The time after the death of a family member or loved one can be difficult and trying. There is a feeling of overwhelming emptiness. It takes time to recover from the lost companionship and support that has now been taken from you.
Legal action may not seem like a priority during this time, but hiring a reputable lawyer can help ease some of the burden off of you and allow you time to recover. If your loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional actions, you deserve justice. Our trusted Columbus wrongful death lawyers will provide you with a free consultation to review your claim and determine if legal action needs to be taken so that you can receive the compensation and support you may be entitled.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Ohio law states that in order to file a wrongful death claim, a judge must name or appoint a personal representative of the deceased’s estate. This representative is then allowed to bring a wrongful death claim in civil court.
If you are attempting to file a wrongful death claim, there is also a statute of limitations of two years after the death. After this time, you will lose your opportunity to bring a claim. Having legal representation during this time is pivotal. The process can be difficult for those in mourning, and hiring a wrongful death attorney in Columbus will ease some of the burden and discomfort that you may feel.
Our experienced lawyers will help you file a claim and represent you in court if you decide to pursue legal action. We understand the hardships that come during this time and will make the process as easy as possible.
Requirements Needed to Prove a Wrongful Death
A wrongful death is a type of civil lawsuit that claims that a loved one’s death was avoidable and wrongfully committed. However, to file a wrongful death suit, you will need evidence to support your claim. In order to bring a successful wrongful death case to court, you must have the following elements present:
- Proof that a death has occurred.
- The death must have occurred due to someone else’s negligence or criminal actions.
- The surviving spouse or family members are suffering financially because of the death.
- You must have a personal representative appointed to act on behalf of the estate.
Being able to prove these situations will make the process of filing a wrongful death claim in Columbus easier so you can focus on your family and remaining loved ones. We will conduct an investigation into the cause of death of your loved one. Our investigators will collect all of the evidence necessary so that we can build a solid case against those who are responsible.
Fighting for Fair Compensation
It can be difficult to put a price on a loved one and no amount of money could ever fully replace or bring them back. However, receiving compensation could help support you and your family and ease the financial losses and expenses that may follow a tragic passing. Damages in a wrongful death suit can include loss of financial support, funeral and death expenses, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering.
In rare cases, Ohio also allows punitive damages to be awarded in a wrongful death case caused by an intentional act or gross negligence of the party responsible for the death. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate the estate of the victim, but rather to punish the responsible party and prevent others from committing the same act.
Who is Entitled to Wrongful Death Compensation?
Not every case of wrongful death receives the same financial compensation. The amount awarded to each claim is unique and varies depending on the factors involved. In Ohio, recoverable damages are distributed as such:
- The estate receives funeral and burial expenses, as well as the resulting amount of the wrongful death claim.
- The family of the deceased receives the remainder of the damages awarded.
- If there is a surviving spouse and children, the damages awarded are distributed equally among them
- If there is a surviving spouse, but not children, the spouse is entitled to all awarded damages.
- If there are surviving children, but no spouse, the children are entitled to the entirety of the damages awarded.
- If there is no surviving spouse or children, the entirety of the awarded damages will go to the parents of the deceased.
- If there is no surviving spouse, children or parents, the entirety of the awarded damages goes to the estate. After all debts of the estate have been paid, the remainder is then passed to the individual or heir named in the will.
Receiving compensation for the loss of a loved one may not seem comforting, but it will help pay for any medical expenses related to the deceased, upcoming funeral costs and lost finances that resulted due to the death. Having one of our Columbus wrongful death attorneys on your side will help you in receiving maximum compensation and bringing those responsible to justice.
Contact Our Columbus Wrongful Death Attorneys
The Columbus wrongful death lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy have represented many families who have suffered the unexpected death of a loved one. We will offer you a free consultation and review your claim to see if you have a case that requires legal action. Our attorneys have over 30 years of combined legal experience in helping clients receive the maximum compensation that they may be entitled.