Ohio Wrongful Death Laws

Legal Right to Take Action After a Wrongful Death

Chapter 2125 of the Ohio Revised Code (Ohio Law) addresses Actions for Wrongful Death. Ohio wrongful death law states:

“When the death of a person is caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default which would have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued, the person who would have been liable if death had not ensued….shall be liable to an action for damages.”

This excerpt from Ohio wrongful death law establishes a family’s legal right to take action against the party responsible for the wrongful death of a family member.


Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Ohio

With regards to who can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased person, Ohio law states:

“A civil action for wrongful death shall be brought in the name of the personal representative of the decedent for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse, the children, and the parents of the decedent, all of whom are rebuttably presumed to have suffered damages by reason of the wrongful death, and for the exclusive benefit of the other next of kin of the decedent.”


This excerpt from Ohio wrongful death statute makes it clear that only a person may file a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased person. The person who files the lawsuit is known as the personal representative of the decedent (person who died).

The personal representative files the wrongful death claim in their own name, on behalf of the deceased person. If the wrongful death claim is successful, the proceeds of the wrongful death settlement or wrongful death verdict are split between the beneficiaries of the person who died.

If the beneficiaries are all of equal consanguinity (blood relation) to the deceased person, then they may distribute the proceeds amongst themselves as they wish.

If the beneficiaries are not on equal grounds as to blood relation to the deceased person, then the court may distribute the proceeds as it decides is just and fair.

Free Consultation to Discuss Ohio Wrongful Death Laws

A wrongful death claim involves many different Ohio Laws and the details of every wrongful death case are different. If you believe a family member may have died wrongfully, contact us for a free case review and a free consultation with one of our experienced Ohio attorneys.

Ask the questions you need answered and get the guidance you need to proceed. Please call us at 1-888-459-0765 or send us a message by filling out the FREE CASE REVIEW form located on the right side of this page.

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