When someone else’s negligence or recklessness causes a person’s death, the immediate family members of the deceased have the right to sue for economic and emotional damages caused by the loss of their loved one. Generally, in Ohio wrongful death claims, one family member is selected as the plaintiff to represent the other family members.
Because wrongful death claims are civil legal actions, a wrongdoer does not necessarily have to be convicted in criminal court for a grieving family to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, in some cases, a criminal conviction — and the evidence that led to it — may bolster a claim of wrongful death.
Sadly, the family of a woman from Farmersville, Ohio, maybe considering these matters after a fatal accident in 2014. The woman and her fiancé, a Dayton police officer, were riding together on a motorcycle when, according to authorities, a pickup truck driver turned into the path of the bike.
The crash took the Farmersville woman’s life and seriously injured her fiancé, who was off-duty at the time of the collision.
According to the local prosecutor’s office, the pickup truck driver left the scene of the accident and was later located some distance away. He has since been charged with failure to stop after an accident, vehicular manslaughter and vehicular homicide.
A news report doesn’t say whether the deceased woman’s family has chosen to bring a wrongful death claim against the hit-and-run driver. And though the injured officer may not have a right to be a party to such a claim, he could file a personal injury lawsuit for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other costs resulting from the crash.
Ohio residents trying to cope in the aftermath of such a devastating tragedy should speak with a personal injury attorney about the available options for financial relief.