Losing a loved one is an incredibly difficult experience, and it becomes even more devastating when their death is a result of someone else's negligence or intentional actions. In such cases, the concept of wrongful death comes into play. In this blog post, we will explore what is considered a wrongful death and provide valuable insights to help you understand the legal aspects surrounding this unfortunate situation.
Defining Wrongful Death in Ohio
In Ohio, wrongful death is legally defined as the death of a person caused by the wrongful act, neglect, default, or breach of contract of another party. Wrongful death claims are civil actions brought by the surviving family members or the personal representative of the deceased person's estate. The purpose is to seek compensation for the losses and damages resulting from the death.
Key Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim in Ohio
To establish a successful wrongful death claim in Ohio, the following elements must generally be proved:
Duty of Care: The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased person. For example, a driver has a duty to operate their vehicle safely and responsibly.
Breach of Duty: The plaintiff must show that the defendant breached their duty of care through their negligent or intentional actions. This breach could include acts such as reckless driving or medical malpractice.
Causation: The plaintiff must establish that the defendant's breach of duty directly caused the death of the individual in question. This can be a complex element to prove and often requires expert testimony.
Damages: The plaintiff must demonstrate the existence of compensable damages resulting from the wrongful death. These damages can include medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, and emotional distress.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Ohio law specifies who can file a wrongful death claim. Generally, the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased have the primary right to bring a claim. If none of these parties are available, the decedent's personal representative, such as an executor or administrator of the estate, can initiate the lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations
It is essential to be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Ohio. In most cases, the claim must be filed within two years from the date of death. Failing to meet this deadline may result in the loss of your right to seek compensation.
Seeking Justice and Compensation
If you believe you have a valid wrongful death claim in Ohio, it is crucial to consult an experienced wrongful death attorney. They can guide you through the legal process, gather evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf.
In a successful wrongful death claim, the court may award various forms of compensation, including medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost wages and benefits, loss of companionship and consortium, and pain and suffering.
At Burnside Brankamp Law, we specialize in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Our compassionate team of attorneys is dedicated to helping families in Portsmouth, OH, navigate the legal process and fight for their rights. Contact us today for a consultation.