Lawsuits for Wrongful Death in Ohio

The loss of a loved one is never an easy experience. The loss of the energy, wisdom, spirit and life of a family member or close friend is one of the most difficult human experiences. These emotions are compounded when you suspect the negligence of another contributed to or caused the death.

In these situations, Ohio law provides two main paths towards recovery, which are usually brought at the same time. While no level of financial compensation can truly relieve the pain of loss, a recovery can help stem financial losses and deter bad actors from continuing to put the public in harm’s way.

The first option is to pursue a case for survivorship benefits, which involves the injuries suffered by the decedent while they were alive. This includes claims for the pain and suffering the decedent experienced prior to passing away as well as damage to their property and economic losses. A recovery that falls under a survivorship claim becomes part of the decedent’s estate and is then distributed by the probate court. Claims for survivorship may allow for the recovery of attorney’s fees and punitive damages.

The second option is to bring a lawsuit for wrongful death. This claim is brought on behalf of the personal representative of the estate on behalf of the surviving members of the family. Potential claimants include the surviving spouse, parents and children.

Types of compensation available to those wronged by the death of another include:

  • Loss of future earnings
  • Loss of companionship
  • Medical expenses incurred prior to death related to that injury
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of household services
  • Loss of potential inheritance
  • Pain and suffering caused by the mental anguish and stress caused to the surviving family members.

The statute of limitations in Ohio is two years following death. This means that the family must file suit within two years of the decedent’s death. Cases involving wrongful death are often complex and the investigation and probate court matters in advance of litigation take time. If you are considering pursing a case involving wrongful death, you should contact an attorney with Murray & Murray as soon as possible and we will work with you to evaluate your case.