Losing a loved one is an experience that can shatter your world, leaving you grappling with a whirlwind of emotions. When this loss is due to someone else’s negligence, the pain is often compounded by a sense of injustice. In Ohio, the law provides a pathway for you to seek justice and compensation for your loss through what is known as a wrongful death claim. This article aims to shed light on the intricacies of Ohio’s wrongful death laws, helping you navigate this complex legal landscape.
Understanding Wrongful Death
Before delving into the specifics of Ohio’s wrongful death laws, it’s crucial to understand what constitutes a wrongful death. In essence, a wrongful death occurs when a person’s death is caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another. This could range from a car accident caused by a drunk driver, to a fatal injury resulting from a faulty product, or even a death due to medical malpractice.
Ohio’s Wrongful Death Laws: An Overview
Ohio’s wrongful death laws are encapsulated in Ohio Revised Code Section 2125.01. This law allows the deceased’s estate to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for the death. It’s important to note that this is a civil lawsuit, separate from any criminal charges that may be brought against the negligent party.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Ohio, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is the one who can file a wrongful death claim. This is typically a close family member such as a spouse, parent, or child, but it could also be a legal representative appointed by the court.
What Damages Can Be Recovered?
The damages recoverable in a wrongful death claim can be divided into two categories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include quantifiable losses like funeral expenses, medical bills, and lost wages. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, cover intangible losses such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and mental anguish.
The Statute of Limitations: A Ticking Clock
One of the most critical aspects of Ohio’s wrongful death laws is the statute of limitations. In Ohio, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date of death. This means that if you fail to file a claim within this period, you may lose your right to seek compensation forever.
Navigating the Legal Maze: The Importance of Legal Representation
The process of filing a wrongful death claim in Ohio can be complex and emotionally draining. It involves gathering evidence, filing paperwork, and potentially going to trial. Having an experienced wrongful death attorney by your side can make this process less daunting and increase your chances of securing a fair settlement.
Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence is a profound personal tragedy. While no amount of compensation can ever replace your loved one, a successful wrongful death claim can provide financial relief and a sense of justice. Understanding Ohio’s wrongful death laws is the first step in this process.
If you’ve suffered a personal loss and believe you have a wrongful death claim, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Slater & Zurz. Our team of experienced wrongful death attorneys is ready to guide you through this challenging time and fight for the justice you deserve. Contact us today at (888) 534-4850 for a free consultation.