Ohio has unique rules governing personal injury claims, including wrongful death lawsuits brought by surviving family members after a tragic incident claims the life of someone they love. A wrongful death claim allows people to seek compensation for the untimely death of their loved one and the many ways such a loss impacts their lives.
Many people who qualify for such compensation don’t understand what rights they have or what damages they can legally claim under Ohio law. Understanding their rights under Ohio law will help a victim’s surviving family members make an informed decision about whether to pursue a wrongful death claim.
You have the right to seek reimbursement for actual financial losses
The victim of a wrongful death may incur economic losses that can be recovered in a wrongful death action. Such losses include expenses for medical care incurred before death and funeral and burial expenses.
There are still other financial expenses your family can seek to recover, including the loss of income and benefits that your loved one would have earned through their employment. The cost of replacing lost household services such as lawn care, vehicle maintenance and cleaning is also recoverable. These losses usually need to be proven through expert witnesses.
You can also seek compensation for non-economic losses
Ohio’s wrongful death statute also allows you to hold someone accountable for the intangible human losses that occur with the death of a loved one. The law permits survivors to recover for their mental anguish and loss of love and companionship.
Filing on time
It is important for survivors to know the time limit for filing wrongful death claims. Under Ohio law, a claim for wrongful death must be filed no later than 2 years from the date of death.