Calculating Damages for Wrongful Death Settlement in Ohio
How do I calculate damages?
Because of the two-year statute of limitations to bring a wrongful death case in Ohio, it’s important to get started as soon as possible. While this can be painful for loved ones who must keep revisiting this painful incident and collect evidence of damages, it’s a vital step in the wrongful death claim process.
According to the Ohio Code 2125.02, wrongful death damages may include losses and expenses related to:
- Medical bills prior to death;
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Future wages and other earnings of the decedent;
- Loss of services that family must now pay for (cleaning, daycare);
- Loss of the society of the decedent, which includes loss of companionship, consortium, care, assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training, and education that the surviving spouse, children, parents, or next of kin experience;
- Loss of prospective inheritance to the decedent's heirs; and
- Mental anguish incurred by a surviving spouse, children, parents, or other next of kin.
Calculating economic damages like medical bills and funeral and burial expenses is relatively straightforward. Evidence of bills and receipts related to these damages can help establish a fair amount. Lost future wages may be fairly straightforward, though it’s important to consider the amount of years the decedent would have worked and other factors that might influence wages.
Surviving family considering a wrongful death claim should speak with an attorney for help calculating a fair amount for noneconomic damages like loss of society and mental anguish that survivors experience. These do not have a definitive price tag and can be difficult to calculate.
How do I prove wrongful death?
In order to file a successful wrongful death case, surviving family must establish that another party is responsible for the accident and the resultant damages they are trying to collect.
To prove a wrongful death, you must prove:
- Negligence - the defendant acted in a reckless or careless manner and violated the duty of care owed to the decedent;
- Cause - the defendant's negligence caused your loved one’s death; and
- Damage - your loved one’s death affected your family due to economic and/or non-economic losses.
To clear up any concerns about how to calculate damages for a wrongful death claim in Cleveland and clarify your questions, call Ryan, LLP at 877-864-9495 or fill out our contact form
to set up a consultation to discuss your case.
About the author of this article: Thomas Ryan