The death of a loved one is a challenging time for family and friends. If the loss resulted from negligence, the surviving family could access compensation through a wrongful death suit.
Wrongful death cases involve two types of damages, economic and non-economic. The payment can assist the family in dealing with the aftermath of the loss.
When filing a wrongful death lawsuit, economic damages refer to those losses that the family can directly quantify. Such expenses include:
- Medical costs to care for the deceased before death
- Burial or funeral costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of services, such as household chores, childcare and home responsibilities
A family needs to carefully keep all bills and paperwork regarding such financial factors to demonstrate the full extent of economic impairment.
A family may also seek noneconomic damages when filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Noneconomic damages refer to the emotional losses, pain and suffering the surviving family members experience due to the death. Such damages might include:
- Loss of companionship
- The emotional distress of the family
- Physical and emotional pain the deceased sustained after the incident
Unlike other states, there is no cap on noneconomic damages in Ohio wrongful death cases.
The personal representative
Only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file the wrongful death claim on behalf of the family. The decedent should have named this person in the will. The court appoints an individual to serve if there is no will. The personal representative is generally a capable adult of close relation to the deceased person.
The Ohio code sets two years from the date of death for the personal representative to bring the claim. However, the effort to collect evidence and care for other financial matters means families may have increased challenges if they delay.