Key Wrongful Death Questions

“I have been there so many times before and NOW I will be there for YOU and your family.”
- Tim Misny - The man that “Makes Them Pay!®”

“Please understand that the slogan, I’ll Make Them Pay!® is not a guarantee of payment. Both liability and real damages must be proven with preponderance of the evidence.” – Tim Misny

Key Wrongful Death Questions

Key Wrongful Death Questions

Many people have questions about a potential wrongful death suit. Before contacting a wrongful death attorney such as myself, to determine if a suit can be brought against someone for the death of a loved one, I encourage you to review the following questions. These questions address the process for filing a wrongful death claim, and provide in-depth information about the facts for a successful wrongful death suit..

What Steps Must be Taken When Filing for Wrongful Death Damages in Cleveland, Ohio?


Step 1- Hire an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney

As wrongful death attorney with more than 40 years of experience, I can help you prove liability and causation and will work to obtain for you as much monetary compensation as Ohio law allows. This may include compensation for medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, loss of income and support, and loss of companionship and guidance. Do not trust just anyone to deliver the best wrongful death settlement possible. I am the wrongful death lawyer you can always trust to Make Them Pay!®

Step 2- Investigations into Wrongful Death Lawsuits

During the investigation of wrongful death cases, the law firm managing your case will gather evidence, which may include medical records, witness statements, and expert opinions. Your attorney will also review any applicable laws and regulations to determine if the responsible party violated any legal duty of care.

Once the investigation is complete, your attorney will file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the decedent’s estate and surviving family members. The lawsuit will seek compensation for the losses suffered by the surviving family members, including medical and funeral expenses, loss of income and support, loss of companionship and possible punitive damages.

Step 3- Filing for Wrongful Death Damages

Collection of all pertinent documentation: This includes all documents and paperwork related to your loved one’s illness or injury, the accident, or circumstances that led to their unexpected death.

File the required paperwork: Your attorney can provide you with the appropriate forms and help you complete the paperwork to begin the claim. Forms you may need in Ohio include; the Complaint, Summons, and a written request to the court to appoint a personal representative.

Proceed with the lawsuit: After filing the required paperwork, the lawsuit will proceed. The process may include discovery, mediation, and ultimately a trial if a settlement cannot be reached.

Step 4- Negotiation or Trial

Wrongful death cases in Ohio may be settled through negotiation or by going to trial. If the parties involved in the lawsuit cannot reach a settlement agreement, the case may proceed to trial. Going to trial may be an option if the plaintiff wishes to pursue a higher award than what may be offered in a settlement, although it also carries the risk of receiving a lower award or no award at all. If a settlement agreement is reached, the repayment may be structured and distributed over a period of time.

What is the Court’s Process in Wrongful Death Cases?

The primary steps to filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio involve several legal and procedural requirements.

  1. Identify the personal representative of the decedent: A wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio must be brought by the personal representative of the deceased person. This person is typically named in the decedent’s will or appointed by the probate court.

  2. Open an estate in probate court: The family must open an estate in probate court, which is the court that handles the distribution of assets of the deceased. The proceeds from the estate will ultimately benefit the surviving spouse, children, and/or parents of the decedent.

  3. File the wrongful death lawsuit: The personal representative of the decedent must file the wrongful death lawsuit in the county where the death occurred, or where the defendant resided. The lawsuit must also include specific information about the deceased, the defendant, and the circumstances of the death.

  4. Proving liability and damages: In a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s wrongful act, neglect, or default was the proximate cause of the deceased’s death. The plaintiff must also prove the amount of damages sustained by the surviving family members, which may include medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and loss of support.

  5. Distribution of damages: If the plaintiff is successful in the wrongful death lawsuit, the damages awarded will be distributed among the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased according to Ohio law.

It is important to note that the above steps are subject to change, and it is always best to consult with a qualified attorney to ensure compliance with current Ohio laws and regulations.

What Must be Proven in a Wrongful Death Case in Ohio?


