A wrongful death is a death that has occurred through the wrongful act or negligence of another. A Wrongful Death lawsuit alleges that the individual died as a result of negligence or other liability, and that their surviving dependents or beneficiaries are entitled to collect damages as a result of the defendant's negligent or grossly negligent conduct.
Often, family members of those who were victims of a wrongful death are unaware that the law allows for two types of compensation in a wrongful death claim. First is compensation by the probate estate for the decedent's conscious pain and suffering and medical expenses incurred prior to death. The second form of compensation for the loss the family has experianced due to the wrongful death and how it has effected their lives.
Both Kentucky and Ohio law allows a family to recover damages for the wrongful death of a family member. A Wrongful Death case can arise in many different situations: Automobile accidents and motorcycle accidents; medical malpractice; nursing home negligence; and defective products are but a few situations that may lead to a Wrongful Death claim. A defendant can only be held responsible for a wrongful death if the defendant's conduct actually caused the family member's death.
The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that a surviving spouse may collect spousal loss of consortium in Wrongful Death cases. This allows the spouses of those killed by the negligence of others to seek redress for the loss of companionship provided by a spouse that fell victim to a wrongful death.
Under Ohio law, the following compensatory damages may be awarded in wrongful death cases: Loss of support based on the earning capacity of the deceased, Loss of society (includes loss of companionship, consortium, care, assistance, protection, etc.), Loss of prospective inheritance, and mental anguish suffered by members of the grieving family,
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