Ohio Wrongful Death Claims and Survival Actions

September 18, 2012

Auto Accidents, Wrongful Death

Ohio wrongful deathEvery week, people in Ohio wake up in the morning, enjoy their coffee and prepare themselves for the upcoming day.  They see their kids off to school and kiss their spouses goodbye.  Finally, they climb into their cars and start their morning commutes.  If you have ever driven on a busy interstate, you know it is packed with reckless drivers.  They’re swerving in and out of traffic, cutting-off other drivers and speeding.  What happens when one of those reckless drivers hits you or someone else on the road?  What happens if you or someone you love suffers serious injury or potentially dies as a result of the reckless driver?  If the worst happens, the team at Slater & Zurz is here to help you recover the compensation you deserve in wrongful death and survival actions.

Ohio recognizes two separate and distinct forms of compensation for someone who dies as a result of another party’s negligence.  These are commonly called wrongful death claims and survival actions – both are brought by the estate of the deceased person (decedent) and are meant to compensate for separate injuries.

First, a wrongful death claim is family-focused – it is brought by the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate for the purpose of compensating his or her family.  For example, a man is married and has two children. He is struck by a semi-truck on his way to work and tragically dies.  A wrongful death claim is available to compensate his wife and children (and sometimes even brothers, sisters and parents) for circumstances such as loss of the companionship, affection and support the accident victim would have provided them if he lived.  The judgment would be split between those parties, and is not subject to the distribution method of a will.

The next type of claim that a decedent’s estate can bring is an action for survival.   Unlike wrongful death claims, survival actions focus strictly on the decedent.  Consider again our example above – let’s say the man is driving on his way to work, he is struck by a semi-truck, spends a week in the Intensive Care Unit of a local hospital and tragically dies.  The survival action is recognized to compensate the accident victim for the pain, suffering and medical bills he accrued from the point he was struck by the semi-truck, through his week in the hospital, up until the moment he passes away.  As these are technically damages that accrued during the decedent’s life, they will be added to his estate and distributed as he outlined in his will (or through intestacy statutes if he did not have a will).

In most cases, if a loved-one passes away, their family, spouse or children are not thinking rationally.  If you’re dealing with the death of a loved one because of another’s negligence, don’t consult with the insurance company alone. You should consult with an Ohio wrongful death attorney to discuss your options.  If you need the skills of experienced Ohio wrongful death lawyers,  please contact the Law Offices of Slater & Zurz LLP for a FREE consultation by calling 1-800-297-9191 or send a message from the website by visiting ohiowrongfuldeathlaw.com

To learn more about wrongful death and other types of personal injury cases, please visit http://www.slaterzurz.com.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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