Losing a loved one can prompt Ohio residents to file a wrongful death lawsuit. It’s important to understand these laws.
What is a wrongful death?
A wrongful death occurs when someone causes the death of another person due to negligence, recklessness or a deliberate act. If a person dies in this manner, the surviving family members have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover compensation for the damages caused by the death.
What are the different types of wrongful death lawsuits?
Wrongful death lawsuits can stem from a variety of situations. In addition to negligent or reckless acts such as car accidents or violence involved in crimes, it can happen due to other circumstances as well. Medical malpractice, defective products, fires and continuous exposure to toxic materials are all examples of situations that can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
The personal representative of the estate of the deceased person must file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the surviving family members. That person is normally named in the person’s will. However, if the deceased lacked a will at the time of their death, the court will appoint someone to the role of personal representative or executor.
What kind of damages can the family members recover?
Wrongful death lawsuits that are successful result in damages being paid to the surviving family members of the deceased. Those damages may include the following:
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of care, companionship, consortium and guidance
- Loss of services
- Loss of inheritance the survivors might have received had the person lived
- Emotional suffering and mental anguish due to the family members’ loss
Surviving family members such as the spouse, children and parents are usually the ones who can recover damages from a wrongful death lawsuit.