The Ohio wrongful death statute is designed to provide a legal avenue for the surviving family members of a deceased person to seek compensation for their loss. It allows them to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions or omissions that resulted in the death.
Overview of Wrongful Death Laws in Ohio
In Ohio, a wrongful death claim can be pursued when a person’s death is caused by the wrongful acts, neglect, or default of another party. The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to seek damages for the losses suffered by the surviving family members, both economic and non-economic.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Under the Ohio wrongful death statute, the following individuals are eligible to bring a wrongful death lawsuit:
– The surviving spouse of the deceased person
– The children of the deceased person
– The parents of the deceased person, if there is no surviving spouse or children
– The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate, if none of the above parties are available
It’s important to note that only one wrongful death lawsuit can be filed, representing the interests of all eligible parties. If multiple parties have potential claims, they must coordinate and designate a single representative to bring the lawsuit on behalf of all.
Time Limit to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In Ohio, there is a specific time limit, known as the statute of limitations, within which a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed. According to Ohio Revised Code Section 2125.02, the general statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is two years from the date of the person’s death. Failing to file within this timeframe can result in the case being dismissed by the court.
Damages in Ohio Wrongful Death Cases
Ohio law recognizes several types of damages that may be awarded in wrongful death cases. These damages aim to compensate the surviving family members for their losses and the harm caused by the death.
Economic damages in an Ohio wrongful death case cover the financial losses suffered by the surviving family members. These may include:
– Medical expenses incurred before the person’s death
– Funeral and burial expenses
– Loss of financial support provided by the deceased person
– Loss of the deceased person’s future earnings and benefits
Non-economic damages in a wrongful death case address the intangible losses experienced by the surviving family members. These may include:
– Pain and suffering endured by the deceased person before their death
– Loss of companionship, consortium, and guidance
– Mental anguish and emotional distress caused by the death
Punitive damages may be awarded in Ohio wrongful death cases in exceptional circumstances. These damages aim to punish the defendant for particularly egregious conduct and to deter similar actions by others.
Ohio Wrongful Death Statute
The Ohio wrongful death statute is codified in the Ohio Revised Code. Key provisions related to wrongful death can be found in the following sections:
Ohio Revised Code Section 2125.
This section defines wrongful death under Ohio law and establishes the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
Ohio Revised Code Section 2125.02
This section sets forth the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio, which is two years from the date of the person’s death.
Ohio Revised Code Section 2125.03
This section outlines the types of damages that may be awarded in a wrongful death case and the distribution of the damages among the eligible parties.
Losing a loved one is a tragic event, but understanding the Ohio wrongful death statute can help surviving family members navigate the legal process and seek the justice and compensation they deserve.
By being aware of who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, the time limit for filing, the types of damages available, and the specific provisions of the Ohio Revised Code, the path to pursuing a wrongful death claim becomes clearer.
It’s crucial to consult with an experienced attorney specializing in wrongful death cases to ensure compliance with the Ohio laws and to maximize the chances of a favorable outcome.
Who can bring a wrongful death claim in Ohio?
Under the Ohio wrongful death statute, the surviving spouse, children, parents, or personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can bring a wrongful death claim.
What is the time limit to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio?
In Ohio, the general statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of the person’s death.
What types of damages are available in Ohio wrongful death cases?
Ohio law recognizes economic damages, non-economic damages, and in exceptional cases, punitive damages in wrongful death cases.
Are punitive damages available in Ohio wrongful death cases?
Punitive damages may be awarded in Ohio wrongful death cases in exceptional circumstances to punish the defendant for egregious conduct and deter similar actions.
How can an attorney help with an Ohio wrongful death case?
An experienced attorney specializing in wrongful death cases can provide essential legal guidance, handle the complex legal procedures, gather necessary evidence, negotiate with insurance companies or opposing parties, and advocate for the rights of the surviving family members.