There is nothing easy about coping with the death of a loved one, regardless of the circumstances. If you believe your loved one’s death was caused by the negligence of another person or company, you may want to learn more about the Ohio wrongful death statute to understand your options for recovery. Though no amount of compensation can alleviate your grief, it can help reduce the financial and emotional hardship of your loss. Ohio Wrongful Death Statute The Ohio wrongful death statute is found under Ohio Revised Statute Section 2125. These claims are brought in civil court. To have a valid claim under the Ohio wrongful death statute, the death must have been caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another person or party. Wrongful act: Often considered an intentional act of violence such as assault. Negligence: A duty of care was owed. Breach of that duty caused the action that resulted in death. Default: Someone failed to do something they were required to do. Their failure resulted in the death. Wrongful death claims are very similar to personal injury claims and contain many of the same elements when it comes to the burden of proof and available remedies. Who Can Bring an Ohio Wrongful Death Claim? Under the Ohio Wrongful Death Statute, the personal representative of the estate can file a lawsuit. The probate court will appoint a representative if one does not exist. This representative has to be an actual person and cannot be an entity such as a corporation. The representative can bring a claim for both the estate and the family members of the deceased. Who Can Receive Compensation? The Ohio wrongful death statute presumes that certain family members will have suffered losses in relation to the deceased. These family members include: The surviving spouse, The surviving parents, and The surviving children, including biological and adopted children. Several other states allow siblings and other next of kin to be automatically eligible for compensation. Next of kin in Ohio must prove to the court that they are entitled to relief. What Type of Compensation Is Available? Under the Ohio Wrongful Death Statute, beneficiaries may be entitled to compensation for financial loss and pain and suffering. These damages may include: Loss of future earnings from the decedent; Funeral and burial costs; Medical expenses incurred prior to death and related to the cause of death; Loss of services such as help with raising children, chores, and other tasks; Loss of companionship and all other relational aspects of having the decedent around to share life; Loss of prospective inheritance; and Mental anguish and stress incurred by surviving family members. If all surviving family members are related by the same degree, the compensation will be split evenly. Otherwise, the court will make a decision on how funds are divided. Ohio Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations In Ohio, the representative of the deceased has up to two years from the time of death to file a wrongful death claim. If it was unknown that the death was caused by a wrongful act, the representative has two years from the time the wrongful or negligent act became known. Though two years may seem like an adequate amount of time, it is important to file a claim as soon as you are comfortable. This will make it easier to obtain the necessary evidence to benefit your case. How Can a Wrongful Death Attorney Help? Trying to cope with the loss of a loved one while simultaneously navigating the court system is sure to be stressful and overwhelming. An experienced Ohio wrongful death attorney will be able to guide you through the process from start to finish. Here are some of the ways an attorney can be beneficial: Evaluate the merits of your case so you can be assured that you are doing the right thing by filing a claim; File the proper paperwork, and follow all necessary and timely legal procedures so you don’t have to worry about them; Conduct a full and thorough investigation into the wrongful death claim to gather evidence for your case; Negotiate with insurance companies for appropriate compensation; Determine how much compensation beneficiaries should receive for the death of their loved one; and Prepare and conduct trial proceedings should the need arise. You don’t have to do this alone. Choose experienced and compassionate guidance to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact Aaron Bensinger for a free consultation.Keep Reading
Driven to Win.
Ohio Lawyer Specializing in Personal Injury and Civil Litigation
Aaron has extensive experience navigating personal injury and civil litgation in Ohio and California. Now based in Lima, Ohio, Aaron is dedicated to providing his clients with the best legal service possible.
He takes the fight to insurance companies, and won’t hesitate to take your case to trial. Aaron focuses on ensuring that each of his clients obtains the compensation he knows they deserve, despite the claims of insurance companies. As a personal injury lawyer, Aaron understands how devastating a serious injury can be. He and his team want to help you get your life back. His attention to detail is why some of the regions largest companies have chosen Aaron when faced with litigation. Aaron and his team are also staffed to handle litigation of any size including Federal cases, Ohio state cases, California state cases, and administrative actions.
In addition to personal injury, Aaron handles a variety of civil litigation cases. His diverse background helps him achieve the best results in all areas of law.
Let us Worry About Your Case, You Focus on Healing.
Meet Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer
Aaron L. Bensinger
When you work with Aaron, you’ll know right away that you’re more than “just another case.” Though Aaron has extensive experience working in large markets like California, he focuses on giving each client the attention they deserve.
Currently, Aaron is licensed to practice in both Ohio and California, but Ohio is home, and he loves helping people in Lima and beyond. Super Lawyers recognized Aaron as a “Rising Star” in 2014 and 2015.
