SKILLED IN WRONGFUL DEATH CASES
Nobody can prepare for the unexpected death of a loved one in an accident, or as a result of another party’s wrongdoing. These deaths can be even more devastating when they result in the loss of a spouse, a parent, or a child. Our dedicated Columbus wrongful death lawyers can assist you with the legal issues concerning your wrongful death case and holding the liable party accountable. At Groth & Associates, we have extensive experience serving clients in wrongful death cases, and we can speak with you today about wrongful death claim requirements in Ohio and can discuss your options for moving forward with a lawsuit.
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WHAT IS A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM IN COLUMBUS, OH?
UnderOhio law, a wrongful death is defined like this:
“When the death of a person is caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default which would have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued, the person who would have been liable if death had not ensued, or the administrator or executor of the estate of such person, as administrator or executor, shall be liable to an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured and although the death was caused under circumstances which make it aggravated murder, murder, or manslaughter.”
What does all of this mean? In short, if another party is responsible for someone’s death as a result of a wrongful act or negligence, Ohio law recognizes that the deceased person would have had a claim against the at-fault party had they survived. Since the deceased did not survive, the representative of the deceased’s estate can step into the deceased’s position to file a wrongful death claim against the liable party.
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COMMON TYPES OF ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES IN COLUMBUS WRONGFUL DEATH CASES
Many different types of accidents and harmful incidents can result in wrongful death lawsuits in Columbus, including but not limited to the following:
- Car accidents;
- Truck accidents;
- Motorcycle accidents;
- Workplace accidents;
- Dog bites and animal attacks; and
- Medical errors.
There are numerous other types of incidents in which a person can sustain fatal injuries, from other kinds of accidents to use of a defective product. You should know that one of our experienced wrongful death lawyers in Columbus can assist you in seeking the financial compensation you need and deserve.
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WHO CAN FILE A COLUMBUS WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?
Although some states permit a surviving family member to be the plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit, Ohio law requires the personal representative of the deceased’s estate, or the executor, to be the person who actually files the wrongful death lawsuit. For many Ohio residents who have gone through an estate planning process, a spouse or adult child has already been named as an executor of the estate. In such circumstances, it will end up being a surviving spouse or other family member—the person named as executor—who will be responsible for filing the wrongful death lawsuit.
Yet even if a surviving spouse or surviving child is not the representative of the estate, any damages that are awarded by the court will be paid to the surviving spouse, child, parents, or other relevant immediate family members. In some instances, and depending upon the particular circumstances of the case, a surviving sibling or grandparent of the deceased also may be able to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
COLUMBUS RECORD SEALING AND EXPUNGEMENT IN OHIO
Our dedicated criminal defense attorneys in Columbus, OH also routinely assist clients with record sealing and expungement. It is important to understand how record sealing and expungement work under Ohio law, and when you can ask the court to seal or expunge a criminal record.
Record sealing is a process through which your criminal record can be hidden from the general public, and in many cases, you will not need to disclose information about the criminal record. However, in some circumstances, an employer or another party may be able to obtain information that is contained in a sealed criminal record. Expunging a criminal record, differently, means destroying the record entirely so that it no longer exists.
In general, Ohio adult criminal conviction records cannot typically be expunged, but they may be eligible for record sealing. Record sealing is possible if a certain amount of time has passed since your conviction (anywhere from 3-5 years for a felony conviction and usually 1 year for a misdemeanor conviction), and if the offense is eligible for sealing. There are additional requirements you should discuss with an attorney. Some types of criminal offenses are completely ineligible for sealing, including OVI/Dui offenses, serious violent crimes, 1st-degree and 2nd-degree felony offenses, most types of sex offenses, and most criminal offenses involving children.
For juveniles, it may be possible to seal or expunge a criminal record depending upon the circumstances.
COMMON DAMAGES IN A COLUMBUS WRONGFUL DEATH CASEY
When courts hear wrongful death cases and find for the plaintiff, they typically award compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are designed, as the name suggests, to compensate a person for losses. There are two kinds of compensatory damages in Ohio: economic damages and non-economic damages.
You should be aware that non-economic damages are limited in most personal injury and wrongful death cases in Ohio either to $250,000, or to three times the amount of the economic damages award (whichever is greater). Even then, there is an overall non-economic damages cap to know about. There is no cap on an economic damages award, which means the surviving family members can recover fully for all direct, financial losses incurred as a result of the wrongful death.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR A COLUMBUS WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM
In a wrongful death case, it is critical to understand how the statute of limitations can affect your case. The statute of limitations is the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a civil lawsuit, and the statute of limitations in Ohio wrongful death claims is two years.
The clock on that two-year window will start to tick on the date of the deceased’s death. This timing is critical to understand because, in some wrongful death cases, the deceased does not immediately succumb to his or her injuries. Rather, the accident might happen, and the deceased might remain in the hospital for several weeks or even months before dying as a result of the injuries originally sustained in the accident. It is on the date of death, as opposed to the date of the accident, when the two-year clock will begin ticking. From that point, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years.
CONTACT OUR COLUMBUS WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEYS TODAY
Losing a loved one because of another party’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing is devastating. At Groth & Associates, we know how difficult it can be to go through this unimaginable process, and we know that it can seem impossible to consider filing a lawsuit when you are grieving the loss of your family member. Yet we also know how critical it is to seek financial compensation to help you cover costly medical bills and funeral costs, to provide you with compensation for lost earnings from your loved one, and to seek recompense for the loss of your loved one’s companionship.
An experienced Columbus wrongful death lawyer at our firm can speak with you today about the process for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio. Contact Groth & Associates for more information about moving forward with a claim.
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