Wrongful Death Lawsuit Limits
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Limits
Wrongful death suits are filed every day in the state of Ohio and throughout the country. Wrongful death lawsuits in the state of Ohio are designed to compensate the surviving family members of those killed by negligence. Cases involve medical malpractice claims, motor vehicle accidents, or a product liability claim. Ohio law allows for financial compensation for surviving family members.
Example of Wrongful Death in Ohio
One such case involved an inpatient at Mount Carmel Grove Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The patient died of a bacterial infection call Legionella. Legionella bacteria (Legionnaires’ disease) was found in the hot water tank of the hospital and caused the death of this patient. As a result, the patient’s family sued the hospital for wrongful death.
Limits on Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death
According to the Ohio Revised Code, in a wrongful death case, the personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate is the one who must file the action. This person may be designated in the deceased individual’s will or appointed by the probate court. The personal representative brings the wrongful death action on behalf of the surviving spouse, the decedent’s children, the parents of the decedent, and other next of kin. However, for these family members to recover compensation, they must be added to the claim after the lawsuit has been filed, and have suffered harm from the wrongful death. The personal representative will be responsible for making decisions such as hiring a wrongful death attorney, discussing settlement figures, and deciding whether to take a settlement or proceed to trial.
Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death
If you’re eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, it must be filed before the statute of limitations has expired. Ohioans who want to file a wrongful death lawsuit have two years from the death to do so. Surviving family members can also file two years from the date they discovered a wrongful death occurred.
Compensation Limits for Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In addition to Ohio laws that dictate who can and cannot file a wrongful death suit, and the statute of limitations to file one, limits are also placed on the monetary award. Interestingly, Ohio law states limitations may be placed on damage recovery, yet there is no actual dollar amount contained in the law. The lawsuit can be filed for noneconomic damages such as loss of companionship, care, assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training, and education. A wrongful act leading to a death can result in financial compensation for medical bills, burial expenses, and the income the deceased would have made in the future had he/she been alive. The estimated income projection for how much they would have made throughout their lifetime includes salary, bonuses, and other income streams.
Compensation Limits for Non-economic Damages in Ohio Wrongful Death Cases
Ohio state law limits non-economic damages at $250,000 or three times economic damages, whichever is greater, up to a maximum of $350,000 for each plaintiff, or a total of $500,000 in cases involving multiple plaintiffs. However, there is no limit on the amount of compensation one can receive for economic damages.
It is important to note that medical malpractice is one of the most common causes of wrongful death in Ohio, with over 3,000 claims filed each year. It is also important to understand Ohio Revised Code Section 2125 for information on wrongful death claims in Ohio.
Insurance Obligations and Compensation Limits for Motor Vehicle Wrongful Death Claims
In general, Ohio law requires drivers to carry minimum insurance coverage of $25,000 for the injury or death of a single person, $50,000 for total injuries or deaths caused by any single car accident, and $25,000 for any property damage caused by the accident. However, these minimum coverage requirements do not limit the amount of damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit.
There are no specific limits on damages for wrongful death in motor vehicle accidents in Ohio. The amount of damages that can be recovered will depend on the specific circumstances of the case, such as the extent of the damages and the amount of insurance coverage available.
Life Insurance Effects on Compensation
Beneficiaries of a life insurance policy who file a wrongful death suit must disclose this to the court. If damages are awarded, the life insurance value will be subtracted from the final award determination.
Ohio Wrongful Death Statutes
Ohio Revised Code Section 2125.01
This outlines the right to bring an action for wrongful death in Ohio. According to this wrongful death statute, the personal representative of the deceased person may bring a wrongful death case if the death was caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another person or entity. The surviving family members of the deceased person have the right to recover damages in the wrongful death case if they are named as beneficiaries by the personal representative. The statute of limitations for a personal representative to bring a wrongful death claim is within two years of the date of the deceased person’s death. The statute also provides for the distribution of damages among the beneficiaries of the wrongful death claim.
Ohio Revised Code Section 2125.02
The damages that may be recovered in a wrongful death claim in Ohio. According to the wrongful death statute, wrongful death cases may recover damages for the loss of support and services, loss of society and companionship, and any expenses incurred as a result of the deceased person’s injury and death. In addition, the beneficiaries of the wrongful death claims may recover damages for the deceased person’s pain and suffering, loss of future earnings, and medical and funeral expenses. Damages may be awarded for any losses suffered by the beneficiaries as a result of the deceased person’s death, including economic and non-economic damages. Apportionment of damages if multiple parties are found to be liable for the deceased person’s death is outlined as well. It is important to note that the damages that may be recovered in a wrongful death claim may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. You need to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney such as me, and I will explain what you may be entitled to.
Ohio Revised Code Section 2125.03
Provides for the distribution of damages recovered in wrongful death cases among the beneficiaries of the deceased person’s estate. According to the statute, any amount received by the personal representative of the deceased person in a wrongful death case, whether by settlement or otherwise, shall be distributed to the other family members who are beneficiaries. The distribution of damages shall be in proportion to the injury resulting from the wrongful death suffered by each beneficiary. If any beneficiary is a minor or under a legal disability, the distribution may be made to the beneficiary’s legal guardian or conservator. The statute also provides for the appointment of a guardian ad litem if necessary to protect the interests of any beneficiary who is not able to represent themselves in the distribution of damages. It is important to note that the distribution of damages in wrongful death claims may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
Ohio Revised Code Section 2125.04
Outlines the apportionment of damages in a wrongful death claim if multiple parties are found to be liable for the deceased person’s death. According to the statute, if two or more parties are found to be liable for the wrongful death, the damages recovered in the claim shall be apportioned among the parties in proportion to their percentage of fault. However, any party found to be less than 50% at fault shall not be liable for non-economic damages. In addition, any party found to be more than 50% at fault shall be jointly and severally liable for all economic and non-economic damages. The statute also provides for the reduction of damages if the deceased person was partially at fault for their own death. If the deceased person’s fault is found to be equal to or greater than the fault of all parties, the beneficiaries shall not recover any damages. It is important to note that the apportionment of damages in a wrongful death claim may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
With over 40 years of experience working wrongful death cases, I am here for you! Call me day or night. A loved one’s death is difficult enough to process, and you shouldn’t be further burdened with a wrongful death suit. I’ll handle everything for you and your family! We can review the legal process, the statute of limitations, and the steps to take after a wrongful death occurs.