SKILLED IN WRONGFUL DEATH CASES
WRONGFUL DEATH CASES ARE TRAGIC AND THE DAMAGES CAN BE SEVERE.
There are certainly few things that hurt more than experiencing the death of a loved one, especially when their passing occurred in an untimely and otherwise preventable manner. At Groth & Associates, our experienced Toledo personal injury lawyers understand the devastating effects this type of death can have on surviving loved ones, as well as the lasting ramifications
this can have on your present and future financial health and security. If your loved one died as the result of an accident or due to another’s negligence, we can help you get the compensation you need to meet outstanding medical debts and funeral expenses, while also ensuring your family is provided for in the future in the manner which your loved one would want.
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TOLEDO WRONGFUL DEATH FAQ’S
What are the Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death claims can be filed by the surviving family members and loved ones of a person who was killed or died as the result of injuries that otherwise could have been prevented. Under Ohio’s wrongful death statutes, parents, spouses, children, and other beneficiaries of the departed may be entitled to damages through a wrongful death lawsuit that, in addition to actual expenses associated with their injury, illness, or death, include loss of future earnings, loss of companionship and care, as well as compensation for the pain and suffering that comes from losing someone close to you. Common causes of wrongful death that are recognized by the court include:
- Wrongful acts, such as those involving violent crimes, regardless of whether or not the person was convicted of criminal charges;
- Negligent acts, such as failing to follow standard safety regulations and procedures, failing to warn others of potential dangers, or otherwise acting in a reckless manner;
- Default, in cases involving outstanding claims the deceased party may have been entitled to had death not occurred.
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WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF WRONGFUL DEATH CASES?
WHILE PERSONAL INJURIES ARE OFTEN REFERRED TO AS ACCIDENTS, THEY ARE OFTEN THE RESULT OF ANOTHER PERSON’S RECKLESS OR NEGLIGENT CONDUCT.
Death as the result of an accident or due to another’s reckless or negligent conduct is an unfortunately common occurrence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unintentional injury deaths are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., resulting in over 130,000 deaths each year. The CDC report that common types of wrongful death cases involve the following types of accidents:
- Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents;
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents;
- Premises liability accidents, involving slip and fall injuries, or being struck by or against an object;
- Product liability cases, in which a defective or dangerous product results in accident injury and death;
- Medical malpractice errors and mistakes;Accidental poisonings and medication overdoses;
- Drowning and recreation accidents;
- On-the-job accidents and illnesses.
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HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?
Beginning from the date of the death of your family member, you have two years to take legal action. The state of Ohio has a very strict statute of limitations that applies to wrongful death claims. In the event that you fail to take action within the appropriate time frame, you will very likely lose out on your legal rights. Please do not allow this to happen to your family. You do not want to lose out on your ability to recover compensation simply because a statutory clock ran out.
Our compassionate legal team understands just how difficult it can be to deal with the death of a loved one. We also know that it is even more difficult in cases where your loved one was killed in a fully preventable accident. Let our attorneys handle the stressful legal issues while you focus on your friends and family. Our team will ensure that your case proceeds well within the required time frames.
HOW DO I PROVE WRONGFUL DEATH IN TOLEDO?
In Ohio, wrongful death claims are typically based on the legal standard of negligence. In simple terms, negligence can be thought of as the failure to take proper care when performing an action. Certainly, what constitutes ‘proper care’ will vary considerably depending on the specific circumstances of each individual case. However, as a general rule, in order to prove negligence in an Ohio wrongful death case, your attorney will need to prove each of the following legal elements:
- Duty: The first step to proving negligence is establishing the extent to which a defendant had a legal responsibility to look out for the safety of others. The extent of this obligation will vary depending on the circumstances in question. For example, all drivers in Ohio have a basic legal responsibility to drive reasonably safely. However, in some other cases, such as when a doctor is treating a patient, the defendant will be held to a more heightened standard of care.
- Breach: Once the standard of care is established, you will need to prove that the defendant breached that standard. Usually, this is the most fiercely disputed issue in a wrongful death case. A breach can come in an endless number of different forms. It might occur because a driver ran a red light and caused an accident, or because a doctor failed to run a standard allergy test before giving a patient a powerful medication.
- Causation: There also must be a link between the breach of the standard of care and your loved one’s death. Proving a breach is not, itself, sufficient; you still need to prove that it contributed to the fatality.
- Damages: Finally, you must prove all of your family’s damages. Certainly, the fact that the death of a loved one occurred indicates that damages were suffered. Still, this element is critical because you can only recover compensation to the extent you can demonstrate the specific scope of the damages.
WHAT DAMAGES ARE AVAILABLE TO THE FAMILY OF THE VICTIMS?
In Ohio, the general purpose of legal damages is to make victim of an accident ‘whole’. In a wrongful death case, the victim’s family is entitled to be made ‘whole’. Obviously, no amount of compensation will truly be able to make up for the loss of a family member, but it is important that the negligent party is held accountable for what has occurred. The specific types of damages that may be sought in an wrongful death claim include:
- All medical expenses;
- Costs related to the accident itself;
- Funeral and burial costs;
- Lost future earnings;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of love;
- Loss of companionship; and
- Punitive damages.
WHAT IS A SURVIVAL ACTION CLAIM?
If your loved one has passed away in an accident, you may have also heard of a type of lawsuit known as a survival action claim. This type of claim is somewhat similar to a wrongful death claim, but it also has a few key differences. In fact, it is often brought concurrently with a wrongful death claim. Essentially, a survival action claim allows the estate of the victim to bring any legal action that the victim would have been able to bring had they not passed away in the accident. This enables the estate to seek compensation for damages such as medical bills and the pain and suffering that the victim had to go through as a result of the accident. While wrongful death claims are meant to compensate the damages suffered by qualifying family members, survival action claims ensure recovery for the damages that the victim sustained directly.
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU RECOVER
At Groth & Associates, we understand that no amount of money can make up for the death of a loved one. At the same time, we can help you get the compensation you are entitled to help your family recover from this devastating event. Contact our Toledo wrongful death lawyers today for professional legal advice on how to hold responsible parties accountable so that you and your family can get the justice your loved one deserves. We provide the kind of compassionate, caring legal service that ensures your rights and interests are protected. We serve clients in Toledo, Bowling Green, Fremont and the surrounding areas. Don’t hesitate to call or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.