To the loved ones who lose a family member due to negligence usually the last thing on their mind is collecting damages for their loss. It is usually not until weeks after the funeral that those family members realize that they have lost not only a cherished family member and friend, but also they may have lost the income produced by that person. A spouse and children are always victims when a parent is killed. As difficult as it is seeking fair compensation from the wrongdoer, it is appropriate and necessary.
Ohio’s wrongful death law providers that family members and next of kin can recover for the following losses when a person is killed due to the negligent conduct of another:
1) Lost income;
2) Lost services
3) Funeral and burial expenses;
4) Mental anguish; and
5) Loss of companionship.
Each and every case is unique, and the analysis of loss is different in each case. There may be little lost income to the family due to the death of a 5 year old or 85 year old. But, the mental anguish and loss of companionship is immeasurable. Other cases involve tremendous loss of income and future earning power.
It is fair to say that insurance companies usually do not want to pay the full value of the loss so many cases end up in litigation. This is not something to be feared by victims. There is nothing more heart warming than to hear from a parade of witnesses how generous, kind, and good the loved one was in life. Civil trials for wrongful death, although emotional, often become a celebration of life. Juries in Ohio are usually very fair when it comes to payment of damages for victims of wrongful death.