ohio wrongful death damages cap

Losing a loved one in an accident is an unimaginable tragedy. The emotional void left behind is often compounded by the financial uncertainty that follows. In Ohio, when a loved one’s death results from someone else’s negligence, wrongful death claims offer a legal pathway for families to seek compensation. 

Understanding what you can recover is vital because the state has a cap on noneconomic damages for certain personal injury cases. However, there is no cap for most wrongful death cases. If you lost a family member and have questions about pursuing a wrongful death claim in Ohio, read on to learn more about wrongful death claims and recoverable damages. 

Reach out to Bensinger Legal Services now at (419) 455-1410 and discover the invaluable support we offer to you and your loved ones.

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in Ohio

Wrongful death claims in Ohio are civil actions that help compensate the surviving family members of individuals who have died due to another’s negligence. While no amount of money can replace losing a loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit can help ease some of the unexpected financial burdens your family might be facing. 

These personal injury claims can arise from various circumstances, including medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, and product liability issues. They can also arise from acts of violence, such as robbery or domestic violence. 

Are There Wrongful Death Damage Caps in Ohio?

Ohio’s approach to personal damages is nuanced. The law distinguishes between economic and noneconomic damages, with specific caps applied to the latter in particular personal injury matters. Under Ohio wrongful death laws, caps in wrongful death damages typically don’t apply. Speaking with an experienced Ohio wrongful death lawyer at Besinger Legal Services can help you understand what your family is entitled to recover. 

Examples of damages that surviving family members might receive in a wrongful death lawsuit include:

  • Decedent’s loss of services;
  • Loss of support from decedent’s reasonable earning capacity;
  • Loss of potential inheritance to the deceased’s heirs;
  • Certain surviving family members’ mental anguish; and
  • Loss of companionship, care, consortium, protection, attention, guidance, training, education, assistance, and instruction. 

It’s also common for the court or jury to award surviving family members reimbursement for reasonable funeral and burial services. 

In any type of personal injury claim, there is no cap on damages for economic losses, such as lost wages or medical expenses. Noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering, might have caps on damages. Caps typically apply for noneconomic damages in personal injury matters only when there is no death or catastrophic injury.

Medical malpractice cases also have noneconomic damage caps, but the limits differ. Where it can get confusing is when you have multiple claims. Perhaps your loved one died from medical malpractice. The deceased might’ve had a pending medical malpractice case, which would have a cap on damages, and then surviving family members would have a wrongful death lawsuit that doesn’t have one. 

Impact of Life Insurance on Wrongful Death Compensation

Life insurance payouts play a critical role in wrongful death suits. If the deceased had a policy, its value might offset the final award in a wrongful death claim, ensuring a fair evaluation of compensatory needs. While this is not a cap in the same sense, life insurance proceeds might lower the amount you ultimately receive. It’s important to understand this is not an Ohio wrongful death damages cap, though, because not everyone will be a life insurance beneficiary. 

Eligibility and Filing Requirements for Ohio Wrongful Death Cases 

In Ohio, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate must file the wrongful death claim. The decedent might have named the personal representative in their will, or the probate court might appoint someone. The personal representative represents the surviving spouse’s interests, children, parents, and other next of kin. 

While the representative has to file, it doesn’t mean they are receiving any financial compensation from the wrongful death lawsuit. Family members must be added to the lawsuit post-filing and demonstrate they suffered harm from the person’s death. Compensation is usually limited to the surviving spouse, the decedent’s children, the parents of the deceased, and any other next of kin. 

Contact an Ohio Wrongful Death Lawyer

At Bensinger Legal Services, we understand the profound impact of losing a loved one. Attorney Aaron L. Bensinger is committed to helping surviving family members get justice for their loved one’s death. He is passionate about helping victims of negligence recover the compensation they deserve. 

If you’re navigating the aftermath of a wrongful death, you don’t have to figure it out alone. Aaron Bensinger stands ready to help. For compassionate and professional legal assistance, contact Bensinger Legal Services at (419) 455-1410 to learn how we can assist you and your family. 

Author Photo Aaron L. Bensinger

Aaron L. Bensinger is an Ohio attorney serving personal injury and civil litigation clients. He has extensive trial experience and makes client service is his primary focus. As a partner at Balyeat, Leahy, Daley, Miller & Bensinger, LLC, Aaron happily works in Lima, OH, and serves the entire Northwest region of the state and beyond.

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