Who Can Recover Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim?
A fatal accident or wrongful death is devastating for families. When a key provider unexpectedly dies, it may be crucial for surviving family members to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to obtain financial support. A Cincinnati wrongful death attorney can explain your rights as a family member to recover compensation under Ohio law.
The Ohio Revised Code allows surviving family members to bring a wrongful death action against liable parties through a personal representative for the estate. A personal representative is an individual whom the court appoints and gives fiduciary responsibility over a deceased person’s estate, such as an executor, trustee or guardian. The statute describes surviving family members as spouses, children, parents or other next of kin who presumably suffer damages by reason of the wrongful death. The types of recoverable damages that the personal representative recovers on behalf of the beneficiaries include:
- Loss of support based on the deceased’s expected earning capacity
- Loss of the decedent’s services, companionship, care, assistance, attention, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training and education
- Loss of prospective inheritance from the decedent’s heirs
- Mental anguish experienced by surviving family members over the loss
Compensation for medical costs, funeral and burial expenses are damages paid to the estate so the estate can pay creditors funds owed for these expenses. There are exceptions, but for the most part the personal representative has two years after the person’s death to bring a wrongful death action.
If you are a personal representative or family member of a loved one who died, an Ohio wrongful death lawyer can help you take the necessary legal steps involved with a wrongful death action.
The Law Firm of Weisser & Wolf evaluates all possible ways to help you obtain compensation in a free consultation.