After the sudden and unexpected death of a loved one, the last thing you want is to relive the grief and mental anguish you experienced following the death. However, if the death was caused by the fault of another party, you may be able to hold the wrongdoer accountable with an award of money damages.

While no award or settlement can bring back your deceased loved one, an award of money damages may help to relieve many of the financial hardships caused by the death. In order to recover the damages to which you and your loved ones are entitled, a wrongful death lawsuit often needs to be filed by an experienced litigator.

What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is filed when the death of a loved one is caused by the wrongful act of a third party, either intentionally or accidentally. A wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the administrator/executor of the estate of the decedent on behalf of the decedent’s beneficiaries, as well as the decedent’s estate. The suit seeks compensation for the economic and non-economic damages arising from the death of a loved one.

Who may be found liable for my loved one’s death?

Anyone thought to be liable for the death of your loved one may be sued in a wrongful death lawsuit. There are different levels of liability:

  • Negligence – If someone fails to act in a manner consistent with reasonable expectations of care or safety, then they may be negligent in causing a person’s death.
  • Strict liability – Even if not found to be negligent, some parties may be strictly liable for a wrongful death claim if a product or action violates a statute.

For what may I be compensated in a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim in Ohio is prosecuted by the administrator or executor of the decedent’s estate on behalf of the decedent’s surviving spouse and other next of kin, like parents, children, and siblings. Wrongful death damages in Ohio include the following:

  • Loss of support
  • Loss of services
  • Loss of society
  • Loss of prospective inheritance
  • Mental anguish
  • Funeral and burial expenses

Is there a statute of limitations on wrongful death claims?

In Ohio, wrongful death lawsuits must be filed prior to the two-year anniversary of the death. Shorter time periods may apply to claims of damages suffered by a decedent prior to the death.  Failure to file a timely lawsuit on claims is usually a complete bar to recovery. Mr. Kerpsack, an experienced wrongful death attorney, is knowledgeable about the filing deadlines you will be required to meet.

Who can help me with my wrongful death claim?

Wrongful death claims are complex and emotionally distressing for the surviving family members. An experienced wrongful death attorney can assist you with the management of all the details of your case.

If you have lost a loved one due to the wrongful act of a third party, please contact Robert W. Kerpsack Co., L.P.A., in Columbus, Ohio, for a free initial consultation to discuss your legal options. Our office can be reached online or by phone at (614) 766-2000, and we serve clients in New Albany, Dublin, and the rest of Ohio.