If you have lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, nothing can truly compensate you for your loss. However, Ohio law may entitled you to receive financial compensation to help pay bills, which can free you to deal with the emotional consequences of your loss. A wrongful death lawsuit can force the responsible party or their insurance company to pay the damages related to your loss.

To learn more about your legal rights after losing a loved one to a fatal accident caused by the negligence of another, please schedule a free case evaluation with the experienced wrongful death attorneys at Robert W. Kerpsack, Co., LPA in Columbus, Ohio, by calling (614) 766-2000.

What Is “Wrongful Death” in a Car Accident?

Wrongful death is when a fatality is caused by the negligence or misconduct of another person. If any of the following caused or contributed to the fatal car accident, there may be adequate grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Defective road maintenance
  • Defective road design
  • Defective vehicle design or manufacture
  • Negligent cargo securement (for truck accidents)

If any of these factors were involved, you may be able to file a lawsuit under Ohio’s wrongful death laws.

Who Can File and Whom Can You File Against?

Under Ohio law, only the appointed administrator or executor of the decedent’s estate is permitted to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the surviving beneficiaries. The beneficiaries who may be entitled to receive wrongful death damages include:

  • Spouse
  • Parent
  • Child
  • Sibling
  • Grandparent

A wrongful death lawsuit may be filed against those persons or corporations whose misconduct caused or contributed to the incident in which the death occurred.

What Damages Can You Receive?

Damages in wrongful death cases in Ohio can include:

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

These damages will be divided equitably among the beneficiaries by the probate court of the county in which your deceased loved one resided.

However, it is important to remember that Ohio law allows you only two years from the death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.  If certain special circumstances apply, your time may run out even sooner. To protect your potential legal rights, it is important to file a timely lawsuit.  Failure to file a timely lawsuit is usually a complete bar to recovery.

To learn more about your potential legal rights in a wrongful death lawsuit, please contact an experienced wrongful death attorney at Robert W. Kerpsack, Co., LPA today for a free initial consultation. You can reach our office in Columbus, Ohio, online or by phone at (614) 766-2000.