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When someone’s death has been caused by the negligence or the intentional actions of another individual, a wrongful death case may be brought by the deceased person’s next of kin. Under Ohio law, in order to bring a wrongful death claim, an individual has to open up an estate. If there was a will, the person who administers the state, the executor or the executrix, is called. If there is no will, the person who is appointed to be the head of the estate would be the administrator if it is a male or the administratrix if it is a female. The administrator or administratrix brings the wrongful death case on behalf of the next kin of the person who died. The next of kin could be a spouse, parent, child, sister, or brother.
If you are contemplating filing a wrongful death claim, contact a knowledgeable lawyer who is experienced in Toledo wrongful death settlements. A compassionate wrongful death attorney could help ensure that you and your family recover the damages you deserve.
The most common causes of wrongful death in Toledo are:
There are also many other types of accidents that can result in a wrongful death. A well-trained attorney will know how to prove that the negligent party was liable for the wrongful death and could help individuals who want to pursue Toledo wrongful death settlements.
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of death. Once the statute of limitations passes, an individual will not be able to bring a claim. A lawyer could help someone make sure that they file their claim within two years of the date of the death. Prior to that, there has to be an estate opened and an administrator or an executor appointed by the probate court to bring the wrongful death lawsuit.
In other states, the individual may be called the personal representative or there may be a different name for the person who brings the estate. There also may be distinctions as far as the categories of individuals that are able to collect under the wrongful death statute. In some states, there are caps on wrongful damages, meaning a person can only collect up to a certain amount of non-economic damages. In other states, a person cannot collect for holistic damages while in some other states they can. Ohio’s wrongful death laws are similar to a large number of states in America.
If there is no will or trust, then the specific Ohio case law and statutes indicate a preference as far as who would have the legal right to file an estate for the individual and/or to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. For example, a spouse, a parent, a brother, or a sister would have a higher preference to file an estate than someone who was a total stranger. However, it is important to remember that in order to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, someone has to be appointed to bring the lawsuit.
A person can typically settle a case through direct negotiation with the defendant’s attorneys or the insurance company. Toledo wrongful death settlements can also be conducted at mediation. If there is a wrongful death settlement, it has to be filed with the probate courts where the estate is filed and the probate court has to approve the amount and distribution of the settlement. Many times, even though a person has a settlement, there is a dispute about how the money is split up. For example, if someone has $500,000 to split up, a person can get the individual beneficiaries to negotiate a resolution. Other times, a probate court judge can determine how the money gets split up.
It costs a lot more money to bring a wrongful death case to court than to settle it out of court. When a claim is brought to court, the plaintiff would have to pay doctors to testify. The individual would also have to pay expert witnesses. There are also many more costs associated with the court that the person would have to pay. However, if the settlement offer is too low and unfair, then it may be in the plaintiff’s best interest to take the case to court. An accomplished attorney is equipped to offer an individual advice on Toledo wrongful death settlements and what course may be the best option to take.
Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC