A recent jury award of over $6 million dollars ended a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a local resident after his wife died in childbirth in 2009. Medical malpractice accounts for many wrongful deaths, but in most cases, the family does not file a wrongful death lawsuit.
There is probably no worse experience you can endure in life than to lose a beloved family member through the negligence or wrongdoing of another. My name is Darryl Isaacs, and I cannot say I know how you feel after losing your beloved family member. But I can imagine how bad it hurts, especially when things did not have to be this way. You want those responsible for your family member’s death to be held accountable for their reckless and possibly callous disregard for the safety of your loved one.
In addition to emotional pain and suffering, your family may be hurting financially from this disaster. You have funeral and medical expenses, the loss of income contribution and the loss of the day-to-day help your family member provided.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can Help Your Family to Recover
Though no amount of money can bring your loved one back, filing a lawsuit can help you to expose dangerous behavior on the part of wrongdoers, and in doing so, you may help prevent another family from going through the same nightmare. Seeking justice can help provide your family with a sense of closure.
Tort law provides a way to repair financial losses caused by a wrongdoer. The legal theory is to make the victim(s) whole again, at least financially. Wrongful death damages your family can recover include:
- Loss of companionship of a spouse
- Loss of the love and guidance of a parent
- Loss of family member’s income
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of the services of the family member (child care; yard work; chores)
- Emotional anguish
- Cost of therapy for traumatized survivors
The above are by no means all inclusive. Ohio wrongful death law truly attempts to make survivors whole again after the loss of a beloved family member.
In addition to the practical losses survivors must live with, Ohio allows punitive damages to punish egregious negligence or intentional malice. Juries have been known to award tens of millions of dollars in punitive damages in order to punish a tortfeasor (guilty party) like a wealthy corporation and to discourage similar behavior.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Ohio, a representative of the estate may bring a wrongful death suit on behalf of the estate. The representative must be a human being, not a corporation.
Family members who can recover damages include:
- Children or adoptive children
Other family members can recover wrongful death damages, but have the burden of proving that their loved one’s death caused them financial loss. For example, if your sister, now deceased, cared for you in your disability, providing your shelter and daily physical care.
Filing a Lawsuit May Be the Only Way to Expose the Truth
It is not uncommon for companies and individuals who are responsible for tortious acts that cause a death to engage in a cover-up to avoid financial liability. This is especially frustrating for grieving family members, who may feel like they are in quicksand when trying to find out what exactly happened to cause their loved one’s death. A wrongful death suit can put you on the solid ground of exposing the truth and holding wrongdoers accountable for their actions.
After you file a civil lawsuit, you (and your attorney) can demand access to records and evidence that the guilty parties have no obligation to allow you to see outside of a lawsuit. Your attorney acting on your behalf can:
- Demand access to all tangible evidence that could show what happened
- Demand production of records and documents, including electronic files, social media passwords, company records, cell phone transcripts of calls and texts and any other records which might show wrongdoing
- Subpoena witnesses such as company employees to testify under oath at a deposition and at trial
- Propound interrogatories (questions) to be answered under oath and in writing
When your attorney has performed a thorough investigation into the exact cause of your loved one’s death and has built a strong case to prove liability, the liable parties will in all probability negotiate a settlement, to avoid the expense and possible bad publicity of a jury trial. You have a right to demand an admission of wrongdoing as part of the wrongful death settlement agreement. In some cases, criminal behavior has been uncovered through a civil lawsuit, and charges have then been filed.
Isaacs & Isaacs Will Bear the Cost of Investigation and Litigation for You
Investigating a wrongful death and the process of a civil lawsuit can be very expensive. We will bear the cost for you, and you won’t owe us anything until and unless we win your case or obtain a fair and just settlement.
Isaacs & Isaacs wrongful death lawyers are aggressive and thorough in investigating and litigating these matters. We believe that when people and companies get away with behavior and actions that are so outrageous and irresponsible they can kill, nobody is safe, including our own family members. We want to see wrongdoing exposed and for wrongdoers to be held accountable for their actions so that they will not continue to endanger people.
Ohio Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
The Ohio statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for wrongful death is two years from the date of death. However, you may not want to wait that long to contact an attorney. The sooner your attorney can begin investigating the cause of your family member’s death, the stronger the case is likely to be. You need to act without delay before:
- Evidence disappears or is altered
- Witnesses forget what they saw, or move away
- The liable parties have the time to cover up their actions
We realize that the last thing you want to worry about right now is contacting a wrongful death attorney. However, it may give you a sense of satisfaction to know that you are doing everything you can to expose wrongdoing and hold others accountable for their actions which caused your loved one’s death.
If you are not sure whether you have legal standing to file a lawsuit, you can call us for a no-obligation consult and case evaluation with one of our dedicated and aggressive wrongful death lawyers. Call 800-800-8888 or fill out our online form without delay. Let us take the burden off your shoulders, so you can begin to heal.