Losing a loved one is a devastating experience. In far too many situations, accidental deaths occur because someone else was negligent or reckless. In the aftermath of a spouse’s death or a parent’s death, it can seem impossible to move beyond your grief to consider the possibility of filing a wrongful death claim. However, as time goes by, you will likely begin worrying about the medical bills your loved one accrued prior to death, and funeral costs. If you relied on your loved one for financial support, lost wages can also mean that you are suffering financially. A wrongful death claim can help your family to obtain the compensation they need while holding the wrongdoer accountable. Yet you might be wondering: Am I eligible to file a wrongful death claim in Columbus?
Let me explain in more detail how wrongful death claims work, and whether you may be eligible to file a claim.
Personal Representative of the Estate Must File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The only person who is permitted to file a wrongful death lawsuit under Ohio law is the “personal representative” of the deceased’s estate. Under Ohio law, the personal representative must be a person, and it is typically the party who the deceased previously named as executor of the estate. In some cases, the personal representative may be a close family member of the deceased, but it need not be.
The family members of the deceased can receive financial compensation even if they are not the ones filing the wrongful death lawsuit. Just because the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is the only party who can actually file a claim does not mean that the close family members of the deceased will not be eligible for compensation.
Personal Representative Can Seek Damages for the Deceased’s Close Family Members
Ohio wrongful death law allows the personal representative of the deceased to seek financial compensation for the close surviving family members of the deceased, including the surviving spouse, surviving children, and surviving parents. In some limited cases, the deceased’s siblings or other close relatives may also be eligible for compensation if they depended on the deceased financially.
Contact Me for Assistance with a Wrongful Death Claim
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Columbus can be extremely complicated, and it is critical to have an experienced Columbus wrongful death attorney on your side. I know how important it is to hold the negligent party accountable in a wrongful death case, and to seek the financial compensation you need to pay for outstanding medical bills and lost wages. Nobody should ever have to go through the experience of losing a loved one because of another person’s negligence, and I know how difficult it can be to think about filing a lawsuit. Yet a wrongful death claim can help your family to survive while making sure the at-fault party pays. I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my firm today at 877.944.4373 to learn more about wrongful death claims in Columbus, Ohio.