Losing a loved one is always one of the hardest things people have to go through in their lives. It is particularly painful when your family member dies because of another person's negligence, carelessness, or wrongful conduct. If your loved one was killed in an accident, you must contact a wrongful death attorney to determine how to proceed to secure the compensation to which you may be entitled.
My firm, John Brooks Cameron & Associates, is committed to helping surviving family members secure financial stability and obtain fair and full compensation after the tragic loss of a loved one. I proudly serve clients in Medina and throughout Wooster, Summit, Akron, and Cuyahoga counties, Ohio.
In Ohio, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought to recover damages for the damages the victim's surviving family members have suffered because of the loved one's death resulting from wrongful or negligent act or default. Sudden and wrongful death of a loved one may be the result of:
- Auto accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Defective products (product liability)
- Slip and fall accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice
While filing a wrongful death lawsuit after the loss of a loved one will not bring the person back, it can hold the negligent party accountable for their actions and provide surviving family members with the financial support they need to move forward. Filing a lawsuit and recovering damages also brings justice and helps surviving family members move forward with their life.
Under Ohio law, you can file a wrongful death claim through a personal representative of the deceased person's estate. The personal representative is either named by the decedent before their death or appointed by the probate court after the death. In many cases, the decedent's spouse is the personal representative. Other family members that can be personal representatives include surviving parents and adult children.
There are specific requirements for becoming a personal representative and filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio, which is why surviving family members must speak with an experienced attorney to understand wrongful death laws and requirements for filing a lawsuit.
Once the court determines the amount to award in a wrongful death case, the total amount divides between eligible surviving family members. Damages in wrongful death cases in Ohio go to family members according to the laws of intestate succession. Generally, family members entitled to compensation in wrongful death cases include surviving spouses, children, parents, and other dependents.
The damages that eligible family members can recover in a wrongful death case in Ohio constitute compensation for the monetary and non-monetary losses suffered by the family because of the loved one's death. Common types of recoverable damages in wrongful death cases are:
- The loss of financial support based on the decedent's income and employment benefits
- The loss of household and childcare services provided by the decedent
- The loss of guidance, companionship, and counsel
- Compensation for reasonable burial and funeral expenses
- Medical bills related to the decedent's medical treatment before the death
- Emotional distress and mental anguish suffered by surviving family members
There is a specific time limit for filing wrongful death lawsuits in Ohio. The time limit is also known as the statute of limitations. The time limit is two years from the date of the death or from the date the surviving family members discovered that the death meets the definition of "wrongful" under Ohio law.
Any attempts to file a lawsuit after the deadline expires will be dismissed by the court. For this reason, it is crucial to contact a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible after the death of a loved one to start building your legal claim.
At John Brooks Cameron & Associates, in Medina, Ohio, I understand that the death of a family member is always painful and devastating, but more so when the unexpected death of a loved one is the result of someone else's negligent, careless, or wrongful conduct. If your loved one was killed in an accident, contact me today at John Brooks Cameron & Associates to explore your legal options. I serve clients in Wooster, Summit, Akron, and Cuyahoga counties, Ohio.