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How to File Wrongful Death Claim in Ohio Wrongful Death

 Filing Wrongful Death Claims

How to File a Wrongful Death Claim in OhioWrongful death cases must be brought by the personal representative of the decedent on behalf of the surviving:

  • Spouse;
  • Children; and/or
  • Parents of the decedent. 

The family must first open an estate in the probate court which will ultimately benefit the survivors. Then, the probate court will appoint an administrator to manage the estate and to file reports with the probate court.  A wrongful death action is brought by the administrator of the estate.  Any survival actions are also brought by the administrator of the estate, but are considered assets of the estate.  Any money received from the wrongful death lawsuit is distributed according to statute, whereas money received for survival claims are distributed according to the last will and testament, if one exists.

The chosen administrator will select a lawyer to file a suit.  A wrongful death lawsuit is actually an asset of the estate. This means that any settlement money received from the lawsuit will be distributed according to Ohio’s laws on wrongful death estate distribution or according to the deceased’s will, if one exists.

What is Necessary to Successfully Prove the Claim

If you have recently lost a loved one and you are a legal beneficiary, consult an attorney to discuss the specifics of the case. These types of cases are intricate and might be difficult to prove depending on the circumstances.

The lawsuit must effectively demonstrate the following three elements: 

  • Negligence – The defendant must have acted negligently, unreasonably, or must have failed to perform necessary and reasonable steps to prevent the death.
  • Cause – Your loved ones death was fully or partly caused by the defendant's negligence.
  • Damage – You’ll have to show that your loved one’s death personally affected you and you suffered economic and/or non-economic losses.

If pursuing a case in the Cleveland area, work with a lawyer able to explain what types of evidence you’ll need to collect and help you with the collection process.  In addition to things such as proof of lost wages and medical bills, the case might require field experts such as economists and mental health providers to demonstrate the full impact of the decedent’s death. 

Types of Compensable Damages

Damages for a wrongful death claim aren’t limited to funeral expenses. Damages aim to address monetary losses and expenses associated with the death like medical bills, loss of deceased’s future wages and benefits (pension, insurance, etc.) and more.  But damages in a wrongful death action also address the non-economic impact of the death on the surviving family members. This includes mental anguish and other emotional losses that family members experience as a result of the death.

Some of these damages are intangible and hard to calculate. That's why it's essential to prove just how much your loved one’s death has affected your current life as well as your future.

Free Case Evaluation with a Wrongful Death Attorney

If you recently lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, we invite you to call Ryan, LLP in Cleveland, Ohio. We can review your potential case, provide specific answers to your questions, and act as your legal representative. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today at 877-864-9495.

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