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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Who Can File Wrongful Death in Ohio? | Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys

The unthinkable can happen to anyone, anytime. Nothing can compare to losing a loved one due to someone else's wrongful act.

In such moments of loss, it's crucial for surviving family members to understand who can file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek justice and compensation.

What Does a "Wrongful Death Claim" Mean?

What Does a "Wrongful Death Claim" Mean?

Ohio wrongful death laws recognize the profound impact of a victim passing in a wrongful act. These laws allow surviving family members to file wrongful death claims on behalf of the deceased.

The main purpose is to hold those responsible for the loss accountable and financially support the surviving family.

Filing a wrongful death suit is a complex and emotional process. It's essential for plaintiffs to have a dedicated Ohio wrongful death attorney by their side. While nothing can truly ease the emotional pain, a personal injury lawsuit can help victims take steps toward financial justice and closure.

Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Ohio?

A wrongful death claim emerges from a tragic event where someone loses their life due to the negligence, criminal act, or misconduct of another party.

It's a legal recourse designed to bring accountability to those responsible for the untimely passing of a loved one.

According to the Ohio wrongful death law, family members can take legal action against the entities responsible for the unfortunate incident. It's not about assigning blame as much as it is about ensuring the survivors are not left to bear the burden alone.

Amid grief and loss, understanding who has the legal standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio is a pressing concern.

Surviving Spouse

The law recognizes the special bond between spouses and their emotional and financial interdependence. Therefore, a surviving spouse has the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit, acknowledging the immeasurable loss they've experienced.

Surviving Children

Children (biological, step, and adopted) who have lost a parent due to a wrongful act or negligence are also eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio.

This provision is a testament to the emotional and financial support parents often provide to their children.

Personal Representative

In situations where there are no surviving spouses or children, a personal representative of the deceased's estate can file a wrongful death claim.

The deceased's last wishes typically designate a personal representative, or the court appoints someone. This legal avenue ensures rightful heirs can seek justice even when no immediate family members remain to carry the torch.

Other Family Members

There are instances where relatives can file a wrongful death claim in Ohio. Other eligible candidates may include grandparents, parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, etc. However, they must prove how they were partially or fully dependent on the deceased to win the suit. Exes who legally married someone else before the death of the victim cannot file wrongful death claims.

Common Damages in Wrongful Death Claims

In many wrongful death lawsuits, there are substantial medical bills associated with the final moments of the deceased's life.

These expenses, including hospital bills, medication, and medical treatments, can be part of the economic damages.

On the other hand, funeral and burial expenses can create a significant financial burden for the surviving family. Wrongful death cases under Ohio law seek compensation for these costs, ensuring the family is not left to bear the economic weight alone.

When a breadwinner or provider is lost due to a wrongful death action, the financial impact on the family can be devastating. As a result, wrongful death cases can include the lost income the deceased would have contributed over their expected lifetime.

The loss of a loved one's companionship, guidance, and emotional support is perhaps one of the most profound aspects of wrongful death. Victims can seek non-economic damages to address this intangible yet crucial loss.

Statute of Limitations in Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Ohio

The legal clock is always ticking. While the grieving process knows no time, the legal system imposes a timeframe within which the victim or estate needs to file an Ohio wrongful death claim.

Understanding the statute of limitations is crucial in these emotionally charged cases. Not being able to file a claim within this period could result in losing the right to seek legal action.

In the context of a wrongful death case, it establishes the time frame within which surviving family members or a personal representative must initiate legal proceedings against those responsible for the wrongful death.

According to Ohio law, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death suit is generally two years from the date of the deceased's passing. This means that the clock starts ticking from the moment of the unfortunate act or negligence that led to the death.

Why the Statute of Limitations Matters

Why the Statute of Limitations Matters

Timely legal action ensures evidence preservation. This makes it easier to establish the facts and circumstances surrounding the wrongful death.

It also provides a degree of fairness and finality to the legal system. Delayed Ohio wrongful death claims are challenging for plaintiffs and defendants. On the other hand, the statute of limitations encourages timely resolution of claims, benefiting all parties.

While the standard timeframe for wrongful death in Ohio is two years, some exceptions can either extend or shorten this timeframe.

Plaintiffs must be aware of these exceptions. They may include cases involving minors, delayed discovery of the wrongful action, or specific legal circumstances.

A qualified Ohio wrongful death lawyer specializing in such cases can help clients file claims within the deadline. They are also experts in negotiating with insurance companies. Reputable attorneys can provide emotional support to plaintiffs during trying times.

Final Words

Under Ohio law, the question of who can file a wrongful death lawsuit may seem like just another set of rules. It's actually more than that.

Surviving spouses, children, and personal representatives all have a role to play in pursuing justice. The state recognizes the unique bonds between family members. It strives to provide avenues for support and accountability. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help advise on questions such as How do I divide a wrongful death settlement in Ohio?

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys understands the unparalleled pain of losing a loved one. It can guide families through this challenging journey. Stating, "We Go to War for You," its expert team of lawyers can shed light on this crucial path towards healing and justice.


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