Duty of Care

“Duty of care” refers to the legal obligation a person or entity has to others to act with reasonable care and caution to avoid causing harm. In a wrongful death case, the defendant may have had a duty of care to the deceased, such as a duty to maintain equipment, provide safe working conditions, or follow traffic rules.

Breach of Duty

Breach of duty refers to a situation where the defendant failed to act with reasonable care, skill, or caution in a manner that a prudent person would have acted in similar circumstances. Examples of negligence included: medical malpractice, product liability, workplace accidents, and car accidents. In such cases, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant’s conduct fell below the standard of care expected in that situation, and that the breach of duty led to the death of the victim. If the plaintiff can establish a breach of duty, the defendant may be held liable for damages in a wrongful death case.


Causation refers to the link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the death of the victim. To prove causation in a wrongful death case, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant’s wrongful conduct was a substantial factor in causing the victim’s death. This requires showing that the victim would not have died had it not been for the wrongful conduct of the defendant.


There are two types of damages that may be awarded in a wrongful death case: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are tangible losses that can be quantified, such as medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, and loss of income and benefits that the deceased would have provided to their family had they lived. Non-economic damages are intangible losses that are more difficult to quantify, such as loss of companionship, care, and consortium.

Compensatory damages may be awarded in a wrongful death claim and may include damages for loss of support from the expected earning capacity of the deceased, loss of services of the deceased, and loss of society of the deceased, including loss of companionship, consortium, care, and guidance. The amount of damages awarded in a wrongful death case varies depending on the circumstances of the case, and the losses suffered by the surviving family members.

It is important to seek the counsel of experienced attorneys who can help prove liability and causation in a wrongful death claim, and pursue maximum compensation for the losses suffered by the victim’s surviving family.

Can Anyone File a Wrongful Death Claim?

No, not just anyone can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio. Only the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate is permitted to file a wrongful death case in Ohio. If the deceased had a will and an executor was appointed, that person would be able to file a wrongful death claim after the deceased’s estate has been opened in probate court. If the deceased did not have a will, it would be up to the court to appoint a personal representative.

The personal representative brings the action for the benefit of the person’s surviving spouse, children, and parents. The damages awarded in the wrongful death lawsuit are distributed among the surviving spouse, children, and parents according to Ohio law. I have worked for over 40 years as a wrongful death lawyer in Ohio, and I will use that experience to ensure you are justly compensation .

How Much Is My Loved One’s Life Worth?

The value of a loved one’s life in a wrongful death case cannot be easily determined as it depends on several factors, including the extent of the loss that occurred. Therefore, there is no set amount for how much a loved one’s life is worth in an Ohio wrongful death claim.

My Loved One Suffered Before They Died. Can This Impact the Amount of Awarded Damages?

Yes, suffering prior to death can play a role in the damages awarded in Ohio wrongful death claims. For example, suffering prior to death due to injuries sustained in an accident may be a factor in how much is awarded to surviving family members.

Can Bystanders Who Witnessed the Accident Join the Claim?

It is possible for bystanders who witness the accident in a wrongful death lawsuit to be part of the suit. however, their involvement would depend on their relationship to the deceased and the specific circumstances of the case.

Accident bystanders would need to have a legal relationship with the deceased that allows them to bring forth a wrongful death claim. The wrongful death statute in Ohio broadly defines wrongful death and specifies who can sue and what may be awarded.

Is There a Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Suits in Ohio?

Yes, there is a statute of limitations for a wrongful death case in Ohio. The statute of limitations sets a time frame for how long a personal representative has to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Ohio, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from the date the loved one has died, or from when the wrongdoing was discovered.

It is always a good idea to begin legal proceedings as soon as possible, even though the statute allows up to two years to file a claim. Failing to file a wrongful death claim within the statute of limitations period may result in a claim dismissal. If this occurs, the plaintiff will be unable to recover damages for their devastating loss. As your wrongful death attorney, I will make sure all timelines are amply met, and I’ll Will Make Them Pay!®

It is important to note that a wrongful death lawsuit is classified as a civil action, not a criminal one, under Ohio law. If it were a criminal case, the defendant could face jail time, fines, and other penalties. However, in a civil wrongful death case, the plaintiff seeks monetary damages for their loss.

