When a close family member dies due to another person’s negligent, reckless, or criminal behavior, the pain and frustration can be overwhelming. The Canton wrongful death attorneys at Slater & Zurz want to express our deepest condolences for the loss of your loved one and reassure you that you and your family do not have to navigate this challenging time on your own. Our trusted legal team will help you hold the responsible parties accountable for the devastation they have caused and fight to recover the maximum compensation available.
The sudden death of a loved one often leads to emotional and financial turmoil. Receiving compensation can ensure you and your family members can recover your financial security and allow you to cope with the grief and life-altering impact of losing your loved one. Our dedicated and compassionate attorneys will be there every step of the way to provide our support and guidance and utilize our extensive experience and resources to fight for the justice you and your family deserve.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death
Wrongful death occurs as a result of another person’s negligence or wrongdoing. In many cases, the deceased suffered a fatal injury in an accident, such as a car accident or a slip and fall. While not all accidents constitute a wrongful death, those caused by someone’s negligence or recklessness generally warrant a wrongful death suit.
Situations that Can Lead to Wrongful Death
Ohio law allows the personal representative of the deceased’s estate to pursue a wrongful death claim if the fatal injury was caused by negligence or an intentional act. A wrongful death claim can arise from several situations, such as:
- Automobile accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Daycare neglect
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Slip and fall accidents
- Work-related injuries or illnesses
- Dangerous or defective products
- Intentional acts, such as assault or murder
Our Canton wrongful death attorneys will perform a thorough investigation into the details of your loved one’s fatal injuries. If we determine negligence or recklessness played a role in your loved one’s death, we will help you pursue a wrongful death claim to hold those responsible for your loved one’s death liable for their actions.
Claimable Wrongful Death Damages
While no amount of money will bring back your loved one, a wrongful death claim can help you and your family recover compensation for two types of damages.
Economic damages are measurable losses that were incurred as a result of your loved one’s death. These damages include:
- Medical expenses incurred before the death of the individual
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of benefits
- Loss of services performed by the deceased, such as providing childcare and maintaining the home
- Loss of prospective inheritance (inheritance the deceased would have received if not for their death)
Non-economic damages are intangible losses, or losses that are not easily measured by a dollar amount. In a wrongful death claim, these losses include:
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
The type and amount of damages claimed in a wrongful death suit vary, depending on the specifics of the case. However, it is important to note that, unlike the majority of other states, there are no damages caps on wrongful death awards in Ohio. This means that there is no limit to the amount of damages that can be awarded in an Ohio wrongful death case.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When someone fails to take reasonable care to avoid injury to others, that failure can cause serious, sometimes fatal injuries. Failure to use reasonable care is considered negligence. Negligence is an essential component that must be proven in a wrongful death claim.
If your loved one’s death was caused by a party’s negligent or reckless act, your attorney must satisfy all four legal elements of negligence.
These elements are as follows:
- Duty of care – The individual or entity owed a certain duty of care to the deceased
- Breach of duty – The party breached that duty of care in some manner
- Causation – The breach of duty led to the death of the victim
- Damages – The death resulted in losses to the surviving family members
Evidence in a Wrongful Death Case
To obtain a favorable outcome in your wrongful death claim and receive the maximum recovery available, your Canton wrongful death attorney will need to provide substantial evidence. They will need to show what happened, how the defendant is liable, and provide an accurate assessment of your economic and non-economic damages. Evidence in wrongful death cases often includes:
- Medical records
- Death certificate
- Accident or police reports
- Eyewitness testimony
- Expert testimony
- Photo or video of the accident scene
Using our extensive knowledge and resources, our Canton wrongful death lawyers will expertly compile every piece of evidence supporting your case. We work with a team of qualified medical professionals, accident reconstructionists, financial experts, and various other experts to build a strong, persuasive wrongful death claim.
No recovery, no fee. Contact Slater & Zurz today by calling 888.534.4850.
Wrongful Death FAQs
How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio?
In Ohio, you have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death claim. While there are some exceptions to the statute of limitations, it is always best to pursue legal action as soon as possible. Promptly obtaining the services of a Canton wrongful death attorney generally increases the total recovery and overall success of your case.
In Ohio, who can sue for wrongful death?
The personal representative, or executor, of the deceased individual’s estate may bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio. This person is generally the deceased’s surviving spouse, the parent of a deceased child, or a surviving child. A personal representative is designated in the deceased person’s will or is appointed by the probate court.
What is the difference between wrongful death and survival action?
In a wrongful death lawsuit, surviving relatives seek compensation for the emotional and financial impact they experienced after a loved one’s death. The personal representative of the deceased’s estate files the suit on behalf of surviving family members. Any recovery is distributed to certain family members.
A survival action allows the deceased’s family members to pursue the compensation the deceased person would have received if they had lived. In this case, the decedent’s personal representative files a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased to recover damages that he or she sustained before death. The award is disbursed through the deceased person’s estate rather than directly to surviving family members.
Consult with a Wrongful Death Attorney in Canton
Wrongful death claims are generally more complex than other personal injury cases. For a successful outcome, it is crucial to have an Ohio wrongful death lawyer who has vast experience handling these types of cases. The Slater & Zurz legal team solely consists of top-level negotiators and highly skilled trial lawyers who will persistently work on your behalf. With over 100 years of combined experience litigating Ohio wrongful death claims, you can rest assured, knowing you and your family’s rights and best interests are protected. We will fight to bring you and your loved ones justice and negotiate aggressively to obtain maximum recovery for your losses.
We understand the financial hardship the unexpected loss of a loved one may cause, so we handle all of our wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you and your family will not have to pay any out-of-pocket fees. We are only paid when we successfully recover on your behalf.
Get started today by scheduling a free consultation with one of our dedicated and compassionate wrongful death attorneys in Canton. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 888.534.4850 or contacting us online.