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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

What Are the Elements of Wrongful Death in Ohio? | An Overview

A loved one's death can be devastating for the surviving family members, especially when the deceased person is the sole financial provider of the family. Those left behind will have to find a way to cope with their pain and suffering while struggling to make ends meet.


This is why in Ohio, if the deceased individual died due to someone else's negligence, the state laws allow the surviving spouse and children to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party.


While financial compensation will not undo their loved one's death, the money will go a long way toward covering the funeral and burial expenses.


A wrongful death case can be a very emotional experience for the deceased's family members. Only an experienced wrongful death attorney with knowledge and compassion can handle such a sensitive lawsuit.


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys has been dealing with Ohio wrongful death cases for many years. We are ready to fight for justice for the remaining family members. They can help with questions like How are wrongful death settlements paid out Ohio? Anyone who wants to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit can call an experienced attorney at +1 513-224-5390.


What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?


A wrongful death claim can be described as a way for the spouse and other family members of the deceased to seek damages after losing their loved one due to someone else's negligence, wrongful act, or default.


The elements of wrongful death claims are quite similar to those of personal injury lawsuits. However, the major difference is that in a wrongful death case, the victim has already passed away.


Whatever compensation is awarded by the courts will be divided among the remaining family members.


Common Causes of an Ohio Wrongful Death


Many different types of circumstances can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit. An experienced wrongful death law firm needs to be familiar with all of them. In Ohio, wrongful death lawsuits are usually caused by the following:

  • Motor vehicle accidents

  • Abuse and neglect in nursing homes

  • Premises liability

  • Medical malpractice

Investigating how the death occurred is the first step to determining who the liable parties are before taking wrongful death action.


Sometimes, the cause of death may also influence how much compensation the jury will award to the surviving spouse and other family members. An example is when nursing home abuse causes the death of an elderly family member. An experienced Ohio wrongful death lawyer can fight for maximum damages.


What Are the Elements of Wrongful Death in Ohio?


Even though each wrongful death case is different, there are four main elements that Ohio wrongful death lawyers have to show in court, and these are:


Duty of Care

The Ohio wrongful death statute states that for a person to be accused of causing a wrongful death, they have to have had a duty of care to the deceased. A good example is the responsibility of care that nursing home employees have to the elderly patients in their facility.


Breach of Duty of Care

A successful wrongful death claim in Ohio must show that the at-fault party breached their duty towards the deceased. This could mean showing that, for example, the nursing home employees failed to look after the deceased in the way they promised to.


Causation

Every wrongful death suit had to show causation, which means proving that the breach caused the death of the victim.


In the example above, this would mean proving that the neglect of the elderly patient directly caused their death. If they were not being fed, then doctors must have identified malnutrition/starvation as the cause of death.


Damages

Finally, Ohio wrongful death lawsuits need to highlight how the victim's death caused suffering or a compensable loss to the family members. If the deceased was the breadwinner of the family, for instance, these losses could be in the form of lost wages.


Statute of Limitations in an Ohio Wrongful Death Lawsuit


The Ohio wrongful death statute of limitations is set at two years from the date the victim died. This is the grace period given to families seeking compensation to prepare for and file their wrongful death actions against the negligent parties.


As soon as the two years are up, the Ohio wrongful death statute of limitations will expire. The remaining family members will no longer be eligible to seek justice for the death of their loved ones.


Who Can File an Ohio Wrongful Death Claim?


Ohio wrongful death laws require a personal representative of the deceased's estate to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.


They can seek wrongful death damages on behalf of the estate and surviving family members. The law requires that this personal representative be a living person, not an entity or corporation.


If the wrongful death claim is successful, the surviving parents, spouses, children, or other family members can be awarded damages to cover:

  • Medical expenses

  • Loss of companionship

  • Mental anguish

  • Pain and suffering

  • Loss of future earnings

  • Funeral expenses and burial costs

  • Loss of prospective inheritance

Proving a Wrongful Death Claim in Ohio


Depending on the circumstances surrounding the death of the victim, proving the wrongful act, neglect, or default that led to their untimely death can be difficult. To recover damages, the wrongful death attorney may require the following evidence:

  • Medical records

  • Receipts of medical expenses

  • Fatal accident report

  • Witness testimony

  • Company records

  • Video surveillance footage


How Can an Ohio Wrongful Death Attorney Help?

How Can an Ohio Wrongful Death Attorney Help?


In Ohio wrongful death claims, winning often requires the attorney to present evidence before the civil court that will prove to the jury that the defendant's actions caused the untimely death of the deceased. They must also prove that the surviving spouse and children suffered losses as a result of losing their loved one.


This is not always an easy thing to prove, especially when going against a determined insurance company that wants to avoid being held liable for massive damages. A good lawyer with a firm grasp of Ohio law will be required to win such a case.


Take Wrongful Death Action With Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys


If someone else's negligence results in the death of a loved one, the survivors have the right to sue for damages suffered, losses incurred, and the mental anguish experienced. Also, the deceased deserves justice for the pain, suffering, and fatal injuries that led to their death.


In the hands of a compassionate Ohio wrongful death lawyer, such cases can win huge settlements in court. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help family members to file a wrongful death case over the deceased person's death.


Survivors who are ready to go to war for their loved ones can call the law firm to schedule a free consultation today.

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