Losing a loved one can be emotionally and financially devastating. Grieving survivors may be left with unpaid medical bills, burial costs, and other expenses.
When a person’s negligent or wrongful actions caused another’s death, they can be held liable. For instance, if a patient dies after a doctor fails to follow standard protocol, the patient’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit for medical malpractice. Likewise, family members can sue for wrongful death if a drunk driver causes a fatal accident.
While nothing can replace the loss of a family member, awards from wrongful death lawsuits can help with financial obligations. A Columbus wrongful death lawyer will fight for compensation to help ease the monetary burden. Call (800) 593-3443 today, and speak to a member of the Ben Crump Law, PLLC team about wrongful death lawsuits in Ohio.
Who Is Responsible for a Wrongful Death
Injury and death from others can happen in your home, on your way to the office, at your child’s school, or anywhere else. Common wrongful death cases may include:
- Medical malpractice
- Car accidents
- Faulty products
- Work-related accidents
- Criminal acts
In cases of medical negligence and malpractice, courts can find healthcare providers and facilities responsible for a patient’s death. Even if doctors, nurses, and other medical staff directly caused the death, the facility can be held responsible for the actions of its employees.
Ohio has had over 900 fatalities from car collisions so far in 2020, according to statistics from the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Death from these accidents and crashes can include drunk or impaired drivers, speeding, and reckless or distracted driving. The surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit with the at-fault driver.
However, if a faulty vehicle part caused the fatal accident, it may be the manufacturer’s fault. Depending on how a defective product leads to wrongful death, multiple parties may be responsible. Defects in design, manufacturing, marketing, or maintenance can indicate who is accountable. Your legal representative can investigate what caused the death and collect evidence to help strengthen your case.
Although some professions are inherently more dangerous, like construction workers, companies and management may be liable for a work-related death. For example, an employer may cause a worker’s death by failing to inform them of the risks.
Murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide are criminal charges, and penalties for these cases include jail time and fines. Wrongful death lawsuits are civil cases, and families can sue the defendant for monetary damages.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful deaths lawyer serving Columbus, call 800-959-1444
Awards from Wrongful Death Cases
Surviving family members can seek damages for:
- Loss of support or compensatory damages – The sudden death of a spouse or parent can mean an impromptu loss of income and increased expenses. Families can sue for compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost wages. Loss-of-support awards consider the earning capacity of the deceased.
- Loss of prospective inheritance – Spouses and children can lose the deceased’s current and future earnings. A wrongful death can rob children of college funds, spouses of retirement, and any type of inheritance the deceased would have earned if they survived and died a natural death.
- Loss of companionship or general damages – Parents, children, and spouses offer care, love, protection, and advice. While money cannot bring the comfort of a loved one, devastated family members can sue for pain and suffering.
Defendants and their lawyers may claim that the deceased knew the risks involved, contributed to their own death, or use another argument when attempting to reduce the award amount. A Columbus wrongful death lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC challenges the defense’s resistance and seeks compensation on your behalf. Call our law office to find out more about the types of awards you may be able to pursue.
Who Can Receive Wrongful Death Awards
According to Ohio Revised Statutes (ORC) §2125.02, the state presumes parents, spouses, children, and other close relations of the deceased suffered damages from the death. Awards are proportional to the harm. For instance, surviving spouses and children who relied on the deceased’s income may receive more compensation than a distant cousin.
Columbus Wrongful Deaths Lawyer Near Me 800-959-1444
How a Lawyer Helps Recover Damages
Wrongful death can be difficult to prove. A legal representative will help establish the several pieces of evidence needed in wrongful death lawsuits.
For financial compensation, the court will need proof of past wages, future earning potential, and debts related to the case. In medical malpractice cases, your lawyer will need to prove the relationship and care between the deceased patient and the health care provider and how the care caused the death.
If your relationship to the deceased is complicated, your lawyer will need to prove how the death affected you. For example, if you are divorced and remarried, the law may not consider your ex-spouse as a family member. However, if the deceased and you share children, your lawyer could show the court the loss of child support.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A civil action for wrongful death must be filed within two years of the death. However, you may have more time to file a wrongful death lawsuit:
- That involves manufacturers’ or suppliers’ devices, products, and substances.
- If a disability impeded your ability to file.
- If a medical authority recently confirmed wrongful death.
Having a Columbus wrongful death lawyer take on the legal responsibilities of your case can allow you and your family to grieve without being burdened by paperwork, collecting evidence, and battling the defense. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 593-3443 to see how our team can help you.