Car accidents, medical malpractice, truck crash, motorcycle collisions, and other incidents claim the lives of many in the US every day. The loved ones left behind experience a range of emotions. Depression, anxiety, and despair are common; when circumstances indicate negligence by the responsible party, there may even be anger. As a surviving spouse, child, or other family member, you may also be suffering financially due to the absence of the deceased’s contribution to the household. Fortunately, certain individuals can recover compensation for these losses. But Ohio law is specific on who can file a wrongful death claim. An attorney can tell you more about options in your situation, and some basic information on wrongful death cases in Ohio should be useful.
Overview of Wrongful Death Claims
When one person’s negligent conduct causes the death of another individual, state law provides for a proceeding that’s similar to a personal injury lawsuit. The Ohio statute on wrongful death allows filing of a claim where the act would entitle the victim to recover damages had he or she not died as a result of the incident. Still, because the decedent is unable to pursue the lawsuit, there are only certain individuals that can file wrongful death proceedings.
Persons with Standing to File a Claim
Ohio law requires the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate to file a wrongful death action in court. The probate court may appoint someone to handle the estate. This is true unless the decedent named a personal representative in his or her will.
Damages Available in Wrongful Death Cases
There are two categories of damages that the personal representative can seek in an Ohio wrongful death matter:
- Estate Damages: The deceased may have incurred costs related to medical treatment. This is money spent in an attempt to save his or her life. There are also funeral and burial expenses. The estate is entitled to recover compensation for these amounts.
- Damages of the Surviving Family Members: State law assumes that the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased person suffer losses due to their loved one’s death.
Talk to an Ohio Wrongful Death Lawyer About Filing a Claim
A wrongful death lawsuit won’t bring back your loved one. However, Ohio law allows you to recover compensation to assist with moving on with your life. This information may help you understand who can file this type of case, but it’s no replacement for the advice of a skilled attorney with experience in wrongful death cases. A lawyer can assist you and your family in pursuing the responsible party and will take the matter to court if a settlement isn’t possible. If you have additional questions on wrongful death claims in Ohio, please contact the Cleveland law offices of Tittle & Perlmuter. We can schedule a case assessment to discuss your options and develop a strategy to fight for your rights.