If you’ve lost a loved one and believe that someone else was at fault, you will want to work with a wrongful death attorney with a proven track record of success. Contact me right now, and  I’ll Make Them Pay!®


Jake Ferri
Jake Ferri
23:46 01 Aug 22
I have no case and no one that I need Tim Misney to make pay, just wanted to say the best part of my day is getting to... drive by his billboards. His People's Eyebrow is immaculate and the new billboard with him on the motorcycle is downright bitchin'. Thank you Tim Misney for significantly improving the quality of my more
Jennifer Malainy
Jennifer Malainy
22:44 19 Jul 22
My favorite lawyer. Truly one of the kindest, smartest, and most genuine humans I have ever met. There is only one TIM... MISNY and he will make them pay!! God more
01:16 16 Feb 22
I spoke to Amy and Christine about a possible personal injury case involving my father and they were both helpful,... professional, knowledgeable and responsive. Although they could not help us with our case, I would highly recommend them!read more
Stephen Burks
Stephen Burks
20:12 21 Jan 22
It really comes down to what people say and do when they don't think anyone that matters is listening or they'll get... anything in return.There's the Tim Misny you see on the billboards and on TV, but there's another Tim Misny that I know up close and personal.The Tim Misny I know is genuinely passionate about helping the hard working little folks who get pushed around the big folks. He actually, really honestly cares about people who run into bad luck at no fault of their own. Tim has quietly, out of the sight of cameras and with no fanfare shared generously with the marginalized in our society; single moms, Veterans and others without expecting anything in return.He calls them like he sees them and you wouldn't want to take your troubles to anyone more
mark colucci
mark colucci
14:33 06 Dec 21
Mr. Misny is an angel here on earth and the BEST attorney in Ohio. He has helped my daughter who is in law school when... she needed the guidance most. He is a class act, a great family man, and extremely caring. If you need a lawyer in this field I would HIGHLY recommend. There is no other lawyer, in my opinion, better than Tim Misny.Thank you Tim for being a light in this community!read more
Damon Mitchell Sr .1st. (The Old-Man !!! Pop's !!!)
Damon Mitchell Sr .1st. (The Old-Man !!! Pop's !!!)
02:43 27 Nov 21
Advice on Law question? Also Advise to do more research for Different types of Situations that’s Criminal and Civil... Pursuits!City, State and Above State Level Situation .Pro Se !read more
Gianna Colucci
Gianna Colucci
12:56 04 Nov 21
Mr. Misny is the best! I am a 27-year-old single mother, and I am finishing law school in May at Cleveland-Marshall... College of Law. When I found myself jobless during the height of the pandemic, I knew I needed help. Going into the legal profession, I wanted to be JUST LIKE Mr. Misny because I knew he was the most successful attorney in the industry. I called him up one day just for the hell of it to see if there was anyway he could help me. I never thought such a big name/reputation like him would respond to me. However, when he learned of my financial situation he PERSONALLY called my cell phone within 5 minutes of my email. Not only has he helped me secure employment, but he continues to teach me every single day what it takes to be the BEST lawyer in the legal profession. I am forever thankful for Mr. Misny. He changed my life. He continues to inspire me every single day, and I am so proud that he took me under his wing and is my mentor. He is the most intelligent, kindest, caring attorney I have ever met, and he is giving me the tools I need to be the most successful lawyer I can be o give my four-year-old son, Gregory, the life he deserves. THANK YOU MR. TIM MISNY. I owe my entire future legal career to you because if you didn't take the time out of your busy day to call me that day and help me when no one else would, I would not have been able to stay in law school. You change lives every single day. Keep being you Tim. There is no one like Tim more
Brandon Hagerdon
Brandon Hagerdon
20:53 18 May 21
I met Tim 6 years ago when he was working with my mother. Since then we were able to stay in touch and build a... relationship. I reached out to Tim recently about an opportunity and he was able to connect the dots and help me with this. During this process he gave me his direct number to contact him if need be. If you are in need of any sort of help, I would recommend Tim every more
Jimmie Graham
Jimmie Graham
19:26 30 Mar 21
