Toledo Wrongful Death Claims

Laws for Toledo wrongful death claims allow the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate to bring a claim against the person or entity whose negligent conduct or wrongful act caused the decedent’s death.

A case can be brought if the decedent could have maintained a claim for negligence or wrongful conduct had the death not occurred. The executor would need to show that the other party acted in a negligent or wrongful way and that conduct caused the death.

That means the executor would need to show that the other party acted in a negligent or wrongful way and that conduct caused the death. Wrongful death cases can be brought for negligent acts such as car accidents and medical malpractice or criminal acts like murder and manslaughter. Contact a distinguished wrongful death attorney to see if you have a case.

Demonstrating Negligence

To prove the case in a negligence context, the executor must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the decedent, that duty of care was breached, the breach caused the decedent’s injuries and death, and that the decedent’s estate and beneficiaries suffered damages.

The case must be proven by a standard called a preponderance of the evidence, which roughly means that the evidence must tilt more in the favor of the executor than the defendant. Attorneys often explain the standard by telling jurors they just need to prove their case by 51 percent, which is well short of the reasonable doubt standard that we have all seen in television dramas depicting criminal trials.

Limited Time to File a Wrongful Death Claim

Generally, the statute of limitations on Toledo wrongful death claims is two years, which means if a lawsuit has to be filed, it must be filed within two years of the decedent’s death. It is extremely important to keep track of this date. If the two-year period lapses, a claim will be barred forever.

The idea behind a statute of limitations is that crucial evidence that someone needs to defend such a lawsuit could be lost or destroyed if too much time passes. If the decedent’s death was caused by a defective product, generally the product cannot have been delivered to the first purchaser more than ten years prior to the death.

Wrongful Death Standards

Wrongful death cases are brought because of another party’s negligence or wrongful conduct. It might be helpful to understand a little bit about those concepts. Just because someone dies does not mean a wrongful death case can be justified. If someone trips in a grocery store over cans stacked in an aisle, causing them to hit their head and die, there will not be considered a Toledo wrongful death claim.

Under Ohio law, those cans would be deemed an open and obvious hazard that someone should have seen, so the store would not be negligent. If, however, a grocery store employee spilled some clear, liquid soap on an aisle and left it there for hours without cleaning it up or posting a warning sign, and someone took the same fateful tumble, the store would be negligent.

The point is that a person or entity who causes the death has to be deemed negligent, or at fault, under the law. Someone is at fault when it is their responsibility to act or behave in a certain way, but fails to, which causes injury or death. There is a lot of nuance to negligence law, that can be fully explained by a wrongful death lawyer.

Legal Approaches

One basis for Toledo wrongful death claims is to prove negligence. The other way is to prove wrongful conduct such as an intentional act that resulted in a death. Bringing a civil suit for wrongful death would be appropriate in both of the above examples. Winning a lawsuit probably would seem like a hollow victory compared to the loss suffered, but the court system is purposely set up to allow us to work out our differences with other parties in a civil, organized way.

Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC