Perrysburg Wrongful Death Attorneys
Ohio’s wrongful death laws are similar to many other states, as they define a wrongful death as one that occurs due to the neglect, default, or wrongful action of a third party. Because wrongful death victims are unable to file a claim to recover damages for their injuries, their family members must file the lawsuit on their behalf. Wrongful death claims tend to be both complex and emotional undertakings, so if you recently lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, it is important to retain a Perrysburg wrongful death lawyer who is well-versed in the procedural requirements of filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Civil vs. Criminal Proceedings
In some cases, wrongful death claims arise out of an incident where someone intentionally took the victim’s life. In these situations, the state may bring a criminal action in addition to a civil lawsuit, which is filed by the victim’s family. Fortunately, just because a defendant was found not guilty at trial, does not mean that he or she will escape liability in civil court for causing a wrongful death. This is due to the fact that civil and criminal trials require very different levels of proof in order to convict.
Types of Wrongful Death Actions
Although intentionally causing someone’s death is one type of wrongful death claim, there are a variety of other kinds of wrongful death suits, including those involving:
- Motor vehicle accidents;
- Defective consumer products;
- Dangerous drugs or medical devices;
- Negligence on the part of a medical professional;
- Slip and fall accidents; and
- Occupational exposure to hazardous substances.
Regardless of the conduct that led to a victim’s death, wrongful death claims can only be filed by a decedent’s personal representative, for the benefit of the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, or parents. It is possible for other family members to be entitled to damages, such as siblings or grandparents, but only if they can demonstrate that they have suffered a direct loss as a result of the victim’s death.
Wrongful death claimants are eligible to collect two types of compensatory damages: economic and non-economic. The former refers to the financial loss that a family will experience as a result of the loss of their loved one. When determining the amount of these types of damages, courts are permitted to assess a variety of factors, including whether the victim was solely responsible for any dependents, the amount of income that the victim earned, the amount of time that the decedent expected to continue working, and the amount of medical bills generated as a result of the decedent’s injuries. Aside from these damages, which are relatively easy to calculate, courts also award non-economic damages, which are intended to help compensate a family for more intangible losses, such as the pain and suffering of the decedent’s loved ones, mental anguish, and a loss of companionship.
Call an Experienced Perrysburg Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
Although no amount of money can compensate someone for the loss of a loved one, collecting damages in a wrongful death claim can go a long way towards helping a victim’s family begin the process of recovery. To learn more about filing a wrongful death claim, please call Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC at 419-241-5500 today.