The Keating Firm has been purchased by Kisling, Nestico & Redick, a personal injury law firm serving all of Ohio. Visit Site >
top of page
  • Writer's pictureBrad Keating

Reasons to Hire a Worthington Wrongful Death Lawyer

Wrongful death cases are terrible for everyone involved, especially for the family members of the deceased, who are now suffering terrible pain. They deserve the possibility of making things right so that they can file wrongful death claims against the negligent party.

Therefore, calling a law firm and hiring an attorney is one of the best ways of seeking justice.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

These are lawsuits that someone can file against another person or entity if their negligence caused the accidental death of a loved one. These cases aim to give financial retribution to those affected by the person's death, and they're usually settled without needing to go to court.

How Does a Wrongful Death Case Work?

Personal injury and wrongful death cases tend to follow the same structure everywhere in America. The first thing to do is find the appropriate plaintiff among the victim's living family members. Then, the personal injury lawyer proceeds to do a thorough investigation to prove the other party's negligence and file the claim. After that, the wrongful death lawyer negotiates with the insurance company and settles the claim.

What Constitutes a Wrongful Death?

It is considered a wrongful death if there is any death caused by a person or entity's negligent or illegal actions. These are complex cases due to the severity of the plaintiff's pain and suffering. Moreover, the victim's death isn't the only thing contemplated to determine the retribution, but also considered are the consequences that this may have on their family.

What Qualifies as a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The key element that differentiates an accident from a wrongful death is if the death could have been avoided by the defendant or not. Some common examples of wrongful death are car accidents and medical negligence.

Is Wrongful Death a Crime?

No. A wrongful death case is not a criminal offense. Therefore, no one can go to jail because of it. However, it is still possible to press criminal charges against the party at fault if there's already an ongoing civil case.

Can You File a Civil Suit for Wrongful Death?

Yes. Wrongful death cases are civil lawsuits, which means that the plaintiff is looking for financial retribution. However, only selected people can file these claims, as they're usually restricted to direct family members of the victims.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?


If the deceased was married, their spouse has the first right to file a lawsuit against the other party.


In the second place, the children of the deceased can also file a lawsuit for their parent's death, but they're only allowed to do it if the surviving spouse is unable to do it.

Siblings and Parents

Siblings and parents have fewer chances to seek justice against the other party, but the state laws may allow them if no one else can file the lawsuit.

Legal Representative

If no one can file a claim against the party at fault, the state's responsibility is to seek a fair settlement for the victim's death. Moreover, in some cases, the state doesn't allow the victim's family to file claims for themselves, so this is the only option.

How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In order to file a lawsuit, the best thing to do is to hire a lawyer from a professional law firm, as they involve quite a lot of paperwork, and if this step isn't done correctly, the case may not be accepted. Some things that need to be delivered are a physical copy of the lawsuit, relevant evidence, and the required fees.

Is It Hard to Prove Wrongful Death?

It can be tricky if a person is trying to do it by themselves, but a Columbus wrongful death lawyer knows they must provide proof of the following four elements:

Duty of Care

The first thing that must be proven is the duty of care between the defendant and the victim. A good example is the duty to drive safely on the roads.

Breach of the Duty

Then, there must be evidence that the defendant violated said duty. Following the previous example, if the defendant was driving recklessly, they violated their duty.


This principle states that the defendant is only guilty of the damages that happened due to their breach of duty. Therefore, the wrongful death attorney must directly link the death to the accident.


In this final stage, the family member must state all the consequences they suffered due to the death of their loved one so that they can get proper retribution.

What Is a Deposition?

A deposition is the recorded testimony of one of the parties. This is done outside of the courtroom and without the presence of a judge, but both lawyers must be present during the recording. Still, this testimony can be used in the courtroom if necessary.

What Happens After a Wrongful Death Deposition?

If the deposition ran smoothly, the case must follow its natural course. However, if any of the parties had problems during their testimony, it may affect them when they're trying to settle the case.

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Wrongful Death Claim?

It can take as little as a few months and as much as years, but this is going to depend on the complexity of each case. Still, in some cases, both parties may have settled the retribution even before filing the lawsuit.

How to Win a Wrongful Death Case

Winning wrongful death cases is virtually the same as winning personal injury cases. The main thing the plaintiff needs to do is prove the defendant's guilt. Still, they may need to do thorough research and negotiations with the insurance company. There's nothing better than hiring wrongful death attorneys from a trustworthy law firm like the Keating Firm to take care of this.

Are There Different Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

Wrongful death can happen due to many reasons. The most common are the following:

  • Car accidents

  • Dog bites

  • Medical malpractice

  • Assaults

  • Slip and fall accidents

  • Defects in products

  • Workplace injuries

What Is the Difference Between Malpractice and Wrongful Death?

Medical malpractice doesn't always cause the victim's death, but it can be filed as wrongful death if it does. Still, the difference between the two terms is quite wide. Malpractice is simply a common cause of wrongful death.

Diagnosis Errors

Diagnosis errors are a type of medical malpractice that can result in personal injury and death cases. These are extremely common in malpractice cases and happen when doctors make mistakes when dealing with patients.

What Damages Are Awarded in a Wrongful Death Case?

In most cases, the insurance company must retribute the following damages:

  • Medical bills

  • Funerary expenses

  • Lost income

  • Loss of companionship

  • Pain and suffering

Is There a Cap on Wrongful Death?

It depends on the type of damage. The maximum retribution that someone can get for non-financial damages is $350,000. Moreover, the cap for medical malpractice is $500,000.

What Is the Average Settlement for Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

There is no average amount for these cases, as each settlement depends on the case's complexity. Still, some of the factors to consider are the following:

  • The insurance company's limitations

  • Damages that were done to the family

  • The age of the victim

How Much Can It Be Claimed for a Death Caused by Medical Negligence?

It is widely known that medical negligence cases have a much lower cap than regular personal injury or death cases. Therefore, the plaintiff should talk with their attorney to settle their expectations regarding compensation if they're dealing with one of these cases.

Taxes and Wrongful Death Settlements

The plaintiff doesn't have to pay taxes for the financial retribution they may receive, as the IRS doesn't consider this part of their taxable income.

Who Pays for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The other party's insurance company pays for these personal injury lawsuits in most cases. However, if they don't have one, they must pay for it with their own money.

What Types of Lawyers Handle Wrongful Death Cases?

All attorneys can handle these personal injury cases, but the best results are given by OH wrongful death lawyers from a trustworthy law firm, as they're specialized in providing these services.

What Does a Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Attorney Do?

They take care of all the aspects of the case:

  • Gathering information

  • Meeting with witnesses

  • Doing all the necessary paperwork

  • Negotiating with the other party

  • Settling the retribution

What to Ask a Wrongful Death Law Firm

Some critical questions the plaintiff must ask their wrongful death lawyer or law firm are:

  • Can I know about your previous cases?

  • How much do you charge?

  • Who is going to handle my case?

  • How much money can you get me?

What Are the Most Important Things to Know about Wrongful Death Cases?

  • The time limit to take legal action

  • Who can file a lawsuit

  • Damages don't always appear right away

  • The most important thing is to settle the retribution

  • Getting a lawyer from a trustworthy law firm is a must

Statute of Limitations

Statute of Limitations

In most cases, the plaintiff must take legal action within the first two years following the accident.

Other Worthington Practice Areas

Bottom Line

Wrongful death and personal injury cases are highly stressful and painful, but the Keating Firm, the best law firm in Worthington, can help anyone take some weight off their shoulders. Getting a free consultation from professional wrongful death lawyers is as easy as calling the number at the bottom of this page.


bottom of page