When a loved one passes away due to an individual’s or company’s wrongful, negligent, or careless actions, the family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the guilty individual or group. Doing so can grant a family closure while giving them the compensation to recover financially and emotionally. Hiring a Cincinnati wrongful death lawyer can make this possible.
At Bey & Associates, LLC, our injury attorneys have the experience and resources necessary to tackle a complex wrongful death claim and potentially help you and your loved ones return to the task of living. While filing a lawsuit can’t bring back your loved one, it can help a family achieve financial stability which can aid the recovery process.
Additionally, when a civil lawsuit like a wrongful death claim is filed against a negligent party, that person or group of people often take the necessary steps to never harm anyone negligently again. A drunk driver, for example, may stop getting behind the wheel after drinking. Personal injury lawsuits can be powerful motivators when it comes to eliciting change. They can also be filed in addition to any criminal charges already in place.
What Can Cause a Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death is one that occurs that could have been prevented if the guilty party had not been acting negligently, carelessly, or recklessly. Many accidents or incidents that lead to a wrongful death are catastrophic in nature.
They can include, for example:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Premises liability accidents such as slip and fall accidents
- Cases of medical malpractice
- Work accidents like construction accidents
- Serious cases of nursing home abuse or neglect
- Cases involving defective products or medical equipment
- Preventable birth injuries like cerebral palsy
- Any type of accident that was catastrophic in nature that was directly caused by the inaction or negligent action of another
What Must Be Proven in a Wrongful Death Claim?
For a wrongful death lawsuit to be valid, it must be proven that your loved one’s death was caused by negligence. As mentioned above, the concept of negligence is defined by the actions taken or inaction which could been and should have been avoided.
In Ohio and elsewhere in the U.S., all Americans have a legal obligation to act within a certain standard of reasonable care. In other words, we must act as to not cause harm to others when it’s safe to do so. When this duty is broken, it’s said that negligence occurs.
Some examples of negligence leading to a wrongful death include:
- When a doctor fails to diagnose cancer in time because they mistakenly looked at the wrong set of x-rays and the patient ends up passing away from lack of treatment.
- When a driver is texting and causes a serious car accident with fatalities.
- When a construction team fails to make a worksite safe which leads to a catastrophic equipment accident and resulting death.
To prove that negligence occurred in your loved one’s case, your wrongful death attorney will need to examine all types of evidence, consult with expert testimony, and construct a compelling case which considers every event, action, or inaction which may be defined as negligent. Wrongful death claims can be complicated to prove in court, but a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer will know how to build a strong case.
What Compensation Can I Receive in a Wrongful Death Case?
When a family struggles to overcome a loved one’s death, they may be able to file a wrongful death claim to receive financial compensation, often referred to as damages, for the following expenses:
- Final medical expenses
- Funeral costs
- Lost insurance benefits
- Lost financial support
- Loss of wages for the time of injury up until death
- Pain and suffering costs
- Costs pertaining to the lost emotional support, consortium, companionship, and guidance of the deceased
- Future retirement savings and inheritance funds
The exact compensation you may be able to receive will depend on the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death, what caused the death, and if the court sees a need to allow you to receive any punitive damages, which are extra funds meant to deter others from performing negligent deeds and actions.
In the state of Ohio, only the following family members of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim:
- Children, including adopted children
- Surviving parents
Other close family members such as siblings and grandparents are not typically able to file a lawsuit, but if they can demonstrate to the court that they’ve suffered a considerable financial loss from the event, the court may let them recover some damages.
Find Closure with the Right Cincinnati Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful death claims are some of the most complex types of injury cases. This is because they require a great deal of evidence and testimony that can be difficult to obtain after the death of a loved one. Most insurance agencies and hospitals will do everything they can to claim that the death was accidental or could not be avoided. Insurers may also try to diminish the costs of your loved one’s final medical requirements.
If either of these situations sound familiar or you’re questioning your legal options after experiencing the loss of a family member, you should contact us as soon as you can. In Ohio, family members have a period of two years from the date of death/date of injury to file a wrongful death claim. This period is referred to as the statute of limitations. If a claim isn’t filed before the two years are up, you will not usually be able to file.
The Cincinnati wrongful death lawyers at Bey & Associates, LLC understand the struggles you and your family are facing. We encourage you to contact our law firm today if you have any questions. We can help you fight for your rights and potentially receive closure.