Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death

Under law, a wrongful death is one that results from the negligence or recklessness of another person or a company. Any incident that could give rise to a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit can also give rise to a wrongful death claim. Such a claim is made against the individual or organization whose negligence or recklessness caused the death.

Or, as chapter 2125 of the Ohio Revised Code explains,

When the death of a person is caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default which would have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued, the person who would have been liable if death had not ensued, or the administrator or executor of the estate of such person, as such administrator or executor, shall be liable to an action for damages … .

We quote part of the first sentence of the state statute on wrongful death just to illustrate how complicated such cases can become. At Agee Clymer, our Columbus wrongful death attorneys dedicate themselves to helping clients navigate the wrongful death claims process. While we cannot guarantee a successful outcome 100 percent of the time, we commit ourselves to developing and presenting the strongest arguments for wrongful death compensation.

How to Know if You May Have Grounds to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Ohio

Many types of preventable accidents and failures to warn or protect can result in wrongful deaths. Our Columbus-based wrongful death lawyers have experience advising and representing clients in cases that involve

  • Car accidents,
  • Motorcycle accidents,
  • Truck crashes,
  • Bike and pedestrian accidents,
  • Medical malpractice,
  • Slip and fall,
  • Dangerous and defective products, and

In cases involving motor vehicle accidents, grounds for pursing a wrongful death claim may exist when another driver was primarily at fault for causing the crash and the victim died as a direct result of injuries they suffered in the crash. When a commercial truck driver causes a deadly wreck, that individual and the company that employed them can be named as defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit.

A medical malpractice claim may move forward when evidence shows that a health care provider failed to meet the standard of care due to the patient who died. The defendant in a medical malpractice case could be a doctor, nurse, hospital, clinic, group practice, nursing home, or pharmacist.

Slip and fall cases are also called premises liability claims. To be held liable for causing a wrongful death, a property owner or business must have failed to take the appropriate actions to protect a visitor or customer from a deadly accident. Although the cases are generally referred to as ‘slip and fall’, the death could have resulted from an electrocution, drowning, or an animal attack.

Product manufacturers and retailers can be held liable for causing wrongful deaths when they make and sell items that are likely to harm users. Companies have legal duties to reduce risks and to warn about possible dangers. Failing to meet either duty makes a company liable.

Last, the perpetrator of a deadly assault can be held civilly liable in addition to being criminally prosecuted. A civil wrongful death lawsuit can proceed even if the criminal charge is dropped or never pursued. Importantly, all the evidence collected by police can also be used by a wrongful death attorney.

What a Plaintiff Can Recover in an Ohio Wrongful Death Case

A family member or the legal executor of the deceased individual’s estate actually files the wrongful death lawsuit. Ohio sets a two-year statute of limitations for most wrongful death claims, so consulting with a caring and knowledgeable Columbus wrongful death attorney fairly soon after a loved one dies in a preventable accident makes sense.

Depending on the facts of the case, the plaintiff in a wrongful death case can ask the defendant to pay compensatory damages for the:

  • Loss of financial support from the money the deceased individual would have earned while working;
  • Loss of services performed by the deceased person;
  • Loss of the decedent’s “society,” which includes such things as companionship, care, advice, and education;
  • Loss of prospective inheritance; and
  • Mental anguish inflicted by the death.

When a defective product or a drunk or drugged driver causes a wrongful death, the plaintiff is also allowed to claim punitive damages. These are noncriminal fines assessed by a jury in order to punish reckless behavior and to provide an example to other potential wrongdoers.

Contact an Experienced Columbus Wrongful Death Lawyer

Based in Columbus and available to serve clients anywhere in Ohio, wrongful death attorneys with Agee Clymer offer free consultations. You can schedule an appointment by calling (614) 221-3318 or by reaching out to us online.

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Worker’s Comp Lawyers Columbus, Ohio - Agee Clymer

140 E. Town St. #1100
Columbus, OH 43215