Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy. Not only are you grieving your loss, but you are facing the near-impossible task of trying to pick up the pieces and plan for a future without them.
Some types of wrongful death cases include:
- Vehicle accidents,
- Medical malpractice,
- Workplace accidents,
- Product liability,
- Premises liability,
- Other negligence, and
- Intentional acts.
If your loved one was killed by the actions or inactions of another person, contact Bensinger Legal Services today. Our experienced and compassionate Ohio wrongful death attorneys can discuss the options to help you fight to hold the right person or people accountable for your loved one’s death.
When Can You Sue for Wrongful Death?
In Ohio, you can sue for wrongful death whenever you could sue for a personal injury had the person survived. Those who can recover for wrongful death include close relatives, usually the deceased’s spouse, children, or parents. Some others may be able to recover as well if they qualify as “other next of kin.” If you are unsure whether you can sue, contact an experienced wrongful death attorney.
Many types of wrongful death cases involve one party behaving negligently. A person is negligent if they fail to act with the care a reasonable and prudent person would in the circumstances and that failure to exercise due care causes an injury or death.
Although negligence is common in wrongful deaths, wrongful death cases do not begin or end with negligence. On one end, you can sue for product liability even if the manufacturer acted with due care. On the other end, you can sue for murder.
Motor vehicle accidents accounted for 45,404 deaths in 2021. Ohio’s share of that total was 1,354. Although some accidents are faultless, many of these deaths could have been prevented. Failure to act with due care, like driving drunk or texting while driving, can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.
It is especially egregious when a medical professional causes the death of a patient. Some studies have estimated that medical errors are involved in over 250,000 deaths in the US each year. Others have estimated the actual rate of preventable, malpractice-related deaths at 22,000 per year. Regardless, many wrongful death lawsuits arise out of medical malpractice.
In 2021, there were 5,190 fatal workplace incidents, the highest rate of fatal injuries since 2016. Wrongful deaths that occur at the workplace or as part of work duties are usually governed by Ohio’s workers’ compensation laws. That means you do not usually have the right to sue and there may be limitations on the types of compensation you can recover.
When your car starts on fire and you cannot get out or your cell phone’s battery explodes, you may have a product liability claim. Unlike the other items on this list, some product liability cases are subject to strict liability. Strict liability means you may be able to recover for wrongful death even if the manufacturer exercised all possible care and was not negligent.
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, you may have a premises liability claim. Such claims arise when you are lawfully on someone else’s property and they fail to take reasonable precautions to protect you from or warn you of a dangerous condition, resulting in injury or death.
Although rare, sometimes dogs attack and kill people. The dog’s owner is generally liable for injuries their dog causes, including death, unless the injured person was in a location they were not legally allowed to be or they provoked the attack.
Many other types of negligence can give rise to wrongful death claims. One example is firearm-related deaths, which accounted for 48,830 deaths in 2021.
- Restaurants causing allergic reactions,
- Mishandled fireworks,
- Objects falling from great heights, and
This list is far from exhaustive. Negligence can come into play in many other circumstances. If you are unsure whether negligence was involved in your loved one’s death, contact a wrongful death attorney to discuss your case.
In most wrongful death cases, no one intended for someone to die. However, you can also sue for wrongful death when someone caused your loved one’s death intentionally.
Even when active murder charges are pending, you can sue someone in civil court for your loved one’s death. Some of the most famous wrongful death cases have involved criminal charges, like the lawsuits against OJ Simpson following the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman and Robert Blake following the death of Bonny Lee Bakley.
Contact an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If you have lost a loved one to a wrongful death, contact Bensinger Legal Services for a free consultation. Our experienced lead attorney Aaron Bensinger has handled cases throughout Ohio and California. He has skillfully negotiated settlements and obtained favorable jury verdicts in many wrongful death cases.