“I have had an outstanding experience with Aaron Bensinger and his team. From day one they made me feel welcomed and taken care of! Frequent updates are the norm when you work with Aaron Bensinger. In addition, he really went the extra mile to make sure I was highly compensated for my injuries. Needless to say, I was satisfied with the outcome. I had a great experience and would come back with any other of my legal needs. He is the man!!”- Angela Hahn
"I highly recommend Aaron. He went above and beyond to help me out. He was extremely professional. My case was very overwhelming and he did a great job getting everything sorted out and taken care of."- Jordan Dunlap
"Aaron did a wonderful job on my Personal Injury case! He worked hard on my case, kept me informed throughout the process and obtained a great result! He is accessible and made me feel like he never stopped thinking about my case. I would recommend him to anyone."- Stephanie Huston
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If you have been injured or suffered a loss because of the negligent actions of another, you may be eligible for compensation. The type of damages you are able to recover will depend on the unique circumstances of your situation. Ohio punitive damages may be available based on the actions of the person or entity responsible for the injury. What Are Punitive Damages? The purpose of punitive damages is not to compensate you for your injury; it is to deter or “punish” the defendant for their reckless action in an effort to keep them from doing it again. It helps set an example that the wrongful behavior will result in financial hardship. Punitive damages are also referred to as “exemplary damages.” How Are Ohio Punitive Damages Awarded? Punitive damages are not awarded if there are no compensatory damages. The first step is for your attorney to make a case for compensatory damages as a remedy for your injury or loss. Compensatory damages can consist of both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages provide compensation for all expenses related to the injury. These may include: Medical bills, Physical therapy, Property damage, Cost of care, Loss of wage, and Loss of potential earnings. Non-economic damages pertain to the mental and emotional components of the injury. Non-economic damages may include: Pain and suffering, Depression, Anxiety, Post traumatic stress, and Loss of consortium. Both of these forms of compensatory damages focus on compensating you, as opposed to punishing the defendant. Once the argument has been made for compensatory damages and they are awarded by a judge or jury, your attorney can argue for punitive damages. Who Is Entitled to Punitive Damages? All personal injury cases require negligence on the part of the defendant for there to be a valid claim. In some cases, the negligence was completely unintentional. Under those circumstances, it is unlikely that the defendant would be liable for punitive damages. Ohio punitive damages require a level of intent on the part of the defendant. According to Ohio punitive damages law under Ohio Revised Code 2315.21 (effective 4/15/2021), to receive punitive damages, the defendant must have: Acted with malice or aggravated or egregious fraud; or Knowingly authorized, participated in, or ratified the action or omission that caused the injury. Again, if a person made an honest mistake, they are still liable for compensatory damages but would not owe punitive damages. Cap on Ohio Punitive Damages The Ohio legal system places caps on the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded. Punitive damages cannot equal more than twice the amount of compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff. If the defendant is a small business employer or an individual, they are unlikely to have the same amount of assets as a big corporation. For these defendants, the punitive damages cannot exceed 10% of their net worth up to $350,000 even if twice the amount of compensatory damages is more than that. Attorney fees awarded for a punitive damage claim do not count against the capped amount. How to Receive Punitive Damages There are some situations where you just know that the defendant deserves to have to pay for their behavior in a meaningful way. Any time that you are harmed due to the negligent action of another, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is the starting point. Navigating the Ohio legal system on your own is going to be difficult, and your chance of success will be greater with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney who can prepare your case. An experienced attorney will be able help you through the following steps: Determine if you have a valid case for personal injury; File the proper paperwork in a timely manner; Conduct an investigation into the negligent action; Gather evidence and testimony; Determine estimated compensation; Prepare for negotiations or trial; Argue your case for compensatory damages; and Argue your case for punitive damages. The team at Bensinger Law strives to understand the individual case and goals of each client. The Bensinger Law team prides itself on creative and efficient solutions to serious legal problems. Contact us today for your free consultation.Keep Reading
Ohio Motorcycle Helmet Law The Ohio helmet laws allow riders to generally make their own decisions. Eye protection is mandatory for everyone, but there are only three circumstances where a motorcycle helmet is required in Ohio. You must wear a helmet if you fall under one of these categories: You are a novice rider, meaning that you have had your motorcycle license for less than one year; You are a rider under the age of 18; or You are a passenger on a motorcycle and the motorcycle operator is a novice or under 18 years old. An experienced adult rider does not have to wear a helmet under the Ohio motorcycle helmet law. Why You Should Wear a Motorcycle Helmet Despite the fact that helmets are largely optional according to the Ohio motorcycle helmet law, there are a lot of reasons you should consider wearing one anyway. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there were 160 deaths from motorcycle accidents state-wide in 2019. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did a deep dive into motorcycle safety in 2017. It was estimated that helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcycle riders nationally in 2017. The organization found that helmets may be as much as 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries. Other Ohio Motorcycle Laws Though the Ohio helmet law is not as stringent as other states, there are other safety rules that you must follow when riding a motorcycle. You have to be seated in the regular seat attached to the bike while it is in motion; You cannot carry a package or anything that would prevent you from keeping one hand on the handlebars; The handlebars cannot be higher than your shoulders if riding on the highway; and There cannot be more than two motorcycles next to each other in a single lane. Lane splitting is not against the law in Ohio, but you may be cited if you are driving without caution or disobeying other traffic laws. Motorcycle Accident Injury In some states, not wearing a helmet could make you partially negligent, and this could reduce the amount of compensation you are eligible for. Because Ohio motorcycle helmet laws only require helmets in certain circumstances, it is unlikely to change the outcome of your case. It’s worth noting, however, that most people with loved ones involved in a motorcycle accident case would rather be bringing a claim for personal injury than for wrongful death. If you are in a motorcycle accident that was caused in part by the negligence of another party, it is important to seek an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Bensinger Legal Services has extensive experience handling personal injury cases in Ohio and works hard on behalf of every client. Contact Bensinger Law today for your free consultation.Keep Reading