What is a ‘Wrongful Death?’
In Ohio, a personal injury suit can typically only be filed by the victim of an injury caused by someone else’s negligence. For example, if a car accident resulted in catastrophic injuries, the accident victim or their representative would have the right to seek damages by filing a lawsuit afterward. If the accident is too severe and the injuries too extreme, the victim may tragically lose their life, meaning they cannot possibly pursue damages with a claim. In such cases, what would’ve normally been a personal injury claim shall become a wrongful death claim.
In Ohio, wrongful death is defined as a fatality caused by another individual’s wrongful act or negligence. If a survivor of such an accident of negligence or reckless behavior would have been entitled to seek compensation with a personal injury claim, their surviving loved ones may have the right to pursue compensation with a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death cases can be settled out of court or taken to the courtroom for trial. If your claim goes to trial, you want experienced lawyers to represent your case. The Attkisson Law Firm is home to three trial attorneys with extensive experience. To learn more about our legal services, please contact our Ohio law firm to schedule a free case evaluation.
What Are Common Wrongful Death Cases?
Nobody makes it out of this world alive, but we cannot predict when our time is up or how we will go. When another person’s wrongdoing causes death, the surviving loved ones can file a wrongful death lawsuit. And while death can result from any type of accident, if things go wrong just the right way, some accidents more commonly see fatalities than others.
Common causes for wrongful death cases include the following:
- Amusement park and hotel resort accidents.
- Assault and battery.
- Aviation accidents.
- Bicyclist accidents.
- Boating accidents.
- Car accidents.
- Commercial truck accidents.
- Construction site accidents.
- Defective products.
- Dog bites and animal attacks.
- Drowning accidents.
- Exposure to toxic chemicals.
- Medical malpractice, anesthesia accidents, and accidental overdoses.
- Motorcycle accidents.
- Nursing home abuse and neglect.
- Pedestrian accidents.
- Premises liability cases.
- Slip and fall accidents.
- Workplace accidents.
Who Can File a Lawsuit in a Wrongful Death Case?
In many states, a surviving family member of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. In Ohio, however, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed on behalf of the deceased’s estate, sometimes by the decedent’s representative or executor.
If the deceased had written a will, the estate executor should have been named in that will. This named individual would then have the right to sue for wrongful death on the estate’s behalf. If the deceased did not have a will, the courts will appoint someone to serve as the estate’s executor.
Once the compensation is determined, the awarded financial recovery will be distributed to the surviving family members and heirs who suffered losses after the person’s death. These family members usually include the surviving spouse, children, parents, and other dependents.
Defense attorneys may argue that a family member did not suffer losses due to the wrongful death and thus does not deserve to recover compensation. Similarly, parents who have abandoned their children cannot hope to recover damages on their child’s wrongful death claim.
What Types of Financial Recovery Could Be Awarded with a Successful Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
With well-presented evidence, a wrongful death lawsuit may recover a financial settlement for the bereaved. While no financial recovery can ever hope to restore the lives of the family members we’ve lost, a fair compensation can go a long way toward paying off the debts the deceased left behind. It is possible to recover both economic and non-economic damages with a solid case. And, in cases where you can prove malice or cruelty, you may also be entitled to punitive damages.
Economic damages may include compensation for financial losses such as:
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Lost future income.
- Medical expenses for the cost of medical treatment made necessary after the accident.
- Property damage.
Non-economic damages may include:
- Loss of companionship.
- Loss of consortium.
- Mental anguish.
- Pain and suffering.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers
If you’ve tragically lost a loved one due to the negligence or recklessness of other parties, let us be among the first to offer our most sincere condolences. While seeking a fair settlement from the at-fault parties, please consider that you should be allowed time to grieve. Let us be the ones to represent your interests and pursue maximum compensation for your wrongful death claim.
Our Ohio law firm has years of experience representing clients at some of the worst moments in their lives. We understand that compassion and empathy are just as important as legal knowledge and experience. This is not just a case for you; it’s something far more personal. And our legal representation reflects that importance.
To discuss our legal services and learn more about how we can help your case, please contact our Ohio law offices for your free initial consultation today. Our law firm represents clients all over Ohio, and we would be proud to be there for you during this challenging time. Please contact our law offices at (937) 918-7555.