The unexpected loss of a loved one is a devastating emotional experience -- and nothing you do can bring that person back. That fact alone can make it difficult to even consider taking legal action.
However, a wrongful death claim has several important purposes that you need to consider:
1. It allows you to get justice on behalf of the deceased
Your loved one can no longer demand justice for what happened -- but a wrongful death lawsuit gives you the opportunity to do it on his or her behalf.
2. You may stop someone else from getting hurt or killed
Some wrongful deaths happen due to willful actions. Many happen through simple negligence and a general lack of concern for other people's safety. Even when someone dies, the person or company responsible for that death may not change their practices unless they're faced with a serious penalty. A wrongful death lawsuit may be enough financial incentive to provoke that change.
3. You can shift the burden of your losses from your family to the proper party
Every death brings with it a financial burden on the deceased's family. There are hospital expenses and funeral expenses. In many cases, the deceased may have been a major wage earner for the household -- which means the household will now suffer from that loss of income. You may also have lost a great deal of guidance and affection that your loved one brought you, among other things.
In Ohio, wrongful death claims can generally be filed by the deceased's spouse, children (natural or adopted) and parents. To be sure of your rights, talk to an attorney who is experienced in wrongful death claims. Our office can help you learn more about your options.