When Personal Injury Becomes a Wrongful Death
A personal injury is one that results from another person’s or entity’s negligence or intent. The most common type of personal injury is one that occurs from an automobile accident when the other driver does not obey the law. Personal injury dictates that a person shouldn’t have to pay their medical expenses and do without their lost wages when the accident was someone else’s fault. When the same accident results in the death of the victim, it becomes a wrongful death and the family needs a wrongful death attorney to represent them.
The death may be immediate or following extensive treatment for the injuries. The victim’s loved ones may be facing expensive medical bills in addition to funeral expenses. If the victim was the primary provider, their losses also extend to the future wages they will no longer receive. Wrongful death attorney Kevin Attkisson explains that “When the loved one’s death was the fault of another entity, they have the right to recover financial compensation for both financial and emotional losses.”
Other Types of Wrongful Death Cases
Although auto accidents are the most common cause of wrongful death, there are many other types of situations that fall within the same category. These include:
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Work-Related Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Defective Products
The burden of proof is on the family of the victim and the wrongful death attorney to prove that the other party was, in fact, to blame for the accident regardless of the category of accident that it was.
When to Seek a Wrongful Death Attorney for the Loss of a Loved One
If the accident would have been considered a personal injury had the person not died, it will also be considered a wrongful death if it cost the victim their life. The difference is that the person who was injured will not be able to file their claim and another party must do so. It is important to note that only a surviving spouse, surviving children including those that are adopted, and the surviving parents are permitted to file a wrongful death claim in the state of Ohio. Although this area of the law may differ in other states, Ohio does not recognize other family members as having suffered a loss for which they should be financially compensated.
The amount of time that a person has to file a wrongful death claim differs from that of the personal injury. Instead of having two years from the time of the accident, the person will have two years from the time of the victim’s death. This protects the deceased person’s family from loss if their death doesn’t occur until an extended time after the accident and their medical expenses are likely to be even greater.
Although you may feel that you have plenty of time to file a claim, you should find a wrongful death attorney immediately after your loved one’s death. There may be extenuating circumstances related to the case that could impact the statute of limitations and you should know what your options are for your future.