Types of Compensable Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
Ohio Revised Code Section 2125 stipulates that family members of the victims of negligence-related deaths can file a claim and recover damages for their losses. The cases must be brought in the name of the decedant's estate and is monitored by the Probate Court. There are several kinds of damages that can be included in your claim, such as:
- Medical bills amassed before the deceased’s death;
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Lost wages that your loved one would have earned had he or she lived a normal life expectancy;
- Loss of services and support (this included benefits your loved one would have provided, e.g., insurance costs, projected 401(k) and retirement benefits, etc.);
- Mental pain and anguish;
- Loss of companionship;
- Loss of consortium (affection, love, emotional support, sexual relations, etc.);
- Loss of care, advice, guidance, etc.; and
- Loss of inheritance.
How Damages are Calculated in a Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death damages can be broad and comprehensive, and a forensic economist can help estimate damages. The economist, who your lawyer can help you secure, will be able to take all your damages into consideration, both current and future losses.
One of the primary roles of economists is to calculate your loved one’s loss of potential earnings. To do this, they:
- Figure the work life expectancy of your loved one;
- Estimate the projected future earnings had he or she lived a normal life expectancy;
- Take future promotions into consideration;
- Arrive at an estimated figure for your losses to include on your claim; and
- Prepare a testimony for court as evidence.
Obtaining an Attorney to Benefit Your Case
Wrongful death cases generally necessitate a lawyer. This is because proving wrongful death claims can be quite difficult, and you’ll want to have the best possible chance at obtaining a fair settlement or award.
A wrongful death attorney can benefit a case by:
- Making sure all of your damages are accounted for;
- Helping collect evidence;
- Obtaining expert witnesses to demonstrate your case;
- Identifying any other parties that also might be liable for your loved one’s death;
- Making sure you abide by Ohio’s laws so you don’t inadvertently ruin your claim; and
- Building a strong case to win you the full settlement to which you’re entitled.
Free Case Evaluation with an Attorney at Ryan LLP
If you’ve recently lost a loved one, speak with an attorney at Ryan, LLP, serving Cleveland and surrounding areas. We have over 50 years of combined experience handling civil litigation and wrongful death matters. Call us to schedule a free consultation and let us see how we can best help you pursue damages for the loss of your loved one. Contact us today at (877) 864-9495.
About the author of this article: Thomas Ryan