When someone passes away in a car accident, grieving family members and friends are left wondering whether the death was preventable. Tragically, many motor vehicle accident deaths are indeed preventable. The General Services Administration found that approximately 98 percent of motor vehicle accidents are caused by driver error. Some of the most common driver errors leading to these fatalities include:
- Excessive speeding.
- Distracted driving.
- Following too closely.
- Failing to keep a proper lookout when crossing lanes.
Surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim against a negligent driver liable for the accident that resulted in the death of their loved one.
How do I file a wrongful death claim in Ohio?
Spouses, children, and parents of the deceased are presumed to have suffered direct loss as a result of the death and are therefore legally permitted to file a wrongful death suit. However, other family members may also be able to file a claim if they can prove that they suffered a direct loss.
Family members have two years from the date of their loved one’s death to file their wrongful death claim in Ohio. Following a fatal accident caused by driver error, family members will likely need to establish negligence. Negligence in a wrongful death claim is proven by establishing:
- Duty: Motorist owed other party a duty to operate vehicle safely.
- Breach of duty: Motorist made driver error or otherwise failed to operate vehicle in a safe manner.
- Causation: Motorist’s breach of duty caused the accident.
- Damages: Death of other party.
A personal injury attorney can help prove your negligence claim and recover the damages you deserve after losing your loved one.