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What family members need to show in wrongful death cases

When family members are seeking compensation after what they believe to be a wrongful death in Ohio, there are two main things that they need to show. First off, they must show that the death was brought about directly by the action -- or, in some cases, the inaction -- of another.

This does not mean the death was caused deliberately, although that can be grounds for a lawsuit. It can also mean that the death was caused due to negligence.

If the hospital staff was supposed to check on a patient every two hours, for instance, and they forgot to check on him or her for 12 hours, it could be argued that they were negligent in their duties if the person died during that 12-hour period. They didn't want the death to happen, but they could have prevented it and failed to do so by not providing proper care.

The second thing that the family has to show is that they suffered damages that are connected to the death. Many things can be counted as damages, including, in some cases, the loss of parental guidance. Many damages are very straightforward, though, including things like the medical costs, the funeral costs, the lost future wages and income, and more.

When a young person dies, these future wages can be based on expected future earnings, which could vary dramatically. The protected future earnings could be quite different for a 23-year-old who works in the shipping and receiving industry, for instance, and a 23-year-old who is a medical school student.

If you've lost a loved one, be sure you understand these two areas of the case very well. You certainly may have a right to compensation, and they can show you exactly how much you're entitled to.

Source: The Balance, "What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? -- Filing Information," Julie Garber, accessed Oct. 04, 2016

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