It is not uncommon in medical malpractice, exposure to hazardous materials and other accident cases for those involved to engage in a cover up in order to avoid liability when a death occurs. Unless you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you may never find out what happened to cause your family member’s death. If those responsible are not held accountable, other tragedies are likely to happen.
In nearby Cuyahoga County, Medical Examiner Thomas Gilson released a statement earlier this year that heroin overdoses are down. But the number of fentanyl-related overdoses is increasing. One reason we have a national epidemic of addiction to narcotics is that doctors now prescribe oxycontin for many injuries and medical conditions where a non-narcotic, non-addictive pain reliever could have sufficed. According to ME Gilson, fentanyl is being sold in a look-alike form that resembles oxycontin.
Wrongful Death Damages
In addition to the grief, anger and frustration you are probably feeling, there’s the financial crisis that the untimely death of a family member can create. In Ohio, the law recognizes extensive financial damages a family suffers from the wrongful death of a member.
The legal theory behind tort law is that when somebody harms another through negligent or hurtful behavior, the person or entity who caused the harm is responsible for making the injured party whole again, at least financially. Though no amount of money can bring your loved one back, you can recover financial losses and obtain a measure of justice and hopefully begin to heal and rebuild your life.
Wrongful Death Damages you can be compensated for under Ohio law include:
- Medical bills and funeral costs
- Loss of companionship of a spouse
- Loss of the love and guidance of a parent
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of family member’s income and financial support
- Loss of services such as childcare and household chores
- Loss of potential inheritance
- Cost of therapy for traumatized survivors
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Ohio, a representative of the deceased’s estate must file the lawsuit. The representative can only be a human being, not a corporation. Family members eligible for compensation include:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving children, including adoptive
- Parents ( a parent who is found to have abandoned a child is not eligible for compensation)
Other family members can also recover compensation but have the burden of proving that the death of their family member caused them actual financial hardship. There are many situations where family members care for each other, and if the caregiver were to die, it would cause financial hardship. An experienced wrongful death attorney could help you with this aspect of the lawsuit.
Ohio allows punitive damages to punish intentional wrongdoing. If the tortfeasor (defendant in the lawsuit) is a big corporation, juries have been known to award punitive damages of tens of millions of dollars.
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is the legal time limit for filing a lawsuit or other legal action. Ohio allows two years from the date of death to file a lawsuit, but you may not want to wait that long. The sooner you seek legal help, the sooner your attorney can investigate the cause of your loved one’s death before:
- Evidence disappears or is altered
- Witnesses forget what they saw or move away
- The responsible parties have time to cover up their negligent act
Filing a wrongful death suit may bring you a sense of empowerment and the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing all that you can to exact justice from those whose callous disregard for the lives and safety of others caused your family member’s death. The theory behind the Ohio wrongful death statute is that you are standing in the place of your family member in seeking justice because your deceased loved one would have had legal standing to sue had she or he survived the negligent or hurtful actions of the tortfeasor(s).
Isaacs & Isaacs Wrongful Death Law Firm Will Help You Now
Our experienced and aggressive personal injury attorneys are on call 24/7 to help in your legal emergency. You don’t have to have any money to enlist our help. We will represent you on a contingency fee basis: We don’t get paid until and unless we win your case or negotiate a just and fair settlement.
If you are not sure whether you have legal standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit, give us a call at 800-800-888, or fill out our online form to speak with one of our experienced, aggressive and compassionate Isaacs & Isaacs wrongful death lawyers.