One of the worst situations a family can go through is to suffer the unexpected, sudden loss of a beloved member through the carelessness or harmful act of another. In addition to grief and trauma, there’s the pain of knowing that things didn’t have to be this way.
You may be struggling with feelings of helplessness and frustration, especially if you suspect that somebody made a terrible mistake that caused your loved one’s death, but nobody will apologize or admit to wrongdoing. In order to investigate fully the cause of your loved one’s death, you must file a wrongful death lawsuit to obtain access to records that are otherwise off-limits.
In addition to your emotional trauma, you may be facing huge medical bills, funeral expenses, and without the income and other support your family member provided, you are worried about how you will manage to make ends meet. You may have to pay for childcare or hire somebody to do tasks that your loved one did, such as gardening or household chores. You could have more bills coming in than you can pay.
Wrongful Death Law Provides a Path to Justice and Financial Reparation
Filing a lawsuit in civil court will allow you and your attorney access to records and files that could prove exactly what happened and who is responsible. If it was a medical procedure gone awry or a horrific accident on the job, proving negligence and holding wrongdoers accountable for their actions can help prevent another family from going through the same nightmare you are experiencing.
Once you file a wrongful death suit, your experienced and aggressive wrongful death attorney can:
- Subpoena witnesses including company employees to testify at a deposition and at trial
- Demand access to records, including electronic records such as emails, medical files, cell phones and social media passwords
- Inspect the area where the accident or procedure took place and all other tangible evidence such as equipment and machinery
- Request admission of certain facts by those involved, under penalty of perjury
- Propound or present interrogatories (questions) to be answered under oath and in writing
Without filing a lawsuit, you may never learn the truth about how your family member died, and negligent parties will not be held accountable for their actions.
Who Can file a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Ohio?
In Ohio, a representative of the estate who is a human being, not a corporation, can file the lawsuit. Family members who are eligible for compensation include:
- Surviving spouse
- Children, including adoptive children
- Parents of the deceased (A parent of a deceased child may not recover damages if he or she abandoned the child.)
Other family members may be eligible for compensation but have the burden of proving that the death of their family member caused them actual financial damages. There are many situations where a family member is caring for another, and if the caregiver dies, that person will be left without support. For example, grandparents often care for their grandkids, an aunt or an uncle can care for a niece or nephew and siblings sometimes care for brothers and sisters.
Ohio Wrongful Death Damages
The legal theory behind tort law is that when a party injures another through negligence or a hurtful act, the liable party has a duty to make the injured party whole again. Though we realize that nothing can fill the empty space in the family your loved one occupied, Ohio law truly attempts to make a family at least financially whole.
Compensable damages include:
- Medical bills and funeral costs
- Loss of companionship of a spouse
- Loss of the love and guidance of a parent
- Loss of family member’s income and financial support
- Loss of potential inheritance
- Cost of therapy for traumatized survivors
- Loss of services such as household chores and child care
- Emotional anguish
The above list is by no means all-inclusive. In addition to the wrongful death damages you can recover, Ohio allows punitive damages to punish intentional wrongdoing. If the tortfeasor (defendant in the lawsuit) is a large company, juries have been known to award punitive damages of tens of millions of dollars in an attempt to actually punish the company and discourage future misconduct.
In addition to financial compensation, taking legal action can give you a sense of closure and the satisfaction of knowing that those responsible for your loved one’s death were held accountable. Exposing wrongdoing can help prevent other deaths from the same negligent and callous disregard for the rights and safety of others.
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Ohio
A statute of limitations is the time limit you have to file a lawsuit from the time the harm occurred. In Ohio, you have two years from the date of death to file a lawsuit, however, you may want to take legal action sooner, before:
- Evidence disappears or is altered
- Witnesses forget what happened, or move away
- The wrongdoers have time to cover up what happened
The sooner you contact a wrongful death attorney, the more evidence may be available to build a strong case to prove what happened. Though you are probably overwhelmed with grief and struggling to go forward, taking legal action can give you a sense of empowerment and the relief of knowing that you are doing something to fight back and that you aren’t in it alone.
How Can I Afford to Hire an Attorney?
Isaacs & Isaacs personal injury law firm will represent you on a contingency fee basis. If we don’t win your case, we don’t get paid! If you aren’t sure whether you have the legal standing to file a lawsuit, one of our attorneys will be happy to listen to your story and answer your questions.
Call 800-800-888 or fill out our online form for a no-obligation consultation and case evaluation with an aggressive, experienced and compassionate Isaacs & Isaacs wrongful death attorney.