You cannot quantify the value or worth of your loved ones in dollars and cents. But when your loved one unexpectedly dies in an accident, those family members that remain are often left facing significant financial difficulties at a time when the wounds of their loss are still fresh. A wrongful death lawyer cannot bring your loved one back, but with Norris Persinger Law’s help, we can make it easier to address the financial costs of your loss.
No matter how your loved one passed, if someone else’s negligence was to blame, then you may be entitled to compensation. Call Norris Persinger Law and our team of compassionate and dedicated wrongful death attorneys for assistance.
How Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Differ from a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit alleges that another person’s careless acts caused your family member’s death. As a result, that careless person should be held responsible for the financial impact your loved one’s passing creates. While both a personal injury lawsuit and wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio are focused on whether a person has acted negligently, they differ in several significant ways:
- A wrongful death lawsuit is brought by the decedent’s personal representative appointed by the court, not by the injured person or family members themselves
- Compensation is meant primarily to address the present and future losses of the family, not those of the decedent
- The personal representative, with help from their wrongful death lawyer, is responsible for deciding what compensation to pursue and when to settle
Like a personal injury case, a wrongful death lawsuit must commence within two years of the decedent’s passing. A personal representative that tries to start a wrongful death case outside of this time period may find their case barred by Ohio’s statute of limitations for wrongful death actions.
What Are Some Ways a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Might Arise?
The National Safety Council lists the top six ways individuals unintentionally died in 2021. Many of these methods of death could give rise to a wrongful death action, if another’s negligence was involved:
- Poisoning, including drug overdoses, killed 102,001 people
- Car and truck crashes resulted in 46,980 deaths
- Falls were responsible for 44,686 deaths and were especially deadly to individuals between the ages of 69 and 90 years
- Choking fatalities numbered 5,325 in 2021
- Drowning and deaths from fire or smoke each killed less than 5,000 people
If these or any other circumstances were the primary cause of your loved one’s death, those circumstances can give rise to a wrongful death action. If you are your loved one’s personal representative, or if your loved one passed and you do not know who their personal representative is, reach out to Norris Persinger Law for help and guidance.
A wrongful death lawsuit can be confusing, especially if you are not your loved one’s legal personal representative. No matter your involvement with the deceased, our caring wrongful death attorneys at Norris Persinger Law will treat you with kindness and dignity. We will help explain your rights to you and advise you on what legal options are available to you.
How Many Steps Are There in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Going from your loved one’s death to receiving compensation in a wrongful death case can involve several steps and take weeks or months to complete. The time involved will depend primarily on the complexity of the case and how contested those facts are by the parties.
A wrongful death lawsuit begins when the personal representative, with or without assistance from an attorney, files a wrongful death petition in Warren County. If your loved one’s death happened in another county in Ohio or Kentucky, the suit would be filed there. The petition alleges how the other party’s negligent conduct led to your loved one’s death and the compensation you are seeking. The suit may seek compensation for your:
- Mental pain, anguish, suffering, and grief
- Medical expenses or funeral expenses for your loved one that you are having to pay
- Loss of your loved one’s companionship and the loss of the decedent’s guidance and presence for any of their minor children
- Any present and future reduction in household income your loved one’s untimely passing causes
Before a wrongful death lawsuit is filed, the parties will typically discuss possible settlements. A settlement provides the eligible surviving family members with compensation without the need for a trial, but it comes at the cost of their right to seek additional compensation from the at-fault party. A lawsuit may be filed if settlement negotiations are not fruitful, or if no agreement is reached before the statute of limitations runs out.
If a settlement cannot be reached, a trial may be scheduled before a judge or jury. At this trial, the representative would need to prove it is more likely true than not that the other party’s carelessness led to the decedent’s death. If they meet this burden, then the lawsuit is successful and compensation will be awarded. If not, then the lawsuit is not successful and the representative will not recover any compensation for the family members.
There are no guarantees in a wrongful death case, but having a knowledgeable and resourceful wrongful death attorney who can investigate and build a compelling case can make a significant difference in the outcome of your suit. Even if the case settles, your attorney will work to ensure the matter settles for an appropriate amount of compensation in light of your family’s losses and the strength of the evidence.
Why Is Norris Persinger Law a Good Choice for Grieving Families?
Wrongful death lawsuits can require more intensive investigation than a typical personal injury suit because one of the chief witnesses – the decedent – is not available to testify. A wrongful death attorney’s ability to investigate the case and secure evidence and witnesses is especially important in these cases.
Norris Persinger Law’s wrongful death lawyers are skilled advocates who know how to build strong, persuasive wrongful death cases. They look out for their clients’ interests and use the tools available to them to secure compensation following a wrongful death.
How Can I Retain Norris Persinger Law?
If your loved one died in an accident in Mason, Ohio or any surrounding areas in Ohio or Kentucky, simply reach out to Norris Persinger Law to get started.