Contact us for a FREE, no obligation case evaluation.Contact
Wrongful Death Claims
The tragedy experienced by the death of a loved one is compounded when the careless behavior of someone else causes it. A wrongful death lawsuit may be the appropriate legal remedy for the family of someone who died due to another’s negligent behavior. Depending on the situation, a court may grant a claim for damages that cover funeral costs, emotional suffering, loss of companionship/consortium, and lost future income. However, certain conditions must be met before such a lawsuit can be pursued.
Reddy Law can offer you and your family support if someone you love has recently died in an accident. We can help determine if other parties may have negligently caused your loss and how to hold them responsible. As part of this process, we carefully and thoroughly evaluate how your loved one's death has affected your day-to-day life and any economic loss you incurred.
Wrongful Death Laws
The law for wrongful death comes from Ohio Revised Code §2125.01, which states that the basis for a wrongful death case occurs when someone dies as the result of a wrongful act, act of negligence, or otherwise intentional behavior that would have entitled the injured party to pursue a personal injury claim.
In other words, if the person had lived and then been able to file a personal injury claim, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
Some common examples of negligence that can lead to wrongful death actions in Ohio include:
- Drunk driving, aggressive driving, or distracted driving.
- Carelessness of trusted professionals, including those in Ohio nursing home abuse cases.
- Manufacturing defective or dangerous products.
- Permitting dangerous conditions to exist on one’s property.
However, not just any person can file such a complaint. While the statute does not prevent family members of the deceased from being the beneficiaries of such a claim, under Ohio Rev. Code. §2125.02(A)(1), only the personal representative of the decedent's estate can file a lawsuit. The personal representative may be you, another family member, an attorney, or someone else. The representative does not have to be related to the deceased.
The designated representative of the estate can seek compensation for a number of losses:
- The funeral and burial expenses of your loved one.
- Any medical expenses sustained before your loved one’s death (as a result of the negligent activity).
- The monetary loss of the individual’s future income.
- The economic loss of the individual’s benefits like health insurance or pension plans.
- The amount by which a prospective inheritance was reduced because of an untimely death.
- Mental anguish caused by the death, as well as the pain and suffering calculated from the time of the accident until the time of death (if not instant).
- The estimated value of the household and child-care services the deceased would have contributed to the family.
- The loss of companionship.
- The loss of consortium, which is the intimate relationship between spouses.
- Children under 18 may also be eligible for “Survivor’s Benefits”, which include things like money to pay bills or to be used to finish putting them through school.
Ohio’s Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Claims
Like most claims, a time restriction limits how long a personal representative has to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio.
You have just two years from the decedent's death to file the claim. If you file a wrongful death claim after the two-year time period has passed, the otherwise negligent defendant can ask the court to dismiss the case—which it more than likely will.
In limited circumstances, there may be some exceptions to the strict two-year statute of limitations, such as when it wouldn't have been possible for you to discover the cause of death until some later date, at which point the statute of limitations may be two years from that date.
Due to these matters' highly complicated and emotional nature, it is imperative to speak with an experienced and caring wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.
Brian Reddy is passionate about advocating for his clients and their loved ones. If you have experienced a wrongful death or any other type of personal injury, you can contact our firm and request a free consultation. We accept clients on a contingent fee basis, and our compensation is contingent on you receiving an award.