When someone dies because of the negligence, recklessness or intentional acts of another party, the law allows for wrongful death lawsuits.
In an Ohio wrongful death claim, plaintiffs assert that the misconduct of the defendant directly caused the death of another person. The courts can order compensation for the financial, physical and emotional impact of someone’s death if they rule in favor of the plaintiff.
Who, however, has the authority to initiate those legal proceedings after the death of another?
The executor or representative of the deceased’s estate files the claim
Ohio allows the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Either the individual chosen by the deceased party or someone named by the courts will have the authority to take legal action when there is evidence supporting the claim that a specific person or business caused someone’s death.
The proceeds of a wrongful death claim in Ohio typically go to the immediate family members of the deceased. Spouses and children have the strongest rights, although parents can also receive the proceeds of a lawsuit if the deceased party had neither a spouse nor children. A successful wrongful death claim both provides financial support for those who lost a loved one and creates consequences for the parties at fault for that tragedy.
A wrongful death claim can be pursued in addition to any survival action filed on behalf of the deceased. A survival action is a personal injury claim that the deceased could have made had they not succumbed to their injuries, and it can cover things like their hospital bills and pain and suffering.
Reaching out to the team at Phillips & Mille Co., L.P.A. can help someone evaluate whether their situation might justify filing a wrongful death lawsuit.