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Cleveland Wrongful Death Lawyers

Helping Surviving Family Members Seek Justice

Losing a loved one is hard. And it can be even more difficult knowing that their death could have been prevented if not for the reckless actions or negligence of another person or entity. If your loved one lost their life in an accident and someone else was responsible, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim. Pursuing legal action can help you get justice for your loved one and recover compensation for losses and expenses incurred. This area of personal injury law is very intricate and often challenging to navigate, but HMW Law can be beside you through it all, providing the compassionate guidance you need.

Our Cleveland wrongful death lawyers understand that this is an emotional and difficult time for you. That is why we will take care of all the details of your case. Our team will thoroughly investigate the matter, identify the liable party, and develop a personalized legal strategy that tells your loved one’s story. We can work hard for you throughout your case and seek the financial recovery you need. To schedule a free consultation, contact our law firm by calling 216-369-1352.

What is the Definition of Wrongful Death?

To pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, you must ensure that your loved one was killed via negligence or a breach of duty of care. There are four main elements that must be proven.

The elements of a wrongful death case include:

Duty of Care

The person or entity owed your loved one a duty of care to avoid actions that could cause them harm. For instance, a driver must drive carefully, or an employer must provide adequate safety equipment.

Breach of Duty

The defendant did not provide your loved one with an appropriate standard of care. For instance, a driver who was driving under the influence acted negligently and failed to uphold their duty of care.

Causation

The breach of duty, or the actions, directly caused your loved one’s wrongful death.

Damages

You and your family suffered damages as a result of your loved one’s death. Damages can include both economic and non-economic losses.

Proving negligence in a wrongful death case is essential. Without proof, your family will be unable to seek justice and get the closure you deserve. Our team will gather evidence to prove these elements and hold the liable parties accountable in court.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Although several people may be affected by the loss of a loved one, Ohio law stipulates that only specific individuals may recover damages in a wrongful death case. A representative of the decedent may bring the civil action, but any compensation awarded will be distributed to surviving family members.
Surviving family members include the decedent’s:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents

If you are unsure whether or not you can file a wrongful death claim, reach out to a Cleveland wrongful death lawyer on our team. We will examine the details of your case and determine who can seek compensation.

What Damages Can Be Recovered?

If another person is responsible for an individual’s death, a judge or jury may award the surviving family members financial recovery for certain expenses and losses arising from the accident.
Compensation may be recovered for various damages, including:

  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of services
  • Loss of companionship, consortium, and care
  • Loss of prospective inheritance
  • Mental anguish
  • Funeral and burial expenses

Wrongful death compensation varies wildly depending on the nature of the accident and the circumstances of your loved one’s death. Generally, any financial losses you and your loved ones sustained as a result of the accident can be claimed in a lawsuit. For more information, contact our team today.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death case arises when a person loses their life because of another individual’s negligent or reckless acts. Thus, in nearly any situation in which one person owes another a duty of care but fails to uphold that duty and causes a fatal accident, surviving family members may be entitled to initiate a civil action.

Situations in which wrongful deaths occur include, but are not limited to:

  • Defective products: When a manufacturer or supplier distributes a product, they ensure it’s safe for use. However, if an error occurs during the design, manufacture, or marketing of the item and a person loses their life when using it as intended, the company may be legally liable for resulting damages.
  • Medical malpractice: Medical professionals are required to provide a standard level of care when treating patients. If they act below the standard and their patient dies as a result, the family may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Motor vehicle accidents: If a motorist does not obey traffic laws and engages in negligent or reckless behaviors, they might cause an accident that kills another driver, passengers, bicyclists, or pedestrians.
  • Nursing home abuse: Nursing home staff and administrators have a duty to provide the care and services their residents need. When they are negligent in this duty and death results, the surviving family may take legal action against the facility.
  • Slip and falls: Property owners who do not repair or address hazardous conditions within a reasonable time may be held responsible for fatal accidents arising from a slip and fall on the property.

What Does a Wrongful Death Attorney Do?

Seeking compensation after losing a loved one can be a difficult time. Although you and your family are dealing with grief and sadness, it is essential to begin filing a wrongful death lawsuit as soon as possible. Our team will take over the legal process, guiding you through your wrongful death claim so you can focus on your loved ones.
As your legal team, our lawyers will take the following steps:

  • Communicate with the at-fault party and their insurance companies
  • Investigate your loved one’s death to identify all responsible parties
  • Compile evidence to prove the elements of negligence in your case
  • Calculate the full worth of your lawsuit and compensation
  • Negotiate with insurance companies and legal representatives to obtain maximum compensation
  • Represent you and your family in court, if necessary
  • Answer all of your questions throughout the legal process

Even after your case is resolved, our team will continue to be there for you, supporting you and your family in whatever capacity you need. We understand that a wrongful death suit won’t bring your loved one back, but we hope to provide a sense of financial security and support for your family as you go through this challenging time.

What is the Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The statute of limitations is a timeline in which family members can pursue compensation in court. After the statute of limitations has expired, you will no longer be able to seek compensation. Statutes vary by state; in Ohio, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death case is two years from the date the accident happened.

There are certain exceptions to the statute of limitations that may apply in rare cases. For instance, if the defendant attempts to flee and cannot be found within two years, a judge may pause the statute of limitations or grant an extension. However, these exceptions are limited. In most cases, it is advisable to begin your wrongful death lawsuit as soon as possible so you and your family members receive the compensation you deserve.

When Should You Consult a Wrongful Death Lawyer?

The best time to start the wrongful death lawsuit process is right now. Wrongful death cases can take many months, and you and your family members deserve closure. Our compassionate team will walk you through the entire process, aggressively advocating for you in and out of court.

At HMW Law, we invest the necessary effort into every case we handle. Our wrongful death attorneys in Cleveland, Ohio, can work diligently to seek just compensation on your behalf. We are ready to help you through your case. To get started, call 216-369-1352 to speak with a Cleveland wrongful death attorney on our team.