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wrongful death in Ohio

When you have experienced one of the most terrible losses of all—the loss of the life of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation. While no amount of money can replace a person in your life, under Ohio law, you may be able to recover a wide range of damages available in a wrongful death claim. The ability to sue for wrongful death in Ohio is a statutorily created right which can be exercised by the administrator or executor of the deceased’s estate. A wrongful death claim is brought by the administrator/executor for the exclusive benefit of the deceased’s surviving spouse, children, parents and other next of kin.

The amount a jury can award in an Ohio wrongful death case is not capped.

While you are grieving a loss, the emotional toll can be tough to bear. Incurring tremendous expenses related to the loss on top of your grief can increase your stress and interfere with the grieving process. We can help relieve that burden. We will fight for what you deserve.

Acting quickly after wrongful death ensures that every detail is properly accounted for and included in your case. If you have been consumed by grief and are just beginning to gather information for a possible wrongful death case, let us help you find the path forward.

If you are in the Cleveland, Akron, Canton or Columbus, Ohio area and need a wrongful death attorney to help you figure out how to move forward, contact Slater & Zurz. Our lawyers bring more than 40 years of experience in handling wrongful death cases for clients across the state of Ohio. We will evaluate the facts in your case, listen to your story, and discuss your case options with you, free of charge.

Ohio Wrongful Death Case Recovery

The amount awarded in a wrongful death case is called a recovery. This dollar figure is used to compensate for the various tangible and intangible costs incurred as a result of the wrongful death due to someone else’s negligence. Arriving at that figure is a complex journey. We do not recommend dealing without representation with the negligent party’s insurance company or lawyer, as their best interest is in settling the case quickly and for as little money as possible. Understanding all of the various types of financial losses you may be entitled to recover via a wrongful death lawsuit is important. When you work with a trusted advisor who has dedicated experience in wrongful death cases, you can get the recovery you deserve.

Types of Damages

Ohio’s wrongful death statutes specify that the compensatory damages which can be awarded in a wrongful death case include:

  1. Reasonable funeral and burial expenses incurred as a result of the wrongful death;
  2. Loss of support from the reasonably expected earning capacity of the decedent;
  3. Loss of services of the decedent;
  4. Loss of the society of the decedent, including loss of companionship, consortium, care, assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training, education, suffered by the surviving spouse, dependent children, parents, or next of kin of the decedent;
  5. Loss of prospective inheritance to the decedent’s heirs at law at the time of the decedent’s death;
  6. The mental anguish incurred by the surviving spouse, dependent children, parents, or next of kin of the decedent.

Ohio law does not recognize the right to an award of punitive damages in a claim for wrongful death. However, the estate of the deceased may obtain an award of punitive damages for a survivorship claim, brought in conjunction with a claim for wrongful death, where the deceased suffered property loss and/or personal injury with accompanying pain and suffering prior to death.

The purpose of punitive damages is two-fold – to punish the tortfeasor and to deter similar conduct. Punitive damages are available for personal injury or property loss caused by malice or by intentional, reckless, wanton, willful and gross acts. The plaintiff bears the burden of proving punitive damages by clear and convincing evidence. If you are unsure how much or which types of damages you may be entitled to recover, an Ohio
wrongful death lawyer from Slater & Zurz will discuss details of your case with you, so that you understand which damages you will be entitled to recover.

Wrongful Death Law Firm

We know it can be difficult to function in the wake of grief after the loss of a family member or other loved one. The financial costs you incurred on top of the loss you experienced can be devastating, and leave you confused and angry. Achieving justice can take time, patience, and diligence. We have handled many Ohio wrongful death cases and will work diligently throughout your case to be sure nothing is missed, no matter how long it takes.

If you are experiencing the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, contact Slater & Zurz to discuss your case. Our experienced wrongful death lawyers have a consistent track record of obtaining favorable results for clients.

Slater & Zurz handles wrongful death cases on a contingency basis—that means we don’t get paid unless and until you do; no matter how long it takes.

At our firm, we care about our clients will fight for what you deserve. The story of what happened to your loved one matters to us on both a personal and professional level. While we can’t bring someone back that you have lost, we will work tirelessly to achieve a satisfactory conclusion that will compensate you for the wrong that was done.

Reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1-888-534-4850 or begin an online chat on our webpage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

A. Under Ohio law, a lawsuit for wrongful death can be brought by the duly appointed fiduciary of the Estate of the deceased for the exclusive benefit of the deceased’s surviving spouse, children, parents and other next of kin.

Q2. How are wrongful death benefits paid out?

A. The proposed settlement of a wrongful death claim must be approved by the Probate Court having jurisdiction over the deceased’s estate. Whether by settlement or by verdict, the funds received by an estate fiduciary as a result of a wrongful death claim are distributed to eligible estate beneficiaries in an equitable manner as determined by the probate court, giving due regard to the injury and loss to each beneficiary resulting from the death and to the age and condition of the beneficiaries. If all of the eligible beneficiaries are on an equal degree of consanguinity to the deceased, the beneficiaries may adjust the shares amongst themselves.

Have additional questions visit out Wrongful Death FAQ Page