Losing a loved one to an accident is emotionally devastating. Depending on your circumstances, it can also affect your financial position, living situation, work, education and more. While nothing can make up for the loss of human life, filing a wrongful death claim can provide for financial needs while your family is grieving.
To prevail on a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff usually has to prove the defendant negligently or recklessly caused the victim’s death. Here’s what a successful wrongful death claim may require.
Negligence and wrongful death
Wrongful death is often a type of negligence claim. Plaintiffs must prove all four elements of negligence before they can recover compensation:
- The defendant had a duty of care to the victim;
- The defendant failed to meet that duty;
- The breach of duty led to the accident; and
- The victim died as a result.
The duty of care may vary, depending on who the defendant is. For example, drivers have a duty to obey all traffic laws and avoid harming other drivers. Grocery store managers have a duty to keep the premises free of slipping and falling hazards. Manufacturers have a duty to create products that are safe for their intended use, and warn of any potential dangers. Medical professionals have a duty to offer the same level of care any similarly trained professional would provide in the same scenario.
Wrongful death damages
Part of proving a wrongful death claim involves proving the damages that you have suffered. For example, if your deceased spouse was the breadwinner while you stayed home to raise the children, you can show that you’ve lost your spouse’s future income. With only one parent living, childcare costs and other household services may now be an issue. Medical and funeral expenses are also common damages in wrongful death claims.
Noneconomic damages may be harder to prove. These include losing the victim’s companionship, support, guidance and even a child’s future inheritance. Some courts may award pain and suffering damages for the injuries the victim suffered before death.
Because it’s more difficult to prove noneconomic damages, it’s important to retain an experienced wrongful death attorney. The Law Offices of Tim Misny offers decades of experience litigating wrongful death and personal injury cases. We can review your claim and determine whether you have standing to sue, the likelihood of success and what we’ll need to recover compensation.
Consult an Ohio wrongful death lawyer today
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your wrongful death case. When your loved one was the victim of negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (800) 556-4769 so that I can evaluate your case right away.