Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death in Ohio

Wrongful_Death_QuestionsHere are the most frequently asked questions people ask us about wrongful death along with answers to each of the questions.

Every case and situation is different. Please call us for a FREE consultation with an attorney at Slater & Zurz LLP to discuss the details of your case.

You can contact us 24/7.



1. What should I do?

The most important thing to do is to consult an experienced attorney who has extensive experience in Ohio Wrongful Death claims. There are so many lay people who have a little information or think they know something about this area but really do not. Talk to an experienced Ohio Wrongful Death attorney to get clear objective analysis of the circumstances to see if you have a legal case to bring a wrongful death claim . Watch a video for more information on what to do

2. What does the term Wrongful Death mean?

When someone loses their life because another person or business did something wrong that the law determined the conduct to be negligent and/or intentional the survivors have a claim for wrongful death. The law gives the survivors of the deceased the right to assert, in court, a legal claim for financial compensation because of the conduct. This is the meaning of a wrongful death. Watch a video for more information about what wrongful death means

3. Does it have to be a car accident or could it be anything?

No. It could involve anything. It could be the mistake of a doctor. A company that made something incorrectly. A pharmacist who filled a prescription incorrectly. A company who made a piece of equipment with a flaw that caused someone to get killed. Any conduct that negligently or intentionally caused someone to die . Any product that is made that is determined to be designed or made and caused a death. It could involve a combination of things.

4. Who can make a claim?

Only the Executor or Administrator of the estate of the deceased person can bring a claim for the wrongful death of the deceased. If there is a will it will name an executor. If the deceased person does not have a will then the next of kin needs to make an application to the Probate Court to be appointed the Administrator of the Estate of the person who died.

Again only the Executor or the Administrator of the deceased estate can make a claim. Reason is only such a person could legally terminate a case upon the receipt of money. Watch a video for more information about who can make a wrongful death claim

5. Who will benefit from a wrongful death claim?

Those individuals who could inherit from the deceased can benefit from a wrongful death claim. All money received is reported to the Probate Court. The Court decides who will receive the money. Many times all those who are heirs reach an agreement between themselves and ask the court permission to allocate the money received pursuant to their agreement. If no agreement is reached than after notice and a hearing the court will allocate the proceeds by issuing an Order. Watch a video for more information about who benefits from a wrongful death claim

6. Who decides who hires a lawyer?

The Executor or the Administrator picks the attorney. They thereafter ask the the Probate Court to authorize them to enter a contract with that attorney. Watch a video for more information about who decides what lawyer to hire

7. Do family members have a right to be told what is going on concerning a law suit?

No. Only if the Executor or Administrator want to voluntarily share that information with family members. Watch a video for more information about family members rights related to a wrongful death lawsuit

8. What is the financial compensation that can be expected?

All claims are controlled on how much money is available. If the death involved a car accident and the amount of insurance available is small ($25,000) that will control how much money will be distributed. Although financial liability goes beyond insurance coverage in most situations the likelihood of having more assets than the insurance proceeds is rare in most cases. Watch a video for more information on what financial compensation can be expected from a wrongful death claim

9. Who gets what?

If there remains a family the spouse and children will receive most of the proceeds. This is based on the loss of financial support and loss of companionship. Parents in this situation normally would be entitled to a minimum amount of compensation. If there is no immediate family then it becomes more difficult to predict. The court would consider all things and try to make an equitable allocation. Watch a video for more information about how financial compensation from a wrongful death claim gets distributed

10. How does the attorney get paid?

Experienced attorneys work on a contingent fee basis between 33 1/3 to 40 percent of the gross recovery. If there is no recovery nothing is owed. Experts are frequently required to be hired to establish a wrongful death claim and the attorney advances those expenses with the right to be reimbursed at the end of the case. Fees and costs must be approved by the Probate Court. Watch a video for more information on how a wrongful death attorney gets compensated.

11. How long does it take?

It depends. Sometimes it goes quick. This usually involves those cases that have small amounts of insurance. Experienced wrongful death attorneys will fight for all that is reasonable to compensate the family. Insurance companies are businesses that make their money by taking in premiums and trying to pay the least they can. Contrary to what they say they fight very hard to pay very little to the families and of course responsible wrongful death attorneys want all that there is. As we all know there is no amount of money that could compensate for loss of a family member but the last thing you want to happen is to let the insurance company pay less than they should. It is for that reason when there is substantial amounts of insurance it takes a lot longer. Watch a video for more information on how long a wrongful death claim takes to complete

If you think you have a wrongful death case anywhere in Ohio, please contact me (Jim Slater) directly by calling 1-888-459-0765 or sending me an email at [email protected]

Feel free to call at any time including evenings and weekends.

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