Collisions involving trucks, cars, motorcycles, or pedestrians result in fatalities heart breakingly often. After a death, surviving loved ones tend to experience a wide array of emotions, from despair to depression to anxiety. When the death was due to the negligent actions of another person, the surviving loved ones may also experience intense fear and frustration. These emotions are not the only negative impact on a surviving loved one’s life. The death may also have serious financial ramifications on those surviving, particularly when the deceased’s income contributed to the family’s finances.
If you have lost someone due to someone else’s negligent actions, you may be able to file a wrongful death action. In Columbus as throughout the rest of Ohio, there are certain laws that apply to these cases, including who can file these legal actions.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
When a person’s negligent actions result in someone else’s death, Ohio law allows for a process that is very similar to other types of personal injury claims. State law allows family members to file a claim in the event that the decedent would have been able to file a claim on their own if they had survived the accident. However, the law on wrongful death claims is not always straightforward.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Ohio?
In Ohio, only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim with the court. The personal representative may be named in the deceased’s will or elsewhere in their estate plan. If the deceased did not name a personal representative in their estate plan, the probate court will appoint one. After a personal representative is appointed, they can then proceed with the wrongful death action.
Who Can Receive Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim?
While it is only the personal representative who can file a wrongful death claim in court, they are not always the one who will receive the potential damages unless they are an eligible family member. State law presumes that it is only the decedent’s surviving parents, spouse, and children who suffer loss due to a wrongful death. As such, it is only these individuals who can claim damages in a wrongful death action.
Other family members such as siblings, grandparents, and unmarried romantic partners do not usually have a right to financial compensation after a wrongful death. Nevertheless, if they can show that they have suffered a ‘compensable loss,’ they can also claim that they have a legal right to some of the damages awarded.
Our Wrongful Death Lawyer in Columbus Can Help with Your Case
If you have lost a loved one due to the reckless or negligent actions of another person, our Columbus wrongful death lawyer can help. At Oliver Law Office, our experienced attorneys can advise you on the law regarding these cases and help you obtain the best possible outcome. Call us now at (614)-220-9100 or contact us online to schedule your case evaluation and to learn more about your legal options.
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