Wrongful death actions are a type of personal injury lawsuit that is filed on behalf of a deceased victim or his or her estate. In these cases, there are rules governing who may bring a wrongful death action against the negligent party and a statute of limitations governing how long grieving family members have to initiate the lawsuit. Below, we will discuss wrongful death actions in Ohio and what you will need to do to sue the negligent party who robbed you of your loved one.
You can find the Ohio wrongful death statute in Ohio Revised Statutes § 2125. In Ohio, certain individuals may file a wrongful death action against a negligent or malicious party if the wrongfully deceased party would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit had they survived.
In order to bring a wrongful death action, a “personal representative” of the deceased’s estate must file the lawsuit in civil. Spouses, children, and parents of the deceased may recover damages related to their emotional anguish. In cases in which someone was a dependent of the deceased, they may also recover damages related to their loss. Siblings or other family members must show cause to be named as plaintiffs in a wrongful death action.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death actions is the same as any personal injury lawsuit — two years from the date of death. In some cases, it may not be apparent what the family member’s cause of death was. In those cases, the statute of limitations might be tolled to the discovery of a negligent party. This, however, is rare and requires the plaintiff to show cause to toll the statute of limitations.
Damages are generally divided into two categories. Those are losses to the individual’s estate and losses to each surviving family member named in the action. Losses to the estate include burial expenses and medical expenses incurred due to the defendant’s negligence.
Family members may sue for:
If you have lost a loved one, you need an attorney who understands the pain and suffering that you are going through and will emphasize the emotional points to ensure that you are justly covered for your loss. Talk to Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC and we can begin litigating your wrongful death lawsuit today.
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