What Damages Are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Claim

What Damages Are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Claim in Ohio?

Feb 17, 2020

The death of a family member is a tragic occurrence no matter how it happens. When the death of a loved one is unexpected, or caused by another’s negligence, recklessness, or carelessness, it can be even more difficult. In addition to the emotional hardships presented, financial burdens and other challenges presented after the death of a loved one can only make the healing process tougher. While a lawsuit is typically far from thought, bringing a wrongful death claim can help to lessen some of the burdens presented and help with the healing process.

What is a Wrongful Death?

Ohio Revised Code § 2125.01, in part, defines an action for wrongful death as a death caused by “a wrongful act, neglect, or default which would have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued.” Although different circumstances can potentially lead to such claims, the following are examples that may give rise to a wrongful death claim:

  • Construction accidents;
  • Car accidents;
  • Drunk driving car wrecks;
  • Truck Accidents/ 18-Wheeler Accidents;
  • Workplace accidents;
  • Bicycle accidents;
  • Pedestrian crossing accidents;

Who can file an Ohio Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

While only a “personal representative” of the deceased’s estate may bring a claim for wrongful death, the claim itself may seek damages for the estate, along with certain surviving family members. Certain family members are presumed to have suffered losses. These include, the surviving spouse of the deceased, any surviving children, and the surviving parents of the deceased. A wrongful death lawsuit must be brought within two years of the individual’s death.

What Types of Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can Be Recovered? 

The main type of recovery in wrongful death lawsuits is through compensatory damages. Typically, compensatory damages are classified as economic and non-economic damages. Compensatory damages, true to their name, attempt to compensate family members for the loss of their loved one.

Economic damages could include the following:

  • Funeral and burial expenses;
  • Medical expenses, if any, incurred before the death of the individual;
  • Loss of the expected income of the deceased family member;
  • Loss of services of the deceased. This includes the services performed by the deceased that the loved ones relied on. This could be as simple as yard work, house work, or child care;
  • Loss of prospective inheritance at the time of death. This is any inheritance that the deceased would have taken a share in if not for the untimely death.

Non-economic damages could include the following:

  • Loss of society which includes many of the intangible things a loved one does for us such as offering companionship, intimacy, advice, and protection;
  • Mental anguish experienced by the spouse, children, parents of deceased, and other next of kin

Though the process can be difficult, an experienced attorney can help you in the potential legal recovery process, as well as the management of such a recovery through the probate process, which can be of great benefit and comfort during a trying time. At Brian G. Miller Co., L.P.A., our attorneys are not only experienced, but also knowledgeable and successful in litigating wrongful death claims in Columbus, Ohio and the surrounding counties.

To discuss your family’s potential wrongful death claim with a trusted, respected, and experienced local wrongful death attorney, please contact our Columbus, Ohio law firm at (614) 221-4035.

Contact Brian G. Miller Co., L.P.A.

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