Attempting to cope with the loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult circumstances of life. When a family member’s death is caused by another party’s negligence or wrongdoing, the grieving process is even much greater.   If someone has caused the death of a loved one or family member, you may have the right to file a lawsuit for wrongful death to receive compensation under Ohio’s wrongful death statute.  While no amount of financial payment can ever compensate for the loss of a loved one, providing for the financial security of surviving family members for their future and the comfort of knowing that the responsible parties were brought to justice can provide a sense of closure and security to survivors.

Wrongful Death is legal cause of action in Ohio governed by Chapter 2125 of the Ohio Revised Code.  A suit for wrongful death is a civil action that is brought when a person or organization negligently or intentionally caused the death of another person.  The person or entity that caused the death by their wrongful acts may be liable under Ohio law for the financial losses that result from the death.  Wrongful death cases may arise from a variety of circumstances, including car accidents, truck accidents, defective property conditions, food injury, or medical negligence.

In determining the amount of damages to be awarded, the jury or court may consider all factors existing at the time of the decedent’s death that are relevant to a determination of the damages suffered by reason of the wrongful death. (ORC 2125.02(A)(3))  In other words, compensation that may be awarded to surviving family members under the Ohio Wrongful Death statute include:

(1) Loss of support from the reasonably expected earning capacity of the decedent;

(2) Loss of services of the decedent;

(3) Loss of the society of the decedent, including loss of companionship, consortium, care, assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training, and education, suffered by the surviving spouse, dependent children, parents, or next of kin of the decedent;

(4) Loss of prospective inheritance to the decedent’s heirs at law at the time of the decedent’s death;

(5) The mental anguish incurred by the surviving spouse, dependent children, parents, or next of kin of the decedent.  (ORC 2125.02(B))

In addition to the claims of surviving family member, the estate for the person who died may have a Survival Claim.  A Survival Action is another type of claim related to a person’s wrongful death.  It typically related to that time between when a person is injured through the time they pass away from their injuries.  If a person is injured in a car accident and then dies sometime later, the person’s estate has a claim for the decedent’s pain and suffering, medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages and other damages caused by the negligent party.

Wrongful death claims are complicated, governed by Ohio statute, tried in in Court, and subject to Probate Court approval.  Every wrongful death case is different.  If a family member has died as a result of the wrongful acts of another, contact us for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.  Call us anytime at 614-523-7575 or complete our fee consult form on this website.