A decedent’s personal representative, usually a relative appointed by the probate court, may file on behalf of the family.
If you are not sure if you qualify to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you can call a law firm and discuss your situation. A lawyer may be able to answer your question based on your specific relation to the decedent or other extraordinary circumstances.
Eligible Surviving Family Members Must File Their Case on Time
You must file your wrongful death lawsuit within Ohio’s statute of limitations. This is a legal deadline for civil action lawsuits. The Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §2125.02 states that family members generally have two years from the decedent’s death to file their case and pursue compensatory damages.
Two years can go by quickly when you are processing grief, dealing with financial challenges, and trying to maintain order in your life after a loved one’s passing. However, if you fail to meet the statutory deadline, you might risk having your case dismissed and losing your opportunity to recover compensation for your damages.
If you need legal assistance, you can hire a wrongful death lawyer to manage your case for you while you focus on personal matters. Your lawyer can help you file your case on time and help you pursue compensation to recover some or all of your losses.
Surviving Family Members May Be Entitled to Receive Compensation
Qualifying family members might be able to recover their damages through a wrongful death lawsuit if they provide evidence that proves they experienced several forms of losses after their loved one’s death. These losses can vary in type but are ultimately broken down into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages generally involve financial losses and are easier to prove because evidence might involve receipts, invoice statements, paycheck stubs, or value estimates. These damages are more tangible forms of losses that can range from medical care bills your loved one incurred before their death or potential loss of income now that your loved one can no longer provide for your family.
Other forms of economic damages may include:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial or cremation expenses
- Income loss
- Property damage
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages do not have an assigned financial value and might be more difficult to determine since they are based on personal standards. Your lawyer might be able to use certain methods to calculate the value of your non-economic damages and add them to the total value of your case.
Non-economic damages might include:
- Mental or emotional anguish, including grief
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of society of the decedent
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A Lawyer Can Handle Your Wrongful Death Case from Beginning to End
Managing a wrongful death case can feel overwhelming and potentially triggering to your emotional state if you are still in the height of your grief. You do not have to put that kind of stress on yourself. You can choose to work with a wrongful death lawyer, and they can help you build your case and fulfill legal requirements to file your case.
If you hire a lawyer, they may be able to:
- Collect and review evidence pertaining to your loved one’s death and related damages
- Calculate the value of your case
- File your case by the statutory deadline
- Handle communications with the at-fault party, their insurer, and/or their legal representative
- Serve as your representative during negotiations or a court trial
Your lawyer may perform other legal duties, depending on the needs of your case.
Work with a Wrongful Death Lawyer from the Fitch Law Firm, LLC
If your loved one’s wrongful death occurred in Columbus, Ohio, you can opt to work with a lawyer. They can review your circumstances and determine who can file a wrongful death case on behalf of your loved one. If you qualify to file a lawsuit, they can guide you throughout the litigation process and manage your case for you so that you can continue recovering from your loved one’s loss.
The Fitch Law Firm, LLC, serves various clients in Columbus and surrounding areas in Ohio. If you need a wrongful death lawyer, feel free to call our law firm at (614) 545-3930. A member of our team can explain our services and your options during this call. Our lawyers work on a contingency-fee-basis, so you are not obligated to pay any attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Call now to get started.