Toledo, Ohio
Civil Litigation Attorneys

Toledo, Ohio Civil Litigation Attorneys

Mistakes to avoid in an Ohio wrongful death case

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2023 | Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one, especially in the negligent hands of another, brings up overwhelming emotions in the bereaved family. Between dealing with their loss and processing a claim, the decedent’s surviving loved ones may find themselves in a dark place. Consequently, some of them may act rashly, putting their rights at risk.

Immediately talking to the insurance company

One of the common mistakes a decedent’s family makes is discussing with the insurance company immediately after the wrongful death. Sadly, most, if not all, insurance companies’ goal is to pay claimants as little as possible. They will try to reduce the compensation and use the claimant’s lack of knowledge in the process as leverage.

If an affected party immediately sits down with the insurer without first evaluating the circumstances and consulting a legal professional, they risk their right to fair compensation.

Accepting the settlement right away

In a wrongful death case, the responsible party can extend an offer to settle the case before it reaches the court. However, this is likely an attempt to pay less than they would have to pay if the case is processed in court. While the amount the negligent party offers seems reasonable and inviting, it may not be enough to cover the funeral and burial expenses, the family’s loss of financial support and intangible damages.

Taking too long to file an action

Reasonably, bereaved family members need to process their loss and take time to evaluate their next step. However, some take too long to decide and eventually lose their chance to file an action for damages. In Ohio, interested parties must file an action for wrongful death within two years of the decedent’s death. Unless the case falls under one of the exceptions, they may no longer pursue a lawsuit against the negligent party.

Difficult but not impossible

Despite the unique circumstances of each case, every wrongful death claim is challenging to deal with. Nevertheless, parties can overcome this difficulty by carefully evaluating options and making balanced decisions.