Monetary Damages In Wrongful Death Cases

Ohio law allows surviving family members to recover damages on behalf of a deceased victim. This allows a family to hold wrongdoers accountable for their negligence or wrongful acts while helping it overcome the financial harm caused by the loss.

Specifically, Ohio's wrongful death statute permits beneficiaries to collect compensatory damages for:

  • Loss of support from the expected earning capacity of the deceased
  • Loss of services of the deceased
  • Loss of the society of the deceased
  • Loss of a prospective inheritance for the deceased's heirs at time of death
  • Mental anguish suffered by a spouse, minor children, parents or next of kin

The above types of compensatory damages may be confusing to you. Like many statutes, the true effect of the law requires consideration of case law interpreting the statute. Further, there's no guaranteeing how the existing law will be applied to your particular case. Fortunately, an experienced Ohio wrongful death attorney will find helpful aspects of the law and argue their application on your behalf.

At The Donahey Law Firm, our Ohio fatal accident lawyers are experienced at helping families through the trying and complicated aspects of a wrongful death claim. When you're ready, contact us online or call 866-918-5886 for a free consultation.

Punitive Damages In Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Punitive damages are not designed to compensate the victim or surviving family members. Their purpose is to punish the wrongdoer for egregious conduct and deter others from engaging in similar behavior. Because punitive damages are designed to be used only in cases of abhorrent conduct, Ohio courts rarely award such damages.

To receive punitive damages in an Ohio wrongful death suit, there needs to be evidence that the deceased victim suffered property loss caused by intentional, reckless, wanton, willful and gross acts or by malice inferred from conduct and surrounding circumstances.

The above standard requires the plaintiffs to prove that the defendant's conduct amounted to more than mere negligence and contained a positive element of conscious wrongdoing. This doesn't necessarily mean that the wrongdoer wanted to harm the deceased, but the court will want convincing proof that the wrongdoer knew he or she was doing something wrong before awarding punitive, or exemplary, damages.

To discuss the potential damage types recoverable for your particular claim, call The Donahey Law Firm at 866-918-5886 or email us to speak with an Ohio wrongful death attorney.