According to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §2125.02, the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death case in Ohio is generally two years. The two-year statutory deadline starts from the date of death, not the cause of the individual’s death.
To put this into perspective, an individual could get into a car accident and suffer severe injuries that require emergency medical care. Despite great efforts, they still die from their injuries three days later. The statute of limitations for their family to file a wrongful death lawsuit would start on the specific day the individual passed away instead of the day of the accident.
If your loved one’s death was the result of negligence or a wrongful act, you or other surviving family members might be eligible to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party.
Plaintiffs Must Comply with the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases
Dealing with the grief of losing a loved one can be overwhelming and exhausting, especially if their death was sudden and unexpected. While you might be coming to terms with your loved one’s loss, the legal system does not allow much time to take civil action against a negligent party who caused a wrongful death.
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Failure to File on Time Has Consequences
The statute of limitations is a legal deadline that plaintiffs must comply with should they decide to bring a lawsuit against a defendant. If the plaintiff does not file their lawsuit on time, they might:
- Be unable to file their case in general
- Have their case dismissed by a judge upon the defendant’s request
- Be unable to compel the defendant to pay compensation for their damages
- Have to pay for damages out of their own pocket
A Lawyer Can Help You File Your Case on Time
You may wish to work with a wrongful death lawyer on your case. A lawyer may be able to file your wrongful death claim or lawsuit on your behalf. Once you tell your lawyer how your loved one’s accident led to their death and who might be involved in the accident, they can launch an investigation to determine who the liable parties might be.
To identify the liable party for your loved one’s death, your lawyer might:
- Review the accident report if available
- Review your loved one’s medical records
- Request photos and video footage of your loved one’s injuries or the accident scene
- Collect other forms of evidence that prove your loved one’s death
- Review the autopsy report for your loved one
Your lawyer may be able to use the autopsy report to establish the statute of limitations in your case.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
With a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, you might be able to pursue compensation to recover some of the damages you were left with or experienced as a result of your loved one’s death.
For example, you might have inherited medical debts if your loved one received treatment before their death. You might also face funeral and burial costs. These damages may be listed in your demands for compensation.
Other losses might be more personal, such as your mental anguish, loss of companionship, or loss of parental guidance. Your lawyer can help you add these types of damages to your compensation claim as well.
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The Fitch Law Firm LLC Can Help You File a Wrongful Death Claim or Lawsuit
If you lost a loved one in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, you might be eligible to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. A wrongful death lawyer from the Fitch Law Firm LLC may be able to help you determine the cause of your loved one’s death and fight for compensation. We represent clients in and around Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Marion, and Springfield.
For a free consultation on your case with a member of our legal team, call the Fitch Law Firm LLC today at (614) 545-3930. We can discuss the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death case during this call.
At the Fitch Law Firm LLC, we work on a contingency-fee-basis where our clients are not obligated to pay any attorney’s fees unless we make a recovery for the client.