Losing a loved one can be devastating. After their death, you may struggle emotionally and financially—even more so if the loss is unexpected. If your loved ones’ death was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
No amount of money can alleviate the pain of your loss. However, you can take legal action to hold the negligent party civilly liable for the actions and pursue compensation to unburden yourself financially. Below, we give you a brief overview of wrongful death suits in Ohio.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim in Ohio?
Under Ohio Revised Code § 2125.01, a wrongful death claim can be brought forward when a person’s death resulted from wrongful acts, negligence, or default actions that would entitle the decedent to recover damages if they had not died. Wrongful death claims can arise out of a host of incidents, including but not limited to:
- Car or truck accident
- Instances of medical malpractice
- Pedestrian or cyclist accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Premises liability claims (i.e. slip and fall accidents, negligent security claims, swimming pool accidents, defective property conditions, etc.)
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim Forward in Ohio?
In Ohio, the estate executor or personal representative of the decedent’s estate must file a claim on behalf of the decedent’s surviving family members. The personal representative may be named in the decedent’s will. However, if the deceased did not have a will, the court can appoint someone to act as executor.
If a settlement is awarded, it will be divided according to Ohio intestate laws. In most cases, the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, parents, and/or dependents will receive compensation, and the court aims to divide the settlement fairly based on the damages they suffered. Grandparents, siblings, and other relatives are not entitled to compensation unless they prove that they suffered damages and they had a relationship with the decedent.
Is There a Damages Cap on Ohio Wrongful Death Claims?
In Ohio, wrongful death claims are not subject to caps concerning your compensation. Claimants can be compensated for the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of services (concerning housework and/or childcare)
- Loss of companionship, guidance, or counsel
- Pain and suffering (such as mental anguish) caused by the death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expense incurred due to the death
Are Wrongful Death Settlements Taxable?
In most cases, your settlement is not considered taxable income. However, you may have to pay taxes for the portion of your settlement concerning compensation received for:
- Medical expenses you have deducted in previous tax years
- Punitive damages
- Pain and suffering that is not associated with the decedent’s physical injury or illness
If you are concerned about the tax implications of your settlement, you should consult with your attorney. They can best advise you of implications and connect you with a reliable tax attorney.
Contact Our Firm Today
At Bridges, Jillisky, Weller & Gullifer, LLC, our attorneys are known for being compassionate and attentive advocates for our clients. We handle a variety of wrongful death claims including cases that arise out of car accidents, pedestrian accidents, truck accidents, premises liability claims, and animal attacks. Once you retain our team, we can help you:
- File your claim
- Collect evidence
- Develop a case strategy
- Prepare for court or settlement meetings
- Alleviate the stress of having to navigate the complex legal system
To schedule a free consultation, call (937) 403-9033 or complete this online form. While you take the time to grieve, you can trust our firm to provide you with high-quality legal representation and handle the case legalities.