SKILLED IN WRONGFUL DEATH CASES
WRONGFUL DEATH CASES ARE TRAGIC AND THE DAMAGES CAN BE SEVERE.
When you lose a loved one due to the negligent, reckless, or intentional acts of another person, the impact upon your life is devastating. Even beyond your grief, you endure significant losses when you no longer have the contributions that person offered. Fortunately, Ohio law does allow you to recover compensation, regardless of whether the decedent’s death was due to a motor vehicle accident, dangerous conditions on property, medical malpractice, or other wrongdoing.
Our wrongful death attorneys at Groth & Associates can assist in pursuing your rights as the family member of a deceased victim. We have in-depth knowledge of Ohio law on wrongful death claims and we are dedicated to helping you get the compensation you deserve for your losses. Please call us at 419.386.0159 to schedule a consultation with a Bowling Green, OH wrongful lawyer right away.
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WHAT IS A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?
Under Ohio’s wrongful death statute, when a person dies due to misconduct or negligence of another person, the victim’s personal representative has the right to pursue compensation from the responsible party. In some ways, a wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury case, expect that the victim died instead of merely being hurt.
Wrongful death can occur because someone committed a crime, which led to your loved one’s passing. However, these claims are civil in nature and entirely separate from any criminal case. An Ohio prosecutor would pursue charges against the offender to seek penalties, whereas a wrongful death claimant seeks monetary damages in civil court.
Who can file a wrongful death claim under Ohio law?
By statute, there is a legal presumption that certain individuals suffer a direct loss when their loved one dies, including:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse;
- Children, including adopted children; and,
- The deceased person’s surviving parents.
Under the law, these people have “standing” to bring a wrongful death suit against the responsible party, through the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. Other familial relations may rightfully be a party to a wrongful death claim, but the legal presumption does not apply: Beyond the three classifications above, you must present proof that you suffered a direct loss.
OTHER PRACTICE AREA CASES
WHAT COMPENSATION IS AVAILABLE IN A WRONGFUL DEATH CASE?
WHILE PERSONAL INJURIES ARE OFTEN REFERRED TO AS ACCIDENTS, THEY ARE OFTEN THE RESULT OF ANOTHER PERSON’S RECKLESS OR NEGLIGENT CONDUCT.
If successful in proving that the responsible party’s negligence or other misconduct caused the victim’s death, those with standing to file a wrongful death claim are entitled to compensation. Family members may recover for:
- Their emotional pain and suffering;
- Loss of support based upon the decedent’s earning capacity;
- Loss of services the deceased person provided;
- Loss of companionship, care, protection, guidance, and related assistance; and,
- Other losses based upon your unique circumstances.
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IS A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM DIFFERENT FROM A SURVIVAL ACTION?
Ohio also allows certain individuals to pursue a survival action, which is associated with a wrongful death claim but still distinct. Survival actions are not focused on how a decedent’s family members suffer, but rather on the losses the victim endured. The key time period is between the instant of the fatal trauma and the victim’s death; this could be a matter of hours or even months. Regardless, the victim’s personal representative may seek compensation in a survival action for:
- Economic losses, including lost income and medical expenses; and,
- Non-economic damages, such as the deceased’s pain and suffering.
ARE THERE ANY LIMITATIONS ON AN OHIO WRONGFUL DEATH SUIT?
There are two Ohio laws that place restrictions on recovering compensation in a wrongful death claim:
- Ohio has a statute of limitations on all personal injury suits, including wrongful death actions. You have two years after the incident which caused the victim’s death to file a lawsuit, or the law prohibits you from seeking compensation.
- There is also an Ohio statute on comparative negligence, which may reduce your compensation in a wrongful death claim. If the deceased was partially at fault in causing his or her own death, recovery is reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to those actions. Plus, the law acts as a bar a wrongful death suit if the victim was more than 50 percent blameworthy.
DISCUSS YOUR CLAIM WITH A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYER IN BOWLING GREEN
If you lost a family member due to someone else’s misconduct or negligence, you need solid representation to assist you in pursuing your right to compensation for the losses you suffer. Our experienced Ohio wrongful attorneys at Groth & Associates can help, as we bring experience and knowledge to the table in filing your claim, discussing settlement, and fighting for your family in court.
Please contact our firm right away to schedule a free, obligation legal consultation with an experienced wrongful death lawyer. We serve clients throughout Northwest Ohio in wrongful death claims and all types of personal injury cases from our offices in Toledo, Bowling Green, and Fremont, OH.[/column]