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With wrongful death, your loved one's life could play a role

When negligence leads to the death of a loved one, you and your family may feel a sense of helplessness. Your family member may have played a considerable role in your life, and now that he or she can no longer provide you with comfort, care, advice and other loving actions, you may feel a substantial void. When the actions of another person led to the death of your loved one, you may also feel the need to seek justice.

Though criminal charges may result in certain cases involving a death, you may wish to take additional steps of your own. Filing a civil claim for wrongful death could allow you and your family to pursue monetary damages for your loss.

Relevant factors

If your wrongful death claim proves successful, you will likely gain an award for damages from the individual or individuals considered responsible. No set amount exists for such awards, and many factors go into consideration when the jury works to come to an acceptable amount for your particular case. Those factors often pertain to the victim's personal life, including:

  • Age
  • Life expectancy
  • Earning capacity
  • Health
  • Intelligence
  • Character

Because the assessment of damages involves determining financial impacts, setting numbers to these factors does not always prove simple. When addressing the death of an adult, two main aspects that play a role in this determination include loss of income and loss of parental guidance.

Adjustments to award

Though the jury may come up with an initial award, this amount may not act as the final compensation. The court also has a say in how much a surviving family may obtain in pecuniary damages. As a result, the amount could increase or decrease depending on whether the court's assessment of certain factors differs from the jury's assessment and conclusions.

Trial testimony

The testimonies given during the court proceedings can considerably impact the jury and court decisions. Therefore, you may wish to utilize any relevant experts who could provide information on the monetary value of typically non-monetized life aspects. This strategy could place a greater value on the life of your deceased loved one.

Legal assistance

Civil cases for wrongful death can prove immensely difficult for surviving family members. Not only will you likely still be working through the grief of your loss, but you will also likely want to ensure that the death of your loved one gets the consideration it deserves. Therefore, you may wish to consult with an experienced Ohio attorney who could help lessen the stress of the process.

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