Ohio, like other states across the country, has its own set of laws regarding the filing of wrongful death claims. For instance, only certain individuals are permitted to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of a loved one and they must do so within a certain period of time. Failing to comply with these rules can lead to a case being dismissed, so if you recently lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligent or reckless conduct, you should consider contacting an experienced Defiance wrongful death lawyer who can ensure that you comply with all procedural requirements.
Unlike standard personal injury lawsuits, wrongful death claims are not filed by the person who was injured, but are brought by personal representatives of the victim’s estate. This includes the surviving spouses, children, and parents of the deceased, all of whom are presumed by courts to have suffered damages as a result of their relative’s wrongful death. One of the few exceptions to this rule is in cases where a parent abandoned a minor child and then later attempts to collect damages for that child’s death.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be resolved through settlement or trial. In the latter case, the jury is given the discretion to award damages in an amount that is proportional to the injuries and loss suffered by the victim’s beneficiaries. When making this decision, the jury is permitted to assess a variety of factors, including:
Wrongful death suits don’t only cover the cash value of the decedent’s earnings. Instead, Ohio law allows courts to award damages for loss of companionship and care, as well as mental anguish. Essentially, damages awarded in wrongful death lawsuits fall under two categories. The first includes compensation for costs incurred between the time of the accident and the victim’s death, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The next portion of damages is intended to help compensate the victim’s family members for the period of time after the decedent’s death and includes loss of future income and emotional distress.
In Ohio, wrongful death claims must be filed within two years from the date of the victim’s death. Generally, those who file after this deadline has passed will have their case dismissed by the court. There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule. For example, if the cause of death is not immediately known or discoverable to the decedent’s representatives, the two-year statute of limitations does not begin to run until the date that the representatives knew or reasonably should have known that the death was the result of the wrongful act of another person or entity. This is known as the discovery rule.
If you lost a loved one in an accident that was not their fault, please call Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC at 419-241-5500 to set up a one-on-one consultation with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can evaluate your case free of charge.
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