Losing a loved one is never easy, but when someone caused your loss, it can be even harder. Knowing that someone’s actions or inaction directly resulted in the death of a loved one can hurt, especially if they don’t face criminal charges for what they did.
Wrongful death lawsuits are a way for family members to seek justice for their loved ones and also compensation for the impact of their loss on their lives. Under Ohio law, wrongful acts or criminal behavior can lead to a wrongful death claim, as can negligence or default (failure to act).
The following three scenarios below are all circumstances in which a victim’s family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Someone drove drunk or texted at the wheel
Both impaired and distracted driving are against the law. When there is evidence that supports your allegations of impairment or distraction causing a fatal crash, you may be able to file a claim against the driver who caused the collision.
Your loved one died because of someone’s poorly maintained property
Maybe your spouse worked for a chimney repair company and often had to do inspections. A rotten board on the roof might have led to a fall that resulted in death. A landlord or business that doesn’t maintain a stairwell by investing in good handrails or making sure the lights stay on could also cause a tragic fall where someone dies. Many accidents can occur because of poorly maintained premises, and the families of someone who died because of an unsafe facility may be able to file a lawsuit.
Your loved one died during a criminal assault or robbery
A death that occurs because of a criminal act will usually fall under the scope of Ohio’s wrongful death statute. If someone mugged your loved one or assaulted them and they died as a result of that criminal act, you could potentially file a lawsuit against the person who committed the criminal act. A criminal conviction will bolster your chances of convincing the civil courts that the other party had responsibility for your loss.
Wrongful death lawsuits can also occur in many other circumstances not included in this list, although these three examples are some of the more common scenarios that lead to successful claims.