Question

What damages can I sue for after losing a family member to a fatal accident or injury in Ohio?

Gerald S. Leeseberg - Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Gerald S. Leeseberg

Leeseberg & Valentine
Columbus, OH
Phone: 614-221-2223
Fax: 614-221-3106

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Answer

If a close relative of yours died as a result of the negligence, dangerous conduct or wrongdoing of someone else, you may be able to get compensation in a wrongful death claim. Ohio law allows certain family members to recover for loss of income and financial support, as well as for medical expenses and the grief suffered from losing a loved one. 

To make a successful claim, however, it is important to conduct an immediate investigation to determine what happened, as well as to document and preserve evidence. A law firm experienced in these investigations can help you take the necessary steps, using appropriate experts. 

How a Wrongful Death Action Gets Started 

Under section 2125 of the Ohio Revised Statutes, wrongful death claims are technically initiated by the executor of the deceased person’s estate. The claims are brought on behalf of the estate and of family members, who can include a spouse, children and parents of the person who died. In some cases, claims on behalf of siblings or other surviving family members are also possible. 

Causes of wrongful death can include medical malpractice; car, truck and motorcycle accidents; workplace accidents; and dangerous or defective products or medical devices.

Regardless of the cause of death, prompt and thorough investigation is critical in gathering and preserving the evidence to make a claim. If the death seems to have been the result of medical mistakes, this means using medical experts to evaluate what happened. Similarly, in a fatal car crash, accident reconstruction specialists can analyze the crash scene using scientific techniques.

A law firm with the resources to call upon such experts is a great asset in assessing whether you have a viable claim and helping you to assert your rights. 

Types Of Compensation Available 

Damage awards in wrongful death cases are made up of several different parts. These include medical expenses, lost income and support, and the grief and anguish from the loss of the relationship with the family member. 

When a family breadwinner has died, wrongful death claims often involve especially large damages. The services of a vocational economist may be necessary to fully evaluate the economic impact of the death on your family. For a parent in the prime of life, this impact can easily run into millions of dollars, based on what the deceased would have earned over the course of his or her life. 

It is critically important, however, to take immediate action to investigate your potential case immediately. If you don’t, evidence can be lost and time limits on bringing a legal action may come into play. 

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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