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What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

wrongfull death lawsuit in ohioA wrongful death claim occurs when a person or people die because of the fault of another person.

"Common law" in the United States did not allow this type of lawsuit.  During the last century, however, state and federal courts have created the right to bring a wrongful death action. Every state in the United States now has some kind of wrongful death law.

These claims involve all fatal accidents from automobile accidents to complicated medical malpractice cases.  Govt. agencies, companies and citizens can deemed legally at fault for acting negligently and / or for acting intentionally.

There are four primary components  in wrongful death (as defined by law).  Surviving family members filing a lawsuit must prove each component to win the case for financial recompense. The four key components are:

  1. Negligence – Surviving family or their legal representatives must prove the death was caused by the recklessness, carelessness, or negligent actions of the other (aka defending) party.
  2. Breach of Duty – It must be proven that the defendant owed a duty to the deceased victim. For example, the driver of the car maintains a duty to drive safely, follow and obey all traffic laws.
  3. Causation – The lawsuit plaintiff must also prove how the defendant’s negligence caused the death.
  4. Damages – The death of the victim must have generated quantifiable damages such as hospitalization, medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of income and potential earnings, loss of protection, guidance and inheritance along with pain and suffering of the victim prior to death.
Proving these points in court through a wrongful death lawsuit requires producing strong convincing evidence and expert witness testimony presented by a skilled attorney specializing in wrongful death cases.

Gioffre & Schroeder Co., L.P.A. Attorneys & Counselors at Law

Cleveland Area Attorneys Joe Gioffre and Mike Schroeder
They Fight For Us

Gioffre & Schroeder Co., L.P.A.


Our philosophy is to become your lawyer for life. We do this by practicing law with passion and commitment for all of our clients' needs and interests no matter how big or small the case.

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