The unexpected loss of a family member in an accident is devastating.
The surviving family members’ lives can change instantly, throwing families and finances into a tailspin, and they can often be left wondering who was at fault for this tragedy.
In some situations tied to negligence or recklessness, a family member can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the person or company responsible for the accident.Filing a lawsuit while your family deals with their grief can be trying – and that’s where Cooper Elliott comes in. Our team of personal injury attorneys has been serving families in Columbus and throughout Ohio for years. Our track record of helping our clients achieve justice speaks for itself, and we look forward to helping your family find answers and the relief you deserve.
What Is Wrongful Death?
In Ohio, any death resulting from another party’s wrongful act or neglect can potentially be deemed a wrongful death.
Additionally, Ohio law stipulates that a wrongful death claim can apply if the person who passed would have been able to file a personal injury claim for damages from the party liable for those damages.
- A wrongful act is typically an intentional or overt act of violence against another, such as assault.
- Neglect, on the other hand, is the breaching of the duty of care that leads to fatal injury.
Some of the most common examples of these conditions include:
- drunk driving,
- driving while distracted,
- road rage or other aggressive driving,
- creating dangerous situations on a property through negligence,
- making dangerous products available to others,
- medical malpractice,
- cases of abuse against the elderly in care facilities
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Ohio?
In some states, a wrongful death claim must be brought by members of the deceased individual’s family, including their spouse, surviving children, parents, or other close family members.
However, Ohio law requires an individual representing the deceased’s estate to file the lawsuit.
This may be someone designated explicitly by the deceased in their will or, in some cases, an individual appointed by a probate court.
When the insurer or the court has determined the damages that will be awarded, the total amount will be divided among those in the family impacted by the loss. The inheritance laws of Ohio will bind this division, so it’s essential to work with an attorney familiar with the laws regarding these damages.
What Damages Can a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Help Recover?
The most common damages that survivors of the deceased can seek in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- The loss of any potential inheritance the deceased would have left the family
- The loss of the income and financial support if the deceased was a breadwinner in the household
- The loss of spousal companionship, love, attention, advice, and more
- The loss of parental guidance, protection, care, education, and more
- The loss of household value, childcare, and other services the deceased would have provided had they lived
- The anguish and mental impact of the premature death of a loved one on the members of the family
Wrongful death cases can be traumatic and complicated, and you should be able to focus on your grief and recovery during this trying time.
There are time limits imposed by state law, however, and in Ohio, you only have two years from the date the individual died, so it’s essential to act quickly to preserve your claim.
Let Cooper Elliott Fight for You
If you live in the greater Columbus, Ohio, area and have recently suffered the loss of a family member, we are truly sorry for your loss.
To help provide your family some relief after this ordeal, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover damages.
The wrongful death attorneys at Cooper Elliott can help you build a strong case for compensation, and while no amount of money can ever fill the hole in your heart and your family, it can help ease the transition for you.
Our attorneys have decades of experience and are willing and able to be your family’s advocate during this period. Reach out today, and let us know, in a confidential environment, how we can help fight for your family’s recovery.