Losing a loved one is devastating, regardless of the circumstances. However, when a loved one loses their life due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness, it is painful beyond words.
First and foremost, if you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death, our legal team at Slater & Zurz expresses our deepest sympathies to you and your family. Our Akron wrongful death attorneys will honor the life of your loved one by diligently pursuing justice and seeking maximum compensation for your and your family’s losses.
While no money can make up for the loss of a family member, a proper settlement may provide a sense of closure, as well as reassurance, knowing those responsible were held accountable for their actions. We want you to know that we understand the pain and grief you are experiencing and will be here for you every step of the way. Our attorneys will be your and your family’s unwavering advocates and will compassionately guide you through this challenging time.
Ohio Wrongful Death Claims
Under Ohio Revised Code 2125.01, you may pursue compensation if you lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct. Ohio wrongful death claims can only be filed by the executor or personal representative of your family member’s estate. Personal representatives are either designated in the decedent’s will or appointed by a probate court. If damages are awarded, they will be divided among family members who suffered losses due to their loved one’s death. These family members generally include a surviving spouse, children, parents, or other dependents of the decedent.
In Ohio, there is a two-year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim. If a claim is not filed within this time frame, you will likely lose your right to pursue compensation. However, there are some exceptions to our state’s wrongful death statute of limitations. If it has been over two years since your loved one passed, we recommend speaking with our experienced wrongful death attorneys to see if you may still be eligible to file a claim.
Causes of Wrongful Death
A wrongful death occurs when an individual sustains fatal injuries due to another person or entity’s negligent or willful actions. Several circumstances can lead to wrongful death, including:
Car accidents – Car accidents are the leading cause of wrongful death. This includes truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents. When a motorist acts in a negligent or careless manner and causes an accident that results in a fatality, they may be held liable in a wrongful death claim. Drunk driving, aggressive driving, and texting while driving are common contributors to car accident fatalities.
Medical malpractice – Medical malpractice is another leading cause of wrongful death. When a medical professional or hospital fails to provide a patient with an accepted standard of care, it is considered medical malpractice. This negligence can result in birth injuries, traumatic brain injuries, surgical errors, medication errors, and misdiagnoses, which can all lead to a patient’s death.
Nursing home abuse – When an elderly resident of a nursing home dies due to negligence on the part of the facility or its staff members, it may be considered wrongful death. Nursing home abuse and neglect can cause slip and fall accidents, bedsores, malnutrition and dehydration, and physical abuse, all of which can lead to the wrongful death of a nursing home resident.
Premises Liability – All property owners have a legal duty to keep their property safe. If an owner or manager fails to maintain the premises or warn visitors of a hazardous condition and someone sustains fatal injuries as a result, the owner or manager may be held liable for his or her negligence. Premises liability issues commonly involved in wrongful death claims include swimming pool accidents, slip and falls accidents, inadequate security, and stairs, deck, and balcony accidents.
Product Liability – A business that designed, manufactured, or sold a defective product that resulted in someone’s death can be held liable in a wrongful death lawsuit. Products frequently involved in wrongful death cases include medical devices, children’s products, cars and car parts, machinery, and consumer products, such as power tools and appliances.
Compensation in a Wrongful Death Claim
Several types of damages are available in an Ohio wrongful death claim. While compensation varies based on the circumstances of each case, claimable damages may include:
- Medical expenses resulting from the fatal injury
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of the decedent’s income
- Loss of the deceased’s benefits
- Loss of the deceased individual’s services, such as housework, yard work, and childcare
- Loss of future inheritance
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering of the family members
Unlike many other states, there are no damages caps for a wrongful death claim in Ohio. This means that our state’s laws do not place a limit on the amount of compensation you can recover.
There are no fees unless we win your case. Speak to an Akron wrongful death attorney by calling 888.534.4850.
Wrongful Death Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to hire an Akron wrongful death lawyer?
At Slater & Zurz, our legal team understands the considerable financial toll caused by the loss of a loved one. That is why we handle wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you will not have to pay any up-front fees. When we successfully recover on your behalf, we are paid a percentage of the total recovery. If we do not obtain compensation on your behalf, you owe us nothing.
How long does a wrongful death lawsuit take?
The length of a wrongful death lawsuit varies considerably. While some are resolved quickly, even in a matter of months, others can take years to reach a resolution. Factors that determine how long a wrongful death case takes include liability disputes, whether the case can be settled out of court or require a trial, and the length of time it takes to schedule court dates.
How do you prove wrongful death?
To bring a valid wrongful death claim, your attorney must be able to prove the four following elements:
- Duty of care – For a defendant to be liable, he or she must have owed the deceased individual a duty of care. While the duty of care will vary depending on the specific case, it is essentially a duty to act or not act in such a way as to prevent harm to another person.
- Breach of duty – It must be shown the defendant failed to provide the proper level of care owed to the decedent.
- Causation – The defendant’s action or lack of action was a direct cause of the decedent’s death.
- Damages – The death of the victim resulted in damages suffered by the estate or surviving family members.
Akron Wrongful Death Attorneys
If you lost a loved one in an accident, please do not hesitate to reach out to our qualified wrongful death lawyers in Akron. The skilled legal team at Slater & Zurz has more than a century of collective experience helping families who lost loved ones as a result of negligence. We know precisely what it takes to build a valid wrongful death claim and do everything within our power to recover maximum compensation on your behalf. Our legal team will assist you throughout the wrongful death claims process by:
- Answering your questions and addressing any concerns
- Keeping you apprised of any developments in your case
- Handling all communication with the insurance company and attorneys
- Compiling strong evidence supporting your wrongful death claim
- Skillfully negotiating while keeping your best interests in mind
- Effectively representing you in court if a favorable agreement can’t be reached
- Being there for you and your family – even after your case is resolved
Our attorneys offer a free initial consultation to ensure you receive an informed determination as to whether you and your family have a valid wrongful death claim. During your initial consultation, our dedicated attorneys will answer your questions, explain your rights and legal options, and discuss all potential outcomes, so you and your family can decide whether to proceed with an Ohio wrongful death lawsuit. To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation, contact Slater & Zurz at 888.534.4850 or fill out our simple online form.