There is nothing more devastating than the loss of a loved one. Although, such a loss can feel even more tragic when it is caused by another person’s negligent or reckless actions. If you lost someone you love due to another person’s actions, you may have a right to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
At Slater & Zurz, we understand that no amount of money will make up for the loss of a family member. But compensation may help you and your family move past this tragedy by achieving justice on behalf of your loved one. It can also provide the financial security that was lost by your loved one’s passing. Our Cleveland wrongful death attorneys are steadfast in our commitment to those who have lost a family member due to negligence. We fight tirelessly to ensure the at-fault party is held responsible for their actions and get closure for our clients and their families.
Our attorneys handle wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you and your family will not have to pay any up-front fees for capable legal representation. Instead, we receive a portion of the total award when we successfully recover damages on your behalf. If we don’t recover, you owe us nothing.
Wrongful Death Cases We Handle
Wrongful death can occur under a wide range of circumstances. Our seasoned attorneys have handled wrongful death claims arising from incidents, such as:
- Medical malpractice – When a healthcare professional or hospital fails to provide the appropriate standard of care out of negligence or carelessness, it is considered medical malpractice. Acts of negligence include failing to diagnose or treat, prescribing or administering the wrong medication, performing surgical errors, and improperly monitoring or assessing a patient.
- Car accidents – Auto accidents are the leading cause of wrongful death. Truck, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents can also lead to wrongful fatalities. Drivers who act in a negligent or careless manner are responsible for the majority of car accident fatalities. These negligent and reckless acts include drunk driving, road rage, distracted driving, and speeding.
- Nursing home abuse and neglect – A wrongful death in a nursing home or other long-term care facility occurs when a resident suffers abuse or neglect at the hands of their caregivers. Fatal nursing home abuse can result from slip and falls, traumatic brain injuries, untreated bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, and medication errors.
- Childcare abuse and neglect – When a caregiver becomes abusive or neglectful, it can result in the wrongful death of a child. This can include physical abuse, malnutrition, dehydration, and leaving the child in unsafe conditions.
- Accidents involving premises liability – When a person sustains fatal injuries resulting from a property owner or manager’s negligence, it may constitute wrongful death. Premises liability incidents include slip and fall accidents, fires, injuries stemming from inadequate security, and drowning accidents.
- Work-related injuries and illness – When an employee is injured or develops a fatal illness due to negligence, the death will likely be considered wrongful. Work-related injuries and illnesses are often caused by unsafe working conditions, hazardous substances, and defective products or machinery.
- Dangerous or defective products – Companies have a legal responsibility to design, manufacture, distribute, and sell safe products. When they fail to do so, it can result in fatal injuries. Product liability generally involves manufacturing, design, and marketing defects.
- Intentional conduct – A person can lose their life as the result of another’s intentional conduct. This includes battery, acts of road rage, and shootings. Although there will likely be a criminal case in these situations, a civil lawsuit can also be pursued by the victim’s family.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Under Ohio Revised Code 2125.02, the personal representative of the deceased party’s estate can seek damages in a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the surviving family members. Depending on the case’s circumstances, our Cleveland wrongful death lawyers can seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses incurred before the victim’s death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost earnings
- Lost benefits
- Lost inheritance
- Cost of services provided by the deceased, such as childcare and maintaining the home
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
For skilled and dedicated legal representation in your wrongful death claim, call (440) 972-0445 or fill out our online form.
How Our Cleveland Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help
Navigating the wrongful death claims process can be challenging for you and your loved ones. However, we want to assure you that you don’t have to go through it alone. Our attorneys are here to provide skilled legal representation and much-needed guidance and support throughout the entire process. We will provide invaluable assistance by:
- Addressing all of your questions and concerns – Many questions and concerns arise during any wrongful death case. We make ourselves readily available to quickly address any concerns, giving you and your family peace of mind.
- Handling all communication with the at-fault party’s insurance company or attorneys – You and your family members will not need to speak with the parties involved in your wrongful death claim. We handle all forms of communication, allowing you and your family to focus on healing from the tragic loss of your loved one.
- Thoroughly investigating your loved one’s passing – We will carefully review all evidence, including your loved one’s medical records, the police report, any eyewitness testimony, and the photos and video of the scene where the incident took place.
- Identifying all at-fault parties – Using our findings, we will identify all parties responsible for your loved one’s passing.
- Working closely with our team of experts – We will utilize the skills and expertise of our team of experts to compile proof of fault and provide an accurate assessment of damages.
- Negotiating skillfully on your behalf – We will work diligently to reach a favorable agreement with the responsible party’s insurance company or attorneys.
- Representing your best interests in court – If an acceptable resolution cannot be reached through out-of-court negotiations, we will aggressively represent your rights and best interests in court.
Wrongful Death Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim in Ohio?
The time limitation for pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of death. However, there are some exceptions. It is best to consult with an experienced wrongful death lawyer to begin the process as soon as possible. If the time limit has been exceeded, your attorney will determine if your case qualifies for an exception and whether legal action can still be pursued.
What do I need to prove in a wrongful death claim?
Wrongful death lawsuits consist of four key elements. To have a valid claim, your attorney will need to prove the following:
- The defendant had a duty to act in a way to prevent harm to the deceased.
- He or she breached the appropriate duty of care.
- The defendant’s conduct caused the victim’s death.
- The surviving family members incurred losses as the result of their loved one’s death.
Who is entitled to compensation in an Ohio wrongful death lawsuit?
Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 2125.02, beneficiaries who were harmed, either emotionally, financially, or both, are entitled to a portion of the award. Beneficiaries include the decedent’s spouse, children, and parents. The deceased victim’s unborn child is also a beneficiary of the estate if the child is born alive. If siblings of the decedent prove they were either harmed or incurred losses as a result of their brother or sister’s death, they may also be entitled to a portion of the total compensation. However, stepchildren who are not adopted are generally not listed in a wrongful death suit.
Speak to a Qualified Wrongful Death Attorney in Cleveland
Wrongful death lawsuits can be challenging. Insurance companies and their attorneys defend wrongful death claims vigorously. Therefore, these cases require a knowledgeable and diligent attorney who will fight aggressively to maximize recovery for you and your family.
Our Cleveland wrongful death attorneys have over a century of combined experience handling cases similar to yours. We know precisely what needs to be proven and how to achieve that proof. Our legal team will take your wrongful death case to heart and do everything within our power to obtain justice on your loved one’s behalf. We will protect your and your family’s rights and only do what is in your best interests. Contact Slater & Zurz today to speak to our skilled attorneys. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation by calling 888.534.4850. We are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.