Columbus Wrongful Death Lawyers
Compassionate strong advocacy when a loved one dies in a Central Ohio accident
There’s no worse call than the one from a police office, hospital, or family member informing you that a car accident or other accident just killed your loved one. Sadly, negligence and irresponsible actions cause many Ohio residents to die in the prime of their lives. The people and companies that cause loss of life deserve to be held accountable.
At Soroka & Associates, LLC, our lawyers guide you through this extremely difficult time. We respect your need to mourn and grieve for your family member. Our Columbus personal injury lawyers work aggressively to determine what acts of neglect caused the wrongful death and who should be held responsible. Our lawyers have the experience and resources to seek the highest value possible for a wrongful death claim. No award can ever replace your loved one; however, a favorable settlement or verdict helps families move forward and helps ensure the wrongdoers are held accountable.
How can we help?
- What is a wrongful death claim?
- Who can file a wrongful death claim in Columbus?
- What types of accidents cause a wrongful death?
- How do wrongful death claims differ from other personal injury claims?
- What damages can be awarded in a Columbus wrongful death claim?
- How much time do I have to file a wrongful death claim in Columbus?
- Do you have a car accident lawyer near me?
What is a wrongful death claim?
In Ohio, a wrongful death claim is a personal injury claim filed on behalf of the family members that holds a negligent party responsible for causing the death of a loved one. Ohio wrongful death claims also authorize that the responsible defendants pay the family for the damages they cause due to your loved one’s death.
Our Columbus trial lawyers understand the unique challenges involved in filing wrongful death claims and pursuing the claims to a just conclusion. The wrongful death claim is essentially the civil claim your family member would have pursued had he/she survived the accident. In some cases, the government may also file a criminal action against the defendants. However, there is no requirement that there be a criminal case to file a civil wrongful death claim.
Who can file a wrongful death claim in Columbus?
Wrongful death claims in Ohio are normally filed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. The personal representative is either the person named the executor in the decedent’s will or a person who petitions the court for approval to handle the decedent’s estate.
The wrongful death claim is generally filed on behalf of the surviving spouse, the children, and the parents of the decedent. Some next of kin may also be eligible. The date of death is normally the key date for determining the beneficiaries. If someone was conceived before the decedent’s death and is born after the decedent’s death, that person will normally also be considered a beneficiary.
What types of accidents cause a wrongful death?
Our Columbus wrongful death lawyers file claims against all responsible defendants who cause the death of your loved one. The following types of accidents can lead to fatal injuries:
We also represent families whose loved ones died as a result of negligent security and defective products.
How do wrongful death claims differ from other personal injury claims?
At Soroka & Associates, we understand the unique issues involved with wrongful death claims. Some of these issues include:
- The possibility of criminal charges against the defendants. We work with the police and prosecutors if there are criminal charges – such as when a drunk driver is charged with an OVI offense. The criminal case can help you have success in your civil case.
- The decedent is not able to testify for himself/herself. There are specific rules for trying cases when a loved one dies. We work to show through the testimony of other witnesses, the physical evidence, and any other evidence that the defendants caused your loved one’s death.
- The decedent’s lifetime expectancy. Wrongful death claims require a reasonable estimate of how long your loved one would have lived if the accident had not happened.
Our Columbus lawyers are skilled at handling these complex wrongful death issues.
What damages can be awarded in a Columbus wrongful death claim?
At Soroka & Associates, we demand the full amount of compensation Ohio law permits. Damages in a wrongful death claim include:
- Reasonable funeral and burial costs
- Amount of income (earning capacity) lost due to the wrongful death that would have been used to support the family members
- Loss of services of the decedent – the value of household chores and other services
- Per State statute, “Loss of the society of the decedent, including loss of companionship, consortium, care, assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training, and education, suffered by the surviving spouse, dependent children, parents, or next of kin of the decedent”
- The loss of a prospective inheritance that the decedent would have received and distributed to his/her heirs
- The mental anguish of each of the beneficiaries
We work with professionals who are skilled at examining the decedent’s work history, life expectancy, and other factors to place a value on these losses.
Our Columbus wrongful death lawyers will explain how the distribution of any settlement or verdict is handled. The general starting point is that each beneficiary receives an equal share of the overall settlement or verdict amount. Some exceptions may apply. The beneficiaries can also decide among themselves how the award should be distributed.
There are special considerations for children and anyone under 25 years of age. For anyone under 25, a trust may be created (with the approval of the adult beneficiaries and a guardian for the person under 25). The trust generally ensures that funds are available, as necessary, for the child/person under 25 for health, education, and support. When the trust beneficiary reaches 25, the amount of the trust is distributed to that person.
How much time do I have to file a Columbus wrongful death claim in Ohio?
The time limit for filing a wrongful death claim in Ohio is within two years from the date of the death of your loved one. Some exceptions may apply.
The best course of action is to contact our caring wrongful death lawyers as soon as possible. We will respect your need to mourn. The sooner we can investigate the accident the better, because the memories of the witnesses will fade and the physical evidence may change.
Ohio has unique provisions for filing a wrongful death claim based on product liability injuries. Our Columbus wrongful death lawyers can explain in a consultation.
Do you have a wrongful death accident lawyer near me?
Soroka & Associates meets families at our Columbus office, located at 503 South Front Street, Suite 205. We’re happy to give you directions. We can also travel to you if you are unable to come to us.
Contact our Columbus wrongful death lawyers now
Speak with the attorneys at Soroka & Associates to learn more about how we can help with your wrongful death claim. You can call our Columbus office at 614-358-6525 or fill out our contact form. Our initial consultation is free of charge. We represent families when a loved one tragically dies in a Central Ohio accident on a contingent fee basis. Our lawyers only receive compensation if you receive compensation. We serve clients in Columbus and throughout Central Ohio, including in Licking County, Delaware County, Fairfield County, and beyond.