For wrongful death actions in Columbus, the first thing to do is have a personal representative appointed by the probate court. Once a representative is appointed, a lawsuit is filed in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas in that representative’s name. The person is notified by the court after a complaint is filed, usually through certified mail. If the certified mail is returned and service is not completed -meaning the complaint did not arrive or was not received by the other party- they can be serviced by a sheriff or by regular mail.
The lawsuit can be e-filed, but there is a fee for filing. If you are planning on filing a wrongful death action in Columbus, our qualified lawyers will help you fight for the compensation your family deserves. Your family may be entitled to monetary damages for medical bills, funeral expenses, and some of the benefits your loved one may have had.
Consulting an Attorney to Being the Filing Process
It is essential to work with a lawyer when initially filing a wrongful death claim, because there are rules of practice and procedure for each of the Common Pleas Courts. In Ohio, these rules are specific and must be followed for a complaint to be properly filed and a claim to be heard. If the correct procedure is not followed, that could lead to the claim being rejected.
The documents a person should bring for an initial consultation depend on the type of claim being presented. If it is an auto accident, it is important to bring the police report and medical records from the decedent’s medical care prior to death. For a nursing home negligence case or a medical malpractice case, having those medical records in hand prior to an initial meeting can be helpful. Sometimes, however, there are barriers to accessing those records and they are not always available.
If an assault or a murder occurred, having the police report and any of the police investigative files are important to bring to a consultation. When the death involves negligent property maintenance or a hidden defect on somebody’s property, having photographs to show the defect is important. For a product liability case, when the product is available to be brought into the office, securing that product is important along with any information regarding the purchase of the product. The packaging of the product is important to have as well.
With a wrongful death consultation, things are going to be emotionally charged, whichis to be expected with the loss of a loved one. It is usually a good idea for family members to appoint one or two people to go and speak to the attorney on their behalf. Bringing the necessary documentation and having appointed representatives of the family can also make the process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Columbus easier.
Wrongful Death Action Timeline
There is no specific time in terms for how long a wrongful death action takes and it, and how long it takes to investigate and collect information. When a lawsuit is filed, the court sets timelines for discovery to be completed, experts to be retained, and for a trial to occur. The timelines the court sets are based on the court’s calendar rather than any schedule or timeline the attorney chooses.
An experienced Columbus attorney will make sure the process is being handled efficiently. The attorney can make sure that the process is efficient, and the personal representative is appointed quickly. The lawyer ensures that deadlines are met in a timely fashion, so a lawsuit is filed as soon as possible when a lawsuit needs to be filed. They can reach out and try to negotiate the claim in Columbus rather than filing a wrongful death lawsuit, in order to expedite the process if the family wants to negotiate rather than file a lawsuit.
Contact an Attorney to Start Your Wrongful Death Claim Today
As soon as someone believes they have a wrongful death claim on their hands, the family should contact an attorney. An attorney is able to move quickly to secure important evidence. If the evidence is not secured, that sometimes has a detrimental effect on the claim. Contacting an attorney immediately is always the best course of action.
A wrongful death case has particularly high emotional stakes. It is also different from a typical personal injury case. The probate court is involved and the family must file documents there and in the Common Pleas Court. For help filing a wrongful death action in Columbus, call our experienced attorneys right away to schedule a consultation.