Death changes lives in an instant. When the death was intentional or caused by negligence, the family members and other heirs of the person who has died may be entitled to compensation when they file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit in Ohio. Our Dayton wrongful death lawyer can help you.
Slater & Zurz is a personal injury law firm with over 31 years of experience helping individuals in Dayton and the surrounding areas seek the recompense they deserve from bad actors.
If you have lost a loved one because someone else was careless, call our office to see about getting justice for your loss. While no one can bring your loved one back, we can help get you financial relief from your situation so you can keep moving forward through life. Call (937)752-5605 to speak to a lawyer in Dayton today.
Leading Causes of Wrongful Death
Negligence is a type of carelessness that may lead to death, especially in situations that are potentially more dangerous than others. Listed and detailed below are some of the more common situations where negligence is sometimes fatal.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Most people, at some point in their lives, will lose someone they know in a car accident. In Ohio, according to the Highway Patrol, approximately 1,100 individuals pass away each year in accidents, many times because of negligence.
Types of negligent acts in vehicles that lead to fatalities include:
- Driving drunk or under the influence of medication or illegal drugs
- Distracted driving, including texting and rubbernecking while driving
- Driving aggressively or recklessly
- Failing to obey stop signs or stoplights
- Failing to yield
- Driving while tired
- Failing to maintain the vehicle in a safe condition
Sadly, accidents caused by driver negligence are among the most preventable types of accidents, yet they continue to be commonplace.
Accidents at Work
Dangerous jobs usually see higher levels of workplace fatalities than less dangerous ones. However, even the safest job site or location can become deadly when a negligent act occurs.
Some of the most dangerous jobs include:
- Fishing and hunting
- Construction trade
- Aircraft piloting and flight engineering
- Garbage and recycling
- Iron and steelwork
- Commercial truck driving
When we look at how deaths occur in the workplace, we see that many of them are transportation-related. A number of them are also the product of falls, slips, and trips and being struck by falling or flying objects.
Some of the countless products in the marketplace are so unsafe that they can lead to death.
Sometimes, the danger exists because the product’s design was defective or it was manufactured or assembled erroneously. Other times, a dangerous product might lack an adequate warning label. Sometimes, the product, such as food or medication, is ingestible.
Medical malpractice occurs when a patient becomes injured because a healthcare professional or institution failed to achieve or maintain the requisite standard of care when treating that patient.
Doctors are often the targets of medical malpractice lawsuits in movies and on TV. However, in the real world, any number of the many healthcare professionals involved in the treatment of patients may be held liable, including:
Death is common and natural in the medical setting, and not all fatalities rise to the level of medical malpractice. With that being said, wrongful death caused by medical malpractice is not uncommon.
Big rig trucks and passenger buses are mighty machines that are unforgiving in accidents. According to Ohio State Patrol statistics, over 150 people, on average, are killed each year in an accident involving a commercial vehicle.
But not all of the fatalities involving commercial carriers happen on the roadways. Some occur at businesses during the delivery of goods.
Accidents Involving Bicyclists and Pedestrians
Bicyclists and pedestrians are vulnerable to catastrophic injuries and death if involved in an accident. Because they don’t have the shell of a car to protect them, a small accident could be lethal for a bicyclist or pedestrian.
Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable, as they typically have no form of protection. According to the numbers from the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Existing Conditions Summary Report, on average, over 800 bicyclists and pedestrians are severely injured or killed each year on Ohio roads.
Intentional acts that kill may also qualify a case for wrongful death. Oftentimes, wrongful death claims based on intentional acts have a criminal component as well. If the defendant is acquitted, the wrongful death case may still proceed.
Wrongful Death Damages
Surviving family members’ losses or damages can significantly harm their financial and emotional health. The Ohio law recognizes the reality of these damages and allows certain survivors to pursue compensation claims.
Sometimes, the subjects of wrongful death suits do not pass away until days, months, or even years after they were injured. In these cases, the person will typically accrue significant medical expenses up until the date of their death. Whoever paid these expenses may be entitled to recover their costs.
A person’s surviving spouse and or children may be entitled to seek compensation for the income the decedent could not earn due to their injury and death. The state’s statutes specifically provide that wages, salaries, and other types of income may be included in the calculation for damages, including future income the decedent would have made throughout their life.
Loss of Care
In some cases, survivors can sue for compensation to cover the care and services a decedent once provided, such as working around the house, caring for children, and even caring for a disabled spouse.
Loss of Inheritance
Heirs of the deceased may have their wrongful death attorney add a claim for loss of prospective inheritance in appropriate cases.
Death brings with it mental pain and suffering for survivors who were close to or relied on the deceased individual. This psychological torment is real, almost tangible in some cases, and compensable in a wrongful death case.
Funeral and Burial Expenses
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the median funeral cost in most places in the U.S. is just under $8,000 for burial and just under $7,000 for cremation.
If you experience the death of a loved one, you may pay more or less, depending on your situation. The fact remains that the costs are high, and many survivors are forced to pay out of pocket. With wrongful death lawsuits, these costs can be recovered.
Trust Our Dayton Wrongful Death Lawyers
Losing a loved one is a difficult time. Yet survivors are required to handle volumes of paperwork and make difficult decisions right after a death occurs. Our Dayton wrongful death lawyers take some of the weight off your shoulders by handling your claim for you while you deal with other important aspects related to your loss.
Reach out anytime to learn what your options are for getting justice. We have an experienced and caring lawyer for wrongful death suits ready to discuss your case with you—call (937)752-5605 for a free consultation.
How Wrongful Death Compensation Is Disbursed
Because death is involved, the court of probate must play a role in all wrongful death lawsuits. Any potential settlements or verdicts obtained by an attorney for wrongful death must bear the seal of approval of the probate court before being finalized.
Afterward, the recovered compensation is given to the estate administrator or representative (chosen by will or by the court), who will then disburse the proceeds to eligible beneficiaries under the court’s guidance.
We Can Get You Justice For Your Loss
The pain of losing a loved one is immeasurable. What makes it sting worse is when the death is senseless and preventable. Although no amount of compensation can rewrite history, a wrongful death lawyer can help survivors get a just payout that will go far in helping them continue in life.
If you have lost a loved one and are dealing with questions and overwhelming damages, contact the law office of Slater & Zurz. We have answers to your questions, and we may be able to help you recover significant compensation for the loss of your loved one. Call (937)752-5605 today to speak with a wrongful death lawyer in Dayton.
You can expect your Dayton wrongful death lawyer to operate on a contingency basis. This means you pay nothing unless you get a settlement or a verdict, which will be used to calculate the lawyer’s fees.
Contingency basis also means the client pays no money upfront to their attorney for wrongful death and can thus conserve their present resources.