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What can family members of the deceased recover in a wrongful death suit?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2022 | Litigation |

If you have lost a loved one to the negligent actions of another, no amount of money can truly make up for your pain. Even so, a wrongful death lawsuit may be in your best interest, as it can help you to recover the funds that you need in order to put your life back together after your loss. There are several types of damages that you could recover in a wrongful death suit in Ohio.

What your attorney has to prove

When you bring a wrongful death action against the party responsible for your loved one’s death, you are essentially standing in for your loved one and vindicating the right that they would have to bring a lawsuit if they had survived.

In other words, your attorney will have to go through the same steps as for any personal injury suit involving negligence. First, they will have to show that the responsible party had a duty to act in a safe and prudent manner toward your loved one, and that they breached that duty. Then, they will have to present evidence to prove that your loved one’s death was the direct result of that breach of duty.

What you could recover

Wrongful death cases can only benefit the deceased’s spouse, children, and parents. These immediate family members can recover for quantifiable economic loss, such as the loss of financial support and inheritance. They can also recover for intangible damages such as the loss of companionship and mental anguish, because these damages are no less real just because they are difficult to measure in a dollar amount.

When a court grants an award for loss of financial support, they do so based on a calculation of the deceased person’s earning capacity. In other words, family members who depended upon the deceased to support them financially can recover for the loss of that economic support.

As difficult as it is to initiate a legal action while you are still mourning, a wrongful death lawsuit may be the first step towards obtaining the closure that you need after your loss.

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