If you have lost a loved one because of wrongful death resulting from an accident or the intentional act of another person or party, you may want to consider pursuing a claim with a Cleveland wrongful death lawyer to recover damages suffered by your family. Ohio has specific wrongful death claim laws in place, so there are specific procedures that must be followed when filing a lawsuit. If you are considering a Cleveland wrongful death claim, you should consult with an experienced Ohio wrongful death attorney, who knows how to proceed with such cases and ensure the interests and rights of your family are protected. The Ohio Car Accident Lawyers offers aggressive legal representation that will make an impact on the outcome of your wrongful death claim in Cleveland. We are experienced and dedicated in handling wrongful death claims throughout Cleveland and Ohio courts.
What is considered a Wrongful Death in Cleveland?
In the state of Ohio, wrongful death claims are governed by Ohio Revised Statutes section 125 and those regulations are very specific. In those statutes, wrongful death is defined as a death that is caused by another’s “wrongful act, neglect, or default.” The family of someone who died a wrongful death can pursue a claim if the wrongful act would have left the deceased party entitled to file a personal injury claim if death had not resulted from the incident. This is so wrongful death can be understood as a Cleveland personal injury claim where the injured party cannot file his or her own claim against the liable party in court. A Cleveland wrongful death claim can be filed on behalf of the decedent’s estate and surviving family members. The awarded wrongful death settlement will be divided among the surviving parties that comprise the estate per Ohio laws.
Who Has the Right to Pursue a Cleveland Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death laws in Ohio specify that the “personal representative” of the decedent’s estate is the individual who must bring the wrongful death lawsuit before the court. Only a person can act as the personal representative for the deceased. A corporation or some other entity cannot do so. The wrongful death claim, however, can also seek damages on behalf of surviving family members as well as the estate of the decedent. If you aren’t sure who would be the personal representative for your loved one’s wrongful death suit, consult with an experienced attorney regarding the matter.
Law in Ohio presumes that these family members have losses because of the death of the loved one and those losses might deserve compensation:
- surviving spouse
- children, including biological and adopted
- the surviving parents of the deceased
Other relatives, including grandparents and siblings, are not presumed to have suffered a loss. They can recover damages if they can show in court that they have suffered a loss that is compensable. Other relatives that depend on that person for their basic living needs might be able to recover damages if they can prove that there was a loss suffered that has impacted their life.
Statute of Limitations: Cleveland, Ohio
Just like most civil lawsuits, Cleveland wrongful death claims have a statute of limitations or a time limit. This means that you only have a set amount of time to pursue a claim for damages that resulted because of the wrongful death of a loved one. In Ohio, you have two years from the date of death of your loved one to pursue legal action. If you wait past those two years, your case can be dismissed and usually will. Because different factors can impact different cases, you should schedule a consultation with a Cleveland wrongful death attorney right away.
Damages Pursued in Cleveland Wrongful Death Claims
A number of losses might result from wrongful death. If you have lost a loved one, here are some of the damages you might pursue through a Cleveland wrongful death claim:
- Loss of services from the decedent, including housework, yard work, child care, etc.
- Loss of companionship, care, advice, counsel, guidance and instruction from the decedent.
- Loss of support based on the decedent’s regular compensation if he or she had lived.
Ohio’s inheritance laws determine how these damages for a wrongful death claim are distributed. If all the surviving family members are related to the decedent at the same degree, the damages will be split equally among them. As an example, if a man was killed and he was survived by four children, no spouse, and no parents, the four children would equally divide the wrongful death settlement.
If the deceased individual’s surviving family members are related from different degrees, the court will determine how to divide the settlement amount. And, if the decedent’s surviving spouse remarried before the wrongful death claim goes to court, he or she is still entitled to damages for their loss. The court will, however, take into consideration that the individual has since remarried.
Consult with a Cleveland Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, consider filing a wrongful death claim to recover your damages. With more than 190 years of combined experience, the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers has experience in handling personal injury claims and wrongful death claims in Cleveland. We treat our clients with care and compassion while aggressively pursuing their claim and fighting to ensure their rights are protected and that they get the settlement they deserve for the damages they incurred.
Working on a contingency basis, we don’t get paid until we have gotten you a settlement. Our pay is based on how well we do representing you because we get a set percentage of your overall settlement. With a passion for providing quality representation with Cleveland wrongful death claims, we stand out when it comes to representing clients with such lawsuits. If you have lost a loved one because of an accident, call the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation today. Remember, time limits do impact your case so let the legal team at Ohio Car Accident Lawyers get to work for you today! Professional legal counsel is just a phone call away.