A wrongful death claim may seek damages for a number of different types of losses, including:
loss of support, based on the compensation the deceased person would reasonably have earned if he or she had lived
loss of the services of the deceased person, including things like housework, yard work, and child care
loss of the care, companionship, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, or society of the deceased person
loss of the prospective inheritance the deceased person's spouse or children might have received if he or she had lived, and
mental anguish suffered by the surviving family members as a result of the untimely death.
How these damages are distributed to the surviving family members is governed by Ohio's inheritance laws. If the surviving family members are all related to the deceased person in the same degree, they will split any damages equally among them. For instance, three children of a deceased person would split the damages award equally three ways. If surviving family members are related to the deceased person by different degrees, the court will determine how best to split the damages award among them.
A surviving spouse of a deceased person who has remarried between the date of death and the date the court case is decided can still receive damages from the wrongful death case. However, the court will take into consideration the fact that the surviving spouse has remarried.
The parent of a deceased child may not recover damages if the court determines that the parent abandoned the child. If the personal representative knows or has reason to believe that the parent has abandoned the child, he or she must notify the court.
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