Tim is hands down the best lawyer in town. He was able to guide me through the legal process and keep me informed at... all stages. Which allowed me to not stress and focus on life. He was able to get me the best deal possible in my court case. One thing that blew me away is that he gave me his direct cell number and answered anytime I had a question which is rare with most lawyers. 100% Misny is the guy! There's a reason he's on literally every billboard in more
Paul McFadden
Paul McFadden
13:29 20 Jan 21
My relationship with Tim goes back over 30 years and is one of great trust and mutual respect. Tim represented me at a... critical point in my life and I will always be indebted to him for the difference he made. He is always just a phone call more
Rick Miller
Rick Miller
18:55 21 Dec 20
If I could reach into the sky just to pull more than 5 stars down for a rating I would! I have used other lawyers in... the past and it was such a pain to reach them when I needed them. Tim is in all honesty there for you. He gave me his personal phone number, and at anytime or any day he answered. If I had to leave a message I could count to 10 and he would already be calling me back. He also was willing to talk on the weekends! He didn’t just forward me to an impersonal automated system or a person with no experience. I will NEVER use another person for legal advice. He’s gracious enough to give me guidance whenever I have a question. No matter how complex. This may sound like an advertisement but I assure you this man was more in touch when I had an issue than my own family. A reasonable and caring family man who will MAKE THEM PAY!Thank you Timread more
PJ Camargo/Authentik Movement Training
PJ Camargo/Authentik Movement Training
01:51 22 Oct 20
I've had the pleasure of getting to know Tim personally over the past 2 years. Beyond him being an incredible lawyer &... 'Jack of all trades ' he is an amazing friend. One thing I love most is that he is family oriented & always making quality time for his loved ones. He inspires me to be a great role model &father figure one day. Tim loves nature & shares the true beauty of nature with how he raises his kids. From biking through trails & having his kids learn how to nurture the family garden - he teaches valuable lessons on how to appreciate the world we live in. I know that Tim is just a phone call away & always urgent to responding no matter the situation. He has given me some of the greatest advice & continously throwing positive energy my way! I'm honored to know him & be a friend of his. He is the true practioneer of changing lives & paying it forward. He has taught me so much in just a short amount of time. Tim Misny, a man that wakes up every single day to make a difference!read more
Scott Plate
Scott Plate
16:49 10 Oct 20
Tim has created a highly visible and effective law practice, and despite his decades of experience, he has never once... forgotten why he got into this business in the first place: to help people. He puts his whole heart into his work, and he works hard for everyone he represents. He has a gift for tuning out the noise and tuning into the core of what his clients need, and making it clear he has heard them. As a result, we feel empowered. He is smart, resourceful, creative, positive, and solution-oriented. His abundant energy makes people feel better, stronger, and valued. He loves and promotes his community; he gives back generously, and he always leaves everything better than he found it. Tim is a true man of action, and a man of his word. Could not recommend him more more
Mike M
Mike M
04:44 09 Oct 20
As a young man, I worked at a local garden center. I came from a family that had too many problems to list. I felt I... was never destined to be anything good. I had always wanted to be a police officer since I was a little boy. But, one side of my family told me that I would never be good enough to do it. Anytime I brought it up, they knocked me down until I started to believe that I could never accomplish my dream. One day, about 20 years ago, while working at that garden center, a very tall man came in and asked me to help him select plants. As we walked around the garden center, he struck up a conversation with me. He was very friendly and kind. I was a skinny teenager in dirty blue jeans and a t shirt. This man was dressed very nicely and I was surprised at how nice he was to me. During our conversation, he asked me what I wanted to do with my life after school. I told him that I wanted to be a police officer but many people told me that I’d never make it. I told him how my very own father said I wasn’t smart enough, brave enough, and I was wasting my time. I