Chapter 3: What Happens When Wrongful Death is Caused by Two or More Parties?

Wrongful death caused by two peopleAny wrongful death claim can become confusing when only one party is responsible for the death. Yet when two or more parties are involved, there are often additional problems to resolve. Sometimes it is difficult to determine who should legally share in what is termed “joint and several liability.”

Professionals can investigate how the death occurred and help decide which parties are responsible. In some cases, parties do not knowingly act together, and one may not even know they caused a death.

In a case where more than one party is responsible for a death, a single individual will not be required to bear the entire liability unless he or she is responsible for the majority of the economic loss. In Ohio, non-economic losses are still assigned proportionately. This means that if the jury finds that someone is 10 percent responsible for non-economic loss, he or she is obligated to pay 10 percent of the amount the jury awarded. The share each responsible party must pay is based on varying degrees of legal responsibility.

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