Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Ohio?

wrongful death claim

At Robenalt Law, we know that the death of a loved one is a tragic event. It is made that much worse when the death was caused because someone else was negligent, careless, or reckless. If someone you love was killed because of someone else’s bad acts, the stress of dealing with the loss of a loved one and the possibility of filing a wrongful death claim can be overwhelming. The logistics can seem unbearable as you and your family must contend with appointing a personal representative, opening an estate in probate court, paying for medical care and expenses and the cost of a funeral, and finding an attorney who can help.

At Robenalt Law, we can help your family through this troubling time and help you seek justice for the family member you lost.

Ohio Wrongful Death Law

In Ohio, a claim for wrongful death can arise when someone is killed because of someone else’s wrongful act or negligence.

Claims for wrongful death are common when people are killed in car accidents or trucking accidents, because of medical malpractice or nursing home abuse, or when people die while in the custody of a jail, prison, or detention center.

Under Ohio Revised Code §2125.02(B), a claim for wrongful death must be brought in the name of the personal representative of the decedent (the person who died) for the benefit of the surviving spouse, the children, and the parents of the decedent.

The decedent’s estate may recover financial compensation for:

  • Loss of support from the reasonably expected earning capacity of the decedent
  • Loss of services of the decedent
  • Loss of society of the decedent, including loss of companionship, consortium, care, assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training, and education suffered by the surviving spouse, dependent children, parents, or next of kin of the decedent
  • Loss of prospective inheritance to the decedent's heirs at law at the time of the decedent's death
  • The mental anguish incurred by the surviving spouse, dependent children, parents, or next of kin of the decedent

Who Can File a Claim for Wrongful Death

The compensation sought in a claim for wrongful death depends on the losses suffered by the family of the decedent. This includes the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, parents, and other family members. However, the person who is named as the personal representative is the one who will file the lawsuit for wrongful death.

Once the amount of damages is determined, whether through a settlement or at trial, the financial compensation will be distributed to the decedent’s heirs according to the terms of the decedent’s will or according to Ohio’s laws of intestacy.

How to Bring a Claim for Wrongful Death

Before bringing a claim for wrongful death, the probate court must appoint a personal representative for the decedent’s estate. This means that an estate must be opened in the probate court of the county where the person died. At Robenalt Law, our lawyers will handle these probate proceedings free of charge.

The personal representative of the estate is often the spouse or an adult child of the person who died, or the parent of a deceased minor child.

Once the estate has been opened and the personal representative appointed, the Ohio wrongful death attorneys at Robenalt Law will file a lawsuit for wrongful death seeking financial compensation.

A claim for wrongful death is often brought as part of a lawsuit that alleges other causes of action, such as medical malpractice, nursing home abuse or neglect, or negligence that resulted in a trucking or car accident.

Time Limits for Bringing a Claim for Wrongful Death in Ohio

In Ohio, wrongful death claims are subject to a 2-year statute of limitations. This means the lawsuit alleging wrongful death must be filed not more than 2 years after the person died. However, wrongful death lawsuits are often accompanied by other claims of negligence and these claims may be subject to a shorter statute of limitations.

Regardless of the specific nature of your claim, if you do not file a lawsuit within the appropriate time limits, you may lose your right to recovery. Therefore, if you suspect someone you love died because of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, carelessness, or other bad acts, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you preserve your right to pursue financial compensation.

Robenalt Law Fights for Families Who Have Suffered a Wrongful Death

If someone you loved died and you believe it was the result of negligence, carelessness, recklessness, or other bad acts, you should contact the experienced Ohio wrongful death attorneys at Robenalt Law as quickly as possible.

Our lawyers have extensive experience handling wrongful death claims and lawsuits for the negligence that often accompanies them. We will help your family navigate the complex legal processes of opening an estate on behalf of your loved one and seeking compensation on their behalf.

Learn more about how we help victims of personal injuries and wrongful death and why clients choose us, then contact us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case and how we can help.

Tom Robenalt started his litigation career defending claims for personal injuries and wrongful death at a large firm in Cleveland. For the past 25 years, he has used that experience to help victims and the families of those injured by negligent health care providers.

Categories: Wrongful Death

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