Cleveland Wrongful Death Lawyers
Representing Families in Cleveland and Throughout Northeast Ohio
Losing a loved one is always a traumatic event. When that loss comes suddenly and due to someone else's negligence, it can be even more difficult to move forward.
Ohio law provides a means for surviving family members to secure compensation for their loss. While no amount of money will make up for the loss of a family member, fair compensation can help your family heal and rebuild by providing financial stability and the breathing room to recover without unnecessary stress.
Wrongful Death Claims in Ohio
Wrongful death claims often arise in the same way that personal injury or other types of negligence claims might. For example, a fatal car accident might lead to a wrongful death claim. In that situation, had the deceased survived, the claim would have been a personal injury case.
However, the process for pursuing a wrongful death claim is slightly different. A wrongful death claim is filed by the executor of the deceased’s estate. However, the claim is not brought on behalf of the estate. Rather, any damages awarded in a wrongful death claim are strictly for the benefit of certain surviving family members: the surviving spouse, children of the deceased, and parents of the deceased.
While the executor may be represented by an attorney in the administration of the estate, a probate attorney doesn’t necessarily have the specific knowledge and skills necessary to pursue maximum recovery in a wrongful death case. It is generally in the family’s best interest for the estate to retain an experienced personal injury / wrongful death lawyer in Cleveland.
Damages in a Cleveland Wrongful Death Case
Damages in a wrongful death case also differ somewhat from those available in a personal injury case. The judge or jury in a wrongful death case has broad discretion to award damages.
These damages may include compensation for:
- Loss of support, based on the anticipated earning capacity of the disease
- Loss of "society" of the deceased, which includes elements such as companionship, protection, advice, guidance, care, consortium and assistance
- Loss of services of the deceased
- Loss of prospective inheritance
- Mental anguish suffered by the surviving spouse, dependent children, parents or next of kin
The judge or jury may also award reasonable funeral and burial expenses.
Survival of Personal Injury Claims
In addition to the action for wrongful death on behalf of surviving family members, the estate of the deceased may have a claim for damages that would have been available to the deceased if they had survived. For example, these claims might include compensation for pain and suffering in the time between the injury and death, and reimbursement for medical expenses sustained during that time.
These damages are payable to the estate rather than the family, to be distributed according to the terms of the deceased’s will or Ohio’s intestate succession law.
Get the Help You Need After the Loss of a Loved One
If you’ve lost a loved one through someone else’s negligence or intentional act, the last thing you need is the stress of figuring out how to secure the compensation you need to make ends meet as you and your family recover.
Attorney Robert J. Vecchio has devoted decades to fighting for injury victims and those who have lost family members in Cuyahoga and Richland Counties and throughout the state of Ohio.
He has the skills and experience required to build the strongest possible case on your behalf. He also understands the emotional and practical challenges surviving family members face.