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Michael J. Duber and Brandon T. Duber

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

Jan 23, 2024 |

Losing a loved one is a traumatic event, especially when the loss is unexpected, such as in a car accident or other catastrophe.

Learning that your loss is caused by someone else’s negligence can leave you depressed, sad and angry as you search for ways to hold them accountable while you go through the mourning process.

What a wrongful death claim can do for you

A wrongful death action could provide you with compensation for your loss. Wrongful death lawsuits are civil lawsuits based on negligence. There is no requirement that criminal charges be filed or that a crime be committed to file a wrongful death action.

Ohio law states that the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate must file the wrongful death action. The personal representative is likely named in the victim’s will. If the victim did not have a will, a personal representative would be appointed by the court.

The wrongful death lawsuit is based on negligence, which is the same as in personal injury actions. The purpose of wrongful death is to allow the victim’s loved ones to recover compensation the victim would have if they had not died because of the accident.

Different types of damages

The personal representative can request estate damages and damages for the surviving family members. Estate damages include any medical costs for attempts made to save the victim’s life, as well as funeral and burial costs.

Damages of the surviving family members include compensation for the victim’s spouse, parents or children.

Although nothing can bring back your lost loved one, including a wrongful death lawsuit, the compensation can help you hold the negligent party responsible and move forward with your life.

There are many necessary steps and deadlines in the wrongful death process, including a two-year statute of limitations. It is best to have help to get you through this difficult time so you make the right choices.