Akron Wrongful Death Attorneys
Compassionate & Experienced Legal Advocacy
When a loved one dies, the emotional toll can be overwhelming. This is especially true when the death was caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. In addition to the emotional pain, you may also be facing significant financial losses, such as medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost income. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
At Murray & Murray, our Akron wrongful death lawyers are here to help you through this difficult time. We understand that no amount of money can ever make up for the loss of a loved one. However, we also know that financial compensation can help you recover and move forward. Our team is prepared to fight for the maximum compensation and justice you deserve.
What is a Wrongful Death?
Under Ohio law, a “wrongful death” is a death that is caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another person or party. In other words, if someone dies because of another person’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
Some common examples of wrongful death cases include:
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Premises liability
- Car accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Nursing home abuse
It is important to note that, in Ohio, only certain people are eligible to file a wrongful death claim. This includes the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased. If the deceased was unmarried and had no children, the claim may be filed by the deceased’s siblings or other next of kin. In some cases, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may also file a claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Ohio?
The personal representative of the deceased person's estate has the authority to file on behalf of the estate and the surviving family members. This individual may be named in the deceased person's will, or the court may appoint one if there is no designated personal representative.
Here are some key points regarding the beneficiaries of a wrongful death claim in Ohio:
- Surviving Spouse: The surviving spouse is often the primary beneficiary of a wrongful death claim in Ohio. If there is a surviving spouse, they may be entitled to a significant portion, if not all, of the damages awarded.
- Children: If there is no surviving spouse or if the surviving spouse does not file a wrongful death claim, the damages may be distributed among the surviving children of the deceased person.
- Other Dependents: In some cases, if the deceased person did not have a surviving spouse or children, the damages may be distributed to other dependents, such as parents or other relatives who were financially dependent on the deceased.
- Estate: If there are no surviving spouses, children, or other dependents, the damages may become part of the deceased person's estate. In such cases, the assets of the estate are distributed according to the laws of intestate succession, which may involve more distant relatives or, in the absence of relatives, escheat to the state.
If the deceased person had a valid will that specifically addresses the distribution of wrongful death damages, the distribution would follow the terms of the will.
What Compensation is Available in a Wrongful Death Case?
While no amount of money can ever make up for the loss of a loved one, financial compensation can help you recover and move forward. It can also help you and your family avoid financial hardship in the wake of your loved one’s death.
Some common types of damages that may be available in a wrongful death case include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses related to the deceased person’s final injury or illness
- Lost income and benefits
- Lost future earnings
- Lost inheritance
- Loss of support and services
- Loss of love, companionship, guidance, and consortium
- Pain and suffering of the surviving family members
In some cases, the court may also award punitive damages. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate the surviving family members for their losses. Instead, they are meant to punish the at-fault party for especially egregious or reckless conduct. Punitive damages are only awarded in a small percentage of wrongful death cases.
Why Choose Murray & Murray?
At Murray & Murray, we have been serving the legal needs of individuals and families throughout Ohio since 1931. Our firm has a long-standing reputation for excellence, and we are proud to have helped thousands of clients over the years. We are committed to providing each and every client with the compassionate, personalized legal representation they deserve.
When you choose our firm, you can expect:
- Compassionate, one-on-one attention
- Aggressive advocacy from start to finish
- Open and honest communication
- Customized legal strategies tailored to your unique needs
- Responsive, accessible attorneys who are always available to answer your questions
- Proven representation both in and out of the courtroom
- Contingency fees, meaning you do not owe any upfront or out-of-pocket costs and you only pay if we win your case
Our Akron wrongful death lawyers are here to help you through this difficult time. We can handle all the legal details of your case so that you can focus on your family and your own well-being. Our team is prepared to fight for the financial compensation that can help you recover and move forward.