Wrongful Death Attorney in Columbus

Need to make a wrongful death claim? Call (614) 321-3212.

There is no price tag that can be placed on someone's life. When negligence and carelessness cause another person to lose their life, the loss is insurmountable and goes far beyond mere medical expenses and lost wages. Because the death could have been prevented, there is certain legal measures the family can take in order to recover compensation. These claims are known as wrongful death and because of the extent of injury, or rather, the complete loss of life, these types of cases often conclude in larger settlement or verdict amounts.

If your family member died because of someone else's mistake or wrongdoing, you may have grounds to pursue compensation with a wrongful death claim. This money is not intended to replace the absence you have been forced to deal with but rather to assist you with meeting the financial burdens you may be faced with because of your great loss. At Rourke and Blumenthal, our Columbus personal injury attorneys approach wrongful death claims with a great deal of compassion towards our client as they grieve their loss. However, we also approach them with the determination of achieving a just outcome and holding the negligent party responsible for what their actions have caused.

Why file a wrongful death claim?

The death of a person comes with a great deal of burden and pain for the family. Compensation from a wrongful death claim is intended to alleviate any unnecessary financial troubles brought on by this sudden and untimely death. These financial burdens include:

  • Emergency medical services
  • Medical expenses
  • The loss of financial support from income
  • Funeral and burial costs

Wrongful death claims may also involve the claim of punitive damages. Punitive damages are claimed when the action or inaction of the defendant are thought to have been markedly malicious or reckless. The added amount to be paid by the defendant is intended as a form of civil discipline but the final amount is added to the award given to the family of the victim.

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In Ohio, only a personal representative of the decedent’s estate can actually file a wrongful death claim with the proper court. This does not mean that only this personal representative can benefit from any settlements rewarded through the claim.

Surviving family members that can be listed as beneficiaries in a wrongful death claim are:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Adopted children
  • Parents

Any other relative, no matter how close they were to the decedent, does not have legal precedence to gain compensation. They will need to make an argument with the court as to why they should be rewarded a percentage of any settlements. This may create a conflict among surviving family members who did have automatic legal right to compensatory damages.

Wrongful Death Statutes in Ohio

A wrongful death filing must be filed within two years after the decedent passes away. If this time limit is not respected, a statute of limitations will trigger and render any cases invalid, no matter how much evidence of liability supports it. The defendant of a wrongful death lawsuit that is filed after the statute expires can ask the court to throw out the case, and the court must do so.

There are several exceptions to the two-year statute, including:

  1. Medical malpractice: If it is shown that medical malpractice caused or significantly contributed to the factors that resulted in your loved one’s death, you likely only have one year to create the lawsuit.
  2. Defective products: Sometimes it can take years to realize a product is defective and life-threatening, such as is the case with dangerous prescriptions. For this reason, Ohio permits an extended ten year statute of limitations for wrongful deaths caused by products.
  3. Death of liable party: If the party responsible for your loved one’s death also passes away in the same incident, the statute of limitations may be as minimal as six months. It is crucial that you speak to a Columbus wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to make certain your case will not be restricted by this small time frame.

Contact Our Firm For Helpful Guidance

If you are looking for more information about wrongful death claims, we urge you to contact a Columbus wrongful death lawyer at our firm soon. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Ohio is just two years. Let us assist you in this difficult time by helping you find financial stability so that you can focus on adjusting to this tragedy.

Schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation with a personal injury attorney at our firm to learn more about what we can do for you.

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Fees are only charged if a recovery is made.

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