Families who lose loved ones in preventable accidents have the right to seek justice from those responsible. By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you can also seek compensation for your losses.
If your family member passed away because of someone else’s negligent or wrongful acts, The Becker Law Firm can help explore your legal options. Led by award-winning attorneys with over 100 years of combined experience, our firm has the resources to litigate even the toughest cases.
Why Choose The Becker Law Firm?
- Over $500 million in compensation recovered for clients since 1980.
- Record recoveries, including the largest settlement in Ohio history involving physical injuries to an individual plaintiff ($60.7 million for an electrocution injury victim).
- National recognition among The Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100, and Inner Circle of Advocates (Mike Becker).
- Two Civil Trial Specialists certified by the National Board of Trial Advocates (Mike Becker, Romney Cullers)
The Becker Law Firm is an award-winning civil trial practice that has earned U.S. News’ “Best Law Firms” highest Tier 1 ranking. Our Cleveland attorneys have recovered millions for families in complex wrongful death and survival actions and are available to discuss how we may be able to help you.
Call (440) 252-4399 or contact us online to request a FREE review of your case.
How Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Work in Ohio?
In Ohio, surviving family members can sue individuals or entities they claim are responsible for their loved one’s preventable death.
Per Section 2125 of the Ohio Revised Code, a person is liable for wrongful death when death is caused by a “wrongful act, neglect, or default” that would have entitled the victim to bring a personal injury claim and recover damages had they lived.
This means there are a range of wrongful and negligent actions that can give rise to wrongful death liability. Examples include:
- Intentional violence or homicide
- Traffic violations, drunk driving, or distracted driving
- Failures to diagnose, surgical errors, and other forms of medical malpractice
- Medical negligence during labor or delivery resulting in birth injuries
- A premises owner’s failure to address unsafe conditions on their property
- Manufacturing defective products or dangerous medications
- Nursing home negligence or abuse
In addition to wrongful death actions, which are designed to benefit surviving family members, a decedent’s estate may also have grounds to bring a survival action, which is intended to recover damages the decedent would have been entitled to had they survived.
Survival actions are typically brought even if a decedent lived for even a short period of time prior to his or her death, and damages may be recovered for pain and suffering, medical bills, and more. Our attorneys can help you better understand how wrongful death and survival actions work during a consultation.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Although wrongful death lawsuits are intended to provide compensation for the benefit of a surviving spouse, children, and other relatives of a decedent, they are technically brought by a personal representative. This representative may be named in the decedent’s will as the administrator of the estate or may be appointed by a probate court.
When a personal representative brings a wrongful death action in his or her name and prevails with a settlement or verdict, damages can be awarded to the family members who suffered losses because of the wrongful death. These parties typically include:
- Surviving spouses
- Other dependents of the decedent.
The law does not presume other relatives, such as grandparents or siblings, have suffered losses when a family member passes. If they can prove they suffered compensable losses, however, they may be able to recover damages.
Who Can be Held Liable for Wrongful Death?
In addition to ensuring the correct party brings a wrongful death action, families must also take care in determining who can be held liable for their loved one’s death. While wrongful death actions are highly fact-specific, some common examples include:
- A negligent motorist who caused a fatal car accident
- A trucking company and / or truck driver responsible for a commercial tractor-trailer crash
- A homeowner who failed to fence in a swimming pool, resulting in drowning
- A summer camp or day care that failed to adequately supervise children
- A doctor or hospital that failed to meet the standard of care when treating a patient
Because it is very important that wrongful death actions be brought against the appropriate parties, our attorneys at The Becker Law Firm conduct meticulous investigations surrounding a decedent’s death. By reviewing the facts of a potential case and working with the necessary experts, we can amass the evidence needed to prove the essential elements of these claims against the defendant(s), including:
- The legal duty between the defendant and decedent;
- The defendant’s breach of duty (often through negligence);
- The defendant’s negligence being a substantial cause of harm; and
- Damages suffered by the plaintiffs.
How Much is a Wrongful Death Case Worth?
That depends. Every case is unique and damages can vary dramatically.
In general, wrongful death lawsuits are intended to make surviving family members “whole,” or as “whole” as they can be following the untimely loss of a loved one. This means at-fault defendants can be held financially responsible for a range of economic and non-economic losses arising from their loved one’s death, including:
- Funeral expenses
- Lost financial support
- Loss of household services
- Loss of care, companionship, and consortium
- Loss of inheritance
- Emotional pain and suffering
Examples of Our Results
- $4.35 million settlement for the family of a man who passed away after a dermatopathologist failed to diagnose skin cancer.
- $4 million settlement over the wrongful death of a 69-year-old woman struck by a city bus while walking in a crosswalk on Public Square in Cleveland.
- $3.75 million settlement for the family of a 56-year-old man who died of a fatal cardiovascular condition hours after discharge from an emergency department at a community hospital.
- $2.5 million recovery for the family of a 12-year-old boy who drowned during a swimming test at a summer camp in rural Ohio.
- $2 million wrongful death recovery against an obstetrician and hospital for failure to timely diagnose and treat pre-eclampsia in a 29-year-old woman, resulting in fatal DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulopathy).
- $1.1 Million for the family of a man who died from an operating error during an elective procedure when the surgeon lacerated a major artery. Prior to hiring The Becker Law Firm, the family was turned down by another firm, which told them negligence probably did not occur.
Our Cleveland wrongful death attorneys are passionate about fighting for families. To discuss your potential case and how we can help, contact us for a FREE case review.