Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Ohio?
Our Ohio wrongful death attorney at The Henry Law Firm knows that the death of a loved one is an unfortunate occurrence. Yet, our firm also understands that it’s even worse when the death of someone you care about is unexpected and caused directly by someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or carelessness.
According to the CDC, approximately 200,955 unintentional injury deaths occur in the U.S. every year. Of these 200,955 deaths, 42,114 people die from falls, 40,698 from motor vehicle accidents, and 87,404 from unintentional poisoning. If your loved one has passed due to wrongful or unintentional death, you should seek a free consultation with an Ohio wrongful death lawyer.
We will work alongside you to ensure you have help navigating the legalities surrounding a wrongful death claim. We can help you with everything from discussing your legal options, investigating the incident, assisting with a personal representative to manage the estate, or opening an estate. Our attorney is eager to help you gain justice, compensation, and closure.
What Qualifies as a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Ohio
In Ohio, wrongful death is classified as a death caused by another person’s “wrongful act, neglect, or default.” This “wrongful act, neglect, or default” is deemed a wrongful death if it would have entitled the person who died to file a personal injury lawsuit if they had lived.
It’s important to note that ‘wrongful act’ is typically associated with intentional acts of violence (like assault). At the same time, ‘neglect’ can refer to legal negligence (when someone breaches their duty of care, leading to someone sustaining fatal injuries).
Ultimately, a wrongful death case can be referred to as a personal injury case in which the injured person (the person who died) cannot bring their case to court. This means that another party must file a claim on behalf of the person who died.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Ohio
In Ohio, only the “personal representative” of the person who died is permitted to file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased had a will and an executor was appointed, that person would be able to file a wrongful death claim once the deceased’s estate has been opened in probate court.
If the deceased does not have a will, it would be up to the probate court to appoint a personal representative. If the court has to assign a personal representative, they will be known as an administrator.
It is up to the next of kin to nominate an administrator and apply to the appropriate probate court for appointment. Usually, the probate court will look to appoint a surviving spouse or surviving (adult) children. If the deceased was a minor, the court would typically look to appoint the parent of the deceased minor. In some instances, a neutral attorney will serve as an administrator on behalf of the deceased’s family.
If there is no estate, an estate must be opened, and then a personal representative must be appointed by the probate court. A lawsuit cannot be filed, nor can a case be settled until this is done.
Three Most Commonly Asked Wrongful Death Lawsuit Questions
If you want to file a wrongful death claim, At The Henry Law Firm, our attorney can answer all the wrongful death lawsuit questions that you might have.
Below we have spoken about three of the most commonly asked wrongful death lawsuit questions.
1. How Long Will My Wrongful Death Lawsuit Take?
How long a wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio will take is incredibly variable. This is because how long this type of claim takes will depend upon several factors.
For example, it will depend on how difficult it is to prove negligence or a wrongful act. It will also depend on whether the case has to go to trial, the unique facts, and whether an appeal is needed. However, typically, these cases take between one to two years to resolve.
If you want to have a more accurate estimate, you should speak with our Ohio lawyer about the specifics of your case.
2. Time Length for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Ohio
A very common question many ask is how long they have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio. According to the law of this state, wrongful death claims must be made within two years of the victim’s death.
If you wait longer to file a claim of this nature, you will lose the potential to pursue compensation. This is another reason why speaking with a lawyer is recommended.
3. What Are the Various Types of Wrongful Death Actions in Ohio?
There are several different types of wrongful death that you can bring as a personal representative in Ohio. We have listed some of the wrongful death actions below that you can file.
- Slip and fall accidents
- Truck, bike, train, car, and airplane accidents
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice such as misdiagnosis and medical errors
- Criminal acts like DUIs
- Prescription drug mistakes
- A building or home fire
- Occupational exposure to hazardous substances or conditions
Speak With an Ohio Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Unfortunately, a wrongful death lawsuit will not bring back your loved one. Yet, fortunately, Ohio law permits you to recover compensation that can help you move on with your life and justice for your loss. Although you can file a claim on your own, it’s usually best to consider hiring an Ohio wrongful death attorney who has experience with the legalities of these cases.
At The Henry Law Firm, our qualified and professional lawyer can help you. If a settlement is deemed impossible, he can help you pursue the responsible party and take them to court.
We know how difficult it can be fighting for compensation when you’re grieving and trying to heal the loss of a loved one. Contact our experienced legal team today, so we can help build your case.