The sudden loss of a loved one due to the carelessness of another is the worst tragedy imaginable. The trauma and grief can be overwhelming. A lawsuit cannot bring your loved one back or repair the damage done. But it can ensure that the responsible party pays and that neither you nor your loved ones have to pay for expenses caused by this unspeakable tragedy.
You may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim in Ohio if a loved one was lost in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions. Even if there is a criminal prosecution related to your loved one’s death, you still have the right to file a civil action separate from those criminal charges.
Some circumstances that give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit are:
- Medical malpractice
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Manufacturing defects
- Criminal activity
- Toxic torts
Damages available in wrongful death cases include compensation for funeral and other final expenses, medical expenses, the loss of the victim’s income, the loss of the victim’s health insurance or other benefits like pension, and the loss of inheritance someone would have otherwise received from that person. A loved one may also be entitled to compensation for mental anguish, the loss of the loved one’s contributions and services in the home, and the loss of the loved one’s companionship and society.
In certain egregious circumstances, punitive damages may be available as well. These damages are rare and are designed to punish the person that caused the harm and to prevent them from behaving that way in the future.