Dealing with the unexpected passing of a loved one is never easy. The pain and sorrow that come with losing a member of your family can be compounded by learning that negligence was responsible for their passing.
In these situations, you could be entitled to the proceeds of a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. A Grove City wrongful death lawyer with Bressman Law could help by taking the worry of your case off of your shoulders.
How Our Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Serve You
Bressman Law works for a contingency fee, so there is no money due up front or out of pocket. Instead, our payment comes out of your settlement or court award, should we secure one for you.
While working on this payment structure, we will take on the legalities of your case, such as:
- Collecting and organizing evidence
- Demonstrating the other party’s negligence
- Keeping in contact with the liable party’s representatives
- Negotiating a settlement with the insurer
- Adhering to the deadlines imposed by the state
- Making your wrongful death case in court
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death attorney in Grove City, call (614) 538-1116
The Right to Pursue a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In order to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, state law requires that the loss of life must result from a “wrongful act, neglect, or default.” This requirement, which is set out in Ohio Revised Code Section 2125.01, allows a wrongful death case to move forward if it would have qualified a personal injury case had the individual survived.
While some jurisdictions allow the immediate family of the deceased person to file a lawsuit, Ohio law places this right in the hands of the personal representative of the estate. Often referred to the as executor, this individual is recognized by the court and has the exclusive power to file a wrongful death lawsuit according to state law.
When someone passes away with a last will and testament in place, that document typically appoints someone to serve as their executor. That individual has the power to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If there is no will or the person identified in the will is unable to serve, the court will appoint someone to fill the role. It’s not uncommon for members of the immediate family to serve as the executor of the estate.
Grove City Wrongful Death Attorney (614) 538-1116
Compensatory Damages Awarded in a Wrongful Death Case
A wrongful death case is a civil action. If it is successful, the end result is that compensatory damages are awarded to the estate from the negligent party.
While the personal representative of the estate has the right to file the lawsuit, the proceeds of these cases go to the heirs of the deceased person. These people might be surviving spouses or children, but other family members could also be entitled to recover compensation if they can show they suffered a compensable loss.
Some of the types of compensation available through a wrongful death case include:
- Loss of home services, including child care or housework
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of future inheritance
- Mental anguish
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical costs prior to death
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Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case
For the passing of a loved one to qualify as a wrongful death, your attorney must establish that someone else’s negligence was responsible for their passing. There are four elements needed to establish negligence in these cases, and our firm will work to prove each of them.
The Other Party Had a Duty of Care to Protect Your Loved One’s Safety
The first element is that the at-fault party held a duty of care to your loved one before they passed away. This duty varies depending on the circumstances, but it could include the duty to drive safely or avoid medical errors.
They Were Careless and Breached That Duty
The second element requires proof that the at-fault party breached their duty of care. A breach of the duty of care could involve driving recklessly or making a mistake during a surgical procedure.
This Breach of Duty Led to Your Loved One’s Death
Causation is the link between the at-fault party’s breached duty of care and your loved one’s passing.
You Suffered Damages as a Result of the Death
The final element is proof of recoverable damages. Our team will show that you and your family have experienced significant financial and non-financial hardship due to the passing of your loved one.
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The Deadline to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
As is the case with any lawsuit in Grove City, there is a strict deadline for pursuing legal action related to a wrongful death. Per Ohio Revised Code Section 2125.02, the personal representative of an estate generally has two years from the date of the death to file a lawsuit. If they try to file after that two-year window expires, the court has the power to dismiss the case forever.
Outside of a small number of exceptions, dismissal is the most likely outcome in these situations. It is vital to comply with the statute of limitations for any wrongful death action.
Incidents That Could Lead to a Wrongful Death Case
Any circumstance where negligence leads to the passing of your loved one could serve as the basis for a wrongful death case. Some incidents that frequently result in wrongful death include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Premises liability
- Product liability
- Dog bites
These instances are only a few of the factors that could result in a wrongful death case. If you are unsure about your right to pursue legal action following the passing of a loved one, don’t hesitate to contact our team.
Get Helo From the Lawyers at Bressman Law Today
If you are ready to discuss your legal options following your loved one’s wrongful death in Grove City, Bressman Law is here to help.
Call (877) 538-1116 for a free consultation.