The Brannon Law Firm has extensive experience handling wrongful death lawsuits throughout Ohio. No matter what the circumstances are, losing a loved one is the most difficult situation that many of us will experience in our lifetimes. That terrible loss is made infinitely more difficult when the deceased died unnecessarily, suddenly, or as the result of someone else’s negligence. As Dayton wrongful death lawyers, it is our job to make sure that the responsible party is held liable for the death that it caused. By holding the wrongdoer responsible, other people in the community are encouraged to be more careful to avoid the same tragedy in the future.
What Is Wrongful Death?
As the name implies, a wrongful death occurs when someone loses his or her life due to another’s negligence. Wrongful death accidents can occur in any number of scenarios, but some of the most common include:
Wrongful death suits in Ohio are defined as one that is directly related to “a wrongful act, neglect, or default.” Ohio law also defines these actions as those in which a person would have been able to file a personal injury suit against the negligent party, had their death not occurred.
Almost always, the party responsible for a wrongful death vigorously denies liability so they are not held financially responsible for the wrongful death. A wrongful death matter serves as an option for families to collect damages that arise from their loved one’s death. However, the process works a little differently than a standard personal injury claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit in Ohio?
Only certain individuals may bring a wrongful death suit to court. According to Ohio law, only a “personal representative” of the deceased’s estate may file a wrongful death action, but they do so on behalf of the deceased’s beneficiaries. This personal representative is often the executor of the will and estate.
A wrongful death claim seeks damages on behalf of the surviving family members as well as the estate itself. Ohio law stipulates that any of the following family members may seek compensation in a wrongful death claim:
- The surviving spouse
- Any surviving children, including adopted children
- The surviving parents
It’s important to note that Ohio law does not presume that family members like siblings and grandparents suffer losses that are “compensable.” However, every family dynamic is different. You may still be able to collect damages if your Dayton wrongful death lawyer can show in court that you suffered losses as the result of your loved one’s death.
Damages in an Ohio Wrongful Death Suit
A wrongful death suit can provide compensation for both the tangible and intangible losses suffered as the result of losing your loved one. The courts classify damages into separate categories:
- Economic damages compensate for the calculable losses associated with the accident. Examples include expenses associated with the funeral and burial, medical bills for the final illness or injury, loss of financial support, and loss of probable inheritance.
- General damages provide reimbursement for those damages that are not tangible. Examples include pain, suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of partnership and consortium.
Finding a Dayton personal injury attorney immediately after a tragic loss is probably not at the top of your priorities’ list. However, with each day that passes, evidence that may be critical to proving a claim can be destroyed. At the Brannon Law Firm, we take action immediately by sending our professional investigators and accident re-constructionists to preserve all of the evidence and determine what happened. We will also handle the administration of your loved one’s estate, deal with insurance companies, and manage the countless other problems that arise after a wrongful death occurs. By calling our attorneys immediately after an accident, we will take on your burdens so that you can grieve in peace. We will contact you only when you are absolutely needed so that you can be left alone during such difficult times.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Suits
The state of Ohio, like all other states, sets certain time limits for bringing a wrongful death action to court. The state gives you 2 years from the wrongful death action to file a claim. If you fail to file a lawsuit with the courts within this time period, you could lose your right to compensation under the law. Every Dayton wrongful death lawyer at the Brannon Law Firm has the knowledge and experience necessary to successfully pursue complex claims and litigation. We only work with the best experts available to establish liability for negligent acts that lead to someone’s death. For example, the Brannon Law Firm had retained Dr. Michael Baden from the HBO television series Autopsy to investigate and determine the cause of death of a person who died while in police custody. From the moment that our firm accepts a case, we are dedicated to representing the deceased and grieving family members in a responsible and professional manner.
Consult a Local Dayton Wrongful Death Attorney
Surviving family members sometimes have mixed feelings about making a monetary claim for death. No amount of money will ever bring a loved one back to life. However, monetary recoveries are extremely important to assure the ability of the surviving spouse, children, and any other dependents will be financially secure in the future. By making the person that caused your loved one’s death compensate you for that loss, you are preventing other people from suffering the same fate in the future. If your loved one has been the victim of a wrongful death accident, call our offices today for a free consultation with a compassionate wrongful death lawyer in Dayton, OH. We have a 40-year history of vigorously defending the rights of our clients. Let us put our experience to work for you.