation for the death.

The law in Ohio defines wrongful death as the loss of life due to someone else’s wrongful action, neglect or default. Usually, the family members of the deceased are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit to claim damages by establishing the financial and emotional losses suffered as a result of the death. Based on this aspect, it can be said that a wrongful death claim is very similar to a personal injury claim.

The various types of accidental deaths for which a surviving family member can file a wrongful death claim include: deaths in motor vehicle accidents, deaths resulting from medical malpractice, deaths resulting from defective premises, deaths caused by drugs or defective products, deaths caused by criminal behavior and deaths caused by occupational hazards. The time limit within which a surviving family member can file a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of death.

Ohio laws also provide guidelines to help courts determine the amount of damages that will be awarded to the plaintiffs. The factors that are taken into consideration by the courts include: the family’s emotional pain and suffering; loss of companionship, care, assistance protection, and guidance; loss of services of the deceased; loss of future professional income; and loss of any possible future inheritance.

It is true that a wrongful death claim looks straightforward and the available damages appear adequate. However, in reality, wrongful death claims are often more complicated. For this reason, it may be wise for the surviving family members to consult an attorney to make sure their claim is strong and backed by solid evidence.