remember looking at the ground while I explained this to him. The man stopped and got serious. His voice dropped an octave and he looked me dead in the eyes. He pointed his finger at me and told me that I could make anything of my life that I wanted. He told me that it was up to ME to make my life goals come true. He told me to ignore anybody who tells me otherwise. He assured me that if I studied hard in school and never gave up on my dreams that they would become a reality. He told me to say it. I said “I can do it”. In that moment, I thought that if a complete stranger saw something in me, than maybe it could be true.After I helped him through the checkout and he left, many different employees at the garden center asked me if I knew who that man was. I did not. They told me, “That’s Tim Misny!” Once I figured out “who” Tim Misny was, my confidence grew. It was a pivotal moment. One in which steered the rest of my life. His words stuck with me. I worked hard and obtained my Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. I was hired by a local Law Enforcement Agency at the age of 21. I was sent to the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy, which was an extremely tough place to be, to say the least. At the Academy, they try to break those who don’t have a determined spirit. On days I wanted to quit, I remembered Tim’s words. Maybe it was fate, maybe it was random chance.... I’ll never know But, Tim Misny helped me have the confidence and determination that was necessary to be where I’m at today. I’ve been a law enforcement officer for over 16 years. I’ve told this story to many of my coworkers.Tim, you’ll never understand how your words that spring day helped shape my future. Your words enabled me to provide a great life for myself and my family. I’m forever grateful.Mikeread more
Eric Evans
Eric Evans
21:02 04 Oct 20
Tim has represented me twice, once 30 years ago and again just recently. I was too young to fully appreciate his... expertise when he represented me the first time (as i was a minor who was the victim of an accident - he won for us, incidentally), but I'm old enough and wise enough now to really appreciate how truly great he is. First off, how many attorney's actually give you their cell phone number and actually answer? I would contend very, very few. Secondly, he has a street fighter mentality combined with a sharp legal intellect which makes you immediately think "I'm so glad this guy is on my side." I was really in a bind recently and Tim came through in spades - he is THE person I would call if I were in trouble or needed help - at a minimum he would know who I should talk to and direct me there (he knows his own limits, which is the key to a wise person) - at a maximum he would take on my fight himself and I'd have full confidence in his ability to deliver the best possible outcome for me - he fights for you like you're family - can't say it better than more
Benjamin Firstenberg
Benjamin Firstenberg
19:32 28 Sep 20
I worked as an intern for Tim the summer of 2017 and it was an unbelievable experience both for my career and personal... development. He treats his employees with a level of respect, appreciation and honesty that I've truly not seen anywhere else that I've worked. We've stayed in touch these past few years and I'm still learning from Tim, whether it be the way he sees the world, his career advice or his commitment to his family. He's an honest man who treats people more
David Shelton
David Shelton
01:13 30 Jun 20
I don't know much about Tim the lawyer, but I do know about Tim the man. Tim the man befriended me as a youth and gave... me the motivation to excel in school. Tim the man wrote the letter that got me into college and got me a helpful scholarship. Tim the man gave me an internship while in college. Tim the man has been a friend to me for over ten years. He makes himself available day or night whether I need advice or just want to talk about the day. There a lot of stigmas about attorneys (and they are earned) but Tim Misny bucks the stereotype. And if Tim the lawyer is half a good as Tim the man, he will live up to his word, and make them more
Next Reviews


The Law Offices of Tim Misny

Cleveland Office
3100 E. 45th St.
Suite 444
Cleveland OH 44127
Mailing Address:
Interstate Square I
4230 Chillicothe Rd. Ste 200
Willoughby, Ohio 44094

Disclaimer: All lawsuits are different and the Law Offices of Tim Misny make no representation or promise that it can obtain the same results in other legal matters. Nothing in this webpage constitutes a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of any future legal matter.