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Columbus Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Wrongful Death > Who Is Eligible To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Ohio?

Who Is Eligible To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Ohio?


If you lost a loved one as a result of another party’s negligence or carelessness, or due to someone else’s intentional act, you might be wondering about options for holding that party accountable while also seeking compensation.  You may also be wondering if it is possible to file a personal injury claim.  Wrongful death law can be difficult to understand since it is closely related to personal injury law.

It is important to understand that the key distinction between a personal injury lawsuit and a wrongful death lawsuit is that a personal injury lawsuit is filed by the injured person, whereas the injured person is no longer alive to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Accordingly, a wrongful death lawsuit is filed by another party who stands in the shoes of the deceased for purposes of a civil claim.

Who is eligible to be that person to file a wrongful death lawsuit? In Ohio and West Virginia, only the personal representative of the deceased (i.e., the executor/executrix of the deceased’s estate) may file a claim. The wrongful death attorneys at Brian G. Miller Co., LPA, stand ready to provide you with more information.

Personal Representative of the Estate Must File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

To be clear, the personal representative must be the named plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative can also be known as the executor of the deceased’s estate. In some cases, the personal representative will be a family member of the deceased who is also eligible to receive damages from a successful wrongful death case.

You should know that, although other states permit family members such as a surviving spouse or adult child of the deceased to file a wrongful death lawsuit, wrongful death law is state-specific. Accordingly, to file a wrongful death claim in Ohio or West Virginia, only the personal representative is eligible to file the claim.

Surviving Family Members May Receive Compensation 

As you may have noticed, while the personal representative of the estate is the party who actually files the wrongful death lawsuit, the personal representative files the claim in order to seek financial compensation on behalf of the surviving spouse, surviving children, and other relatives. Indeed, close family members of the deceased can be eligible to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit even if they are not the parties filing the claim.

Commonly awarded damages in wrongful death cases include but are not limited to:

  • Loss of financial support from the deceased;
  • Loss of the deceased’s services;
  • Loss of companionship, care, protection advice, and other losses associated with a relationship between a parent and child or spouses;
  • Loss of prospective inheritance; and
  • Mental anguish of the surviving family members.

Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney  at Brian G. Miller Co., LPA, Today 

Whether you have questions about wrongful death law in Ohio or need assistance with a wrongful death lawsuit, you should seek advice from one of the experienced wrongful death lawyers at the law firm of Brian G. Miller CO., L.P.A. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our firm to find out more about the services we provide to clients in Ohio.




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