Losing a loved one unexpectedly isn’t just a tragedy – it can also be traumatic.
Medical bills and funeral expenses are only the beginning, and if you don’t have a plan, your family could be at significant financial risk during a time when you’re still trying to process your family member’s sudden death.
Under certain circumstances, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim to recover some of the damages and losses you’ve suffered. But many people don’t know where to begin, or what damages to seek.
Trying to figure out how to file an effective lawsuit during such an emotionally difficult time can be incredibly challenging. One of the best ways forward is to work with a local Ohio attorney to guide you through the process.
Cooper Elliott has been serving the legal needs of Ohio families since 1995. Our team has decades of experience taking on the most complex and challenging cases, and we are ready to use our experience for you.
What is Wrongful Death, and Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Ohio?
In Ohio, wrongful death means any death resulting from another person’s or a company’s wrongful act or neglect.
In many states, certain members of the decedent’s family can recover damages in a wrongful death claim, including the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased person.
In Ohio, the wrongful death action must be filed in court by the representative of the deceased person’s estate. The representative is typically (but not always) a family member. The representative might be named in the decedent’s will. If there is no will, or the will doesn’t name a representative, then the probate court appoints the representative. The representative, working with their lawyers, pursues the claim on behalf of the decedent’s “next of kin,” which includes any surviving spouse, children, parents, and possibly other relatives.
What Types of Damages Can You Seek with a Wrongful Death Claim?
In a wrongful death claim, you can seek compensatory damages caused by the death. Compensatory damages are damages that are designed to “compensate” for the losses you and your family have experienced.
Some wrongful death compensatory damages are economic damages. These economic damages can include:
- Lost income the decedent would have made to support their family if they had lived
- Lost benefits related to the individual’s employment, such as healthcare insurance costs, and pension or retirement funds
- The cost of services the decedent provided that are now lacking, such as childcare, housework, and home maintenance
- Potential inheritance that the individual would have left had they continued to earn
- Funeral and burial expenses
Other wrongful death compensatory damages are non-economic damages. These are often the most important and meaningful kinds of damages when a loved one has been lost. These non-economic damages can include:
- Loss of companionship and love from the decedent
- Loss of care and assistance from the decedent
- Loss of advice, guidance, and counsel from the decedent
- The anguish and mental impact of the premature death of a loved one on the members of the family
Trust the Cooper Elliott Team with Your Case
After losing a loved one, you will have countless adjustments to make, and you will need time to process your grief and heal. During this time, you can trust the Cooper Elliott team to take care of everything your case needs.
Not only will we represent you to necessary insurance adjusters and other parties, but our extensive trial experience gives us a competitive edge when we represent you in the courtroom, as well. Reach out today to discuss the specifics of your case.