When a person dies in an accident involving negligence, his or her family can seek wrongful death benefits. In Ohio, this may include financial compensation for medical expenses associated with the accident, burial expenses and nonmonetary costs such as pain and suffering.
Review the laws about wrongful death in Ohio after a tragedy involving a loved one.
Defining wrongful death
Ohio allows family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court under circumstances. The plaintiffs must show the court that they have suffered financial damages as a result of their family member’s death. They must also prove that third-party default, negligence or wrongful action led to the person’s death. That means families can file wrongful death claims for negligent accidents and for deaths caused by assault or murder.
Reviewing available damages
The family can ask the court to award financial damages that cover:
- Loss of expected inheritance from the deceased individual
- Loss of education, guidance, care, attention, protection, assistance and companionship provided by that person
- Loss of the value of services provided by that person, such as household management and child care
- Loss of family support provided by the deceased person’s wages
- Emotional pain and suffering
The family members must show the court how the death led to these losses. Generally, Ohio limits wrongful death lawsuits to immediate family members, including the person’s children, spouse and parents. However, other family members can file a lawsuit if they can prove a direct loss from the person’s death.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death in Ohio is two years from the date of death. The court will dismiss lawsuits that fall outside this time limit.