Understanding Ohio Wrongful Death Laws

Jan 11, 2018 Wrongful Death

Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC

When you lose a loved one in an accident that was another person or business’s fault, you may want to take legal action. Suing someone can feel like the only way to get justice for your relative and find some amount of closure.

When you consider filing suit, the next step is to learn how. This is when you encounter Ohio wrongful death laws, which you should make sure to thoroughly understand before beginning the legal process.

Our attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick are here to help. With decades of experience behind us, we can answer all of your questions and address any concerns you may have about a wrongful death case. If you have a valid claim, we will guide you through the legal process and fight for your right to compensation.

Call an Ohio wrongful death attorney today at 1-800-HURT-NOW for a free consult.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

This type of legal claim, defined in Ohio Revised Code §2125.01, alleges that another individual or business caused the death of your loved one due to their carelessness, recklessness, failure to act, or intentional misconduct. Because of this sudden and unexpected death, you have suffered emotional and financial injuries. You are grieving, dealing with burial expenses, and may be facing a future without an income you depended on.

If you are interested in bringing a claim against the at-fault party on behalf of your deceased relative, who would have been able to file this claim had they lived, then you need to speak with an attorney about a survival action.

Who Files the Wrongful Death Claim?

Ohio law specifically states that the personal representative for your loved one’s estate brings the wrongful death claim in court.

Unless you are the executor of the estate, you will not be responsible for actually filing the claim. Though, as a relative, you may be involved in deciding on whether to file and will be present throughout the process.

What Are Wrongful Death Damages?

Damages are the injuries you and your other family members have suffered that you can be compensated for. In a wrongful death claim, you will have both economic and non-economic damages. Your economic damages include the funeral and burial expenses and the loss of your loved one’s financial support. If you are a surviving spouse and you have children to look after, ensuring you regain some of your spouse’s lost income is imperative.

Wrongful death damages encompass a number of non-economic damages, which focus on your practical and emotional losses. Without your loved one around, you lose out on their companionship and services. You can also pursue compensation for your mental pain and anguish. Losing a parent, spouse, or child is heartbreaking, and you deserve to receive compensation that can help you recover.

Who is a Beneficiary?

A beneficiary of a wrongful death claim is an individual entitled to receive a portion of any compensation obtained through the claim. You are presumed, under the law, to be a beneficiary if you are a surviving spouse, child, or parent.

Other family members are not automatically beneficiaries in Ohio including siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

However, if you were related to the decedent in one of these ways and have suffered a significant psychological or financial injury due to their passing, then you should speak with an attorney about becoming a beneficiary. You may be added to the beneficiaries if you can prove to the court that you suffered a compensable loss.

Long-term partners, live-in partners, fiancés, and boyfriends and girlfriends are not beneficiaries under Ohio law. Like other relatives, you would need to prove you suffered a compensable loss to be included with the other beneficiaries.

Call an Attorney at Kisling, Nestico & Redick Right Away

It can be challenging to consider a legal claim when you are preparing for a funeral, grieving, and trying to find a new semblance of normal. However, it is in your best interest to talk with a lawyer about a wrongful death claim as soon as you are able to. You only have two years after your loved one’s death to file a claim. By calling us at Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away, you can avoid running up against the statute of limitations.

Contact us at 1-800-HURT-NOW or online to schedule a free consultation.