Families in Ohio sometimes lose a loved one unexpectedly. Strokes and heart attacks can claim otherwise healthy individuals, and accidental death remains an issue for people of all ages. However, the deaths that some people call accidental are often anything but an accident.
For example, a car crash caused by a drunk driver is not an inevitable tragedy. It is the result of one person’s wrongful actions. When negligence, misconduct or default lead to the death of an individual, family members may be left with huge expenses and reduced household income, all while grieving a sudden loss.
Wrongful death lawsuits can secure justice and compensation for those harmed by the actions of a person or a business. How do you determine what to seek in an Ohio wrongful death lawsuit?
The state allows you to claim certain kinds of losses
If the circumstances potentially meet the state standard of involving negligence, wrongful acts/illegal activity or default, your family can file a lawsuit against the company or individual that you believe is responsible for your loved one’s death.
When you file a lawsuit, you will have to ask for a specific amount of compensation. Ohio law limits what kind of compensation you can seek in a wrongful death claim. For example, you have the right to claim loss support. This includes the income and benefits the deceased party would have contributed to your household.
There is also loss of society, which involves the suffering of you and other family members because you’ve lost such an important relationship. You can seek the loss of future inheritance, the loss of household support and even reasonable funeral and burial expenses.
Does Ohio allow punitive damages?
Punitive damages are additional financial awards sometimes granted in cases of wrongdoing. When the courts want to send a message and financially penalize one party for misconduct, punitive damages are a means of doing so. In an Ohio wrongful death claim, punitive damages are unlikely. They require evidence that the people who caused the death did so maliciously or with disregard for human life.
Learning about wrongful death lawsuits in Ohio can give your family a chance to seek justice after an unexpected loss.