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Cincinnati Wrongful Death Lawyers
If a loved one’s death was caused by another’s negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit may provide you and other surviving family members the compensation you need to cope with related expenses and help protect your financial future.
The Cincinnati personal injury lawyers at Young, Reverman & Mazzei are dedicated to helping families through this challenging time and pursuing the money survivors need for medical costs, funeral and burial expenses, and other damages. If you believe a family member’s death was the result of another’s carelessness, call us today at 800-721-1678 or contact us online.
We welcome clients from the greater Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, areas as well as those from Boone County, Campbell County and Kenton County in Kentucky, and Dearborn County in Indiana. Our attorneys offer free consultations to help you understand your options and the wrongful death claims process, and we don’t charge for our services unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
What is a Wrongful Death Case?
A wrongful death case is a civil lawsuit intended to provide compensation to certain family members and other surviving loved ones when an individual’s death is the result of another party’s negligence or deliberately harmful act.
A wrongful death lawsuit may generally be filed if the incident that caused the death would have been grounds for the deceased to bring a personal injury case if he or she had lived. Wrongful death claims should not be confused with criminal proceedings, although defendants in wrongful death lawsuits may also face criminal charges.
The burden of proof for a successful wrongful death claim is different than the burden of proof required in a criminal case. The plaintiff in a wrongful death case does not have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt or even that the defendant (at-fault party) intended to harm the decedent.
Establishing a Case for Wrongful Death
A valid wrongful death case must generally establish three key points:
- A person was killed
- The person’s death was the result of another’s negligence or recklessness
- The decedent’s surviving family members suffered financial injury due to the death
That said, each state has different rules regarding who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim as well as deadlines for filing wrongful death lawsuits.
Wrongful Death in Ohio
In Ohio, wrongful death claims must be filed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. This person may have been appointed by the deceased in his or her will, or can be appointed by the probate court.
Wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within two years from the date of the decedent’s death, or two years from the date when it was determined that the death may have been “wrongful.” Although there are factors that can affect the deadline—or statute of limitations—to file a wrongful death case, it’s in your best interests to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the death.
Wrongful Death in Kentucky
Kentucky’s wrongful death laws differ from many other states in that the measure of damages is based solely on the loss of the decedent’s earning power. Only the individual appointed as the personal representative of the decedent’s estate may bring a wrongful death claim in Kentucky.
Surviving spouses and children, however, may be able to file a loss of consortium claim. In Kentucky, wrongful death claims resulting from motor vehicle crashes must be filed within two years from the date of death; loss of consortium claims must be filed within one year from the date of death.
Wrongful Death in Indiana
Wrongful death claims in Indiana must also be brought by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. That person may be a spouse, adult child, parent or sibling of the deceased. If the decedent is a child, the parents may bring a wrongful death case on the child’s behalf.
In Indiana, wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the date of death. However, the state allows exceptions for cases related to medical malpractice.
Common Sources of Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death lawsuits often arise from the same types of circumstances that lead to personal injury lawsuits. These incidents include but are not limited to:
- Car crashes
- Motorcycle accidents
- Large truck accidents
- Workplace injuries
- Dog attacks and other premises liability issues
Regardless of the type of incident, if your family member or loved one died due to another’s carelessness you may have the basis for a wrongful death claim.
Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
Damages in wrongful death claims can vary widely based on the state where the death occurred, the circumstances surrounding the death, the decedent’s age and other factors. In broad terms, damages in a wrongful death case may include money for:
- Medical costs incurred by the decedent prior to his or her death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- The decedent’s pain and suffering prior to death
- Loss of earned income
- Loss of benefits (such as health care or retirement)
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of household services (such as child care)
In some cases, a court may also award punitive damages. Punitive damages is additional compensation intended to punish the defendant for especially grievous conduct and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior.
Contact a Compassionate Wrongful Death Lawyer
The accomplished attorneys at Young, Reverman & Mazzei Co represent the survivors and loved ones of individuals who lost their lives due to another’s negligence.
We offer free consultations to help survivors understand the wrongful death legal process and to determine how best to pursue your claim. Our attorneys work on a contingent-fee basis, which means you don’t pay unless we successfully resolve your case. Call us today at 800-721-1678 or contact us online to schedule your no-obligation consultation.
We proudly represent clients from the greater Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, areas. We also serve clients from Campbell County, Boone County and Kenton County in Kentucky, and Dearborn County in Indiana. Please see our locations page for a complete list of our offices and directions.