Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Lawyers Columbus Ohio

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, more than 4,600 workers are typically killed while performing their jobs in the United States each year.  Workplace fatalities are not only devastating for family members left behind, but they can have a significant impact on a family’s financial stability. 

It is imperative that workplace accidents be thoroughly investigated so that all responsible parties and all potential sources of compensation can be identified.  Often, survivors of those who die in workplace accidents have legal rights to recover damages from careless property owners’ insurance, manufacturers, and other companies that contributed to the accident.  These contributing parties, and other non-employers, are not protected by workers’ compensation laws, and may be required to pay compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit if their negligence contributed to the fatal accident.

Ohio Work-Related Wrongful Death Law

A wrongful death claim is a legal claim alleging that a loved one’s death was caused as a result of a willful or wrongful act, or the negligence of another person or entity.  It is important to remember that a wrongful death lawsuit does not replace workers’ compensation benefits.  In most cases, money recovered in a lawsuit against a non-employer, such as those listed above, is in addition to any benefits that may be provided through workers’ compensation.

If the defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit is found to be liable, damages awarded to the victim’s family may include:

  • Compensation of the victim’s anticipated future earnings, until retirement or death;
  • The loss of benefits caused by the victim’s death (for example: pension, medical insurance, etc.);
  • Expenses associated with death, itself (medical and funeral);
  • Loss of care, protection, and companionship to the survivors; and
  • Pain and suffering

Contact Columbus Ohio  Wrongful Death Attorneys

If a loved one was the victim of a wrongful death situation, you may qualify for damages.  Please contact our office to make an appointment and speak with a knowledgeable attorney about your options. 

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  • How Employment Lawyers Help Both Employees and Employers

    Employment law covers hiring, firing, workplace policies, and benefits. Recognizing this makes plain how a Cleveland employment lawyer could help an employee or an employer in any given negotiation or lawsuit. An employment lawyer’s knowledge of federal and state laws and practices regarding discrimination, rights, and contracting often proves invaluable when issues between workers and management arise.

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  • Injuries Not Covered Under Workers’ Compensation

    Workers’ compensation exists to help individual who get injured or fall ill on the job. Therefore, only someone hurt or sickened at work or while engaged in activities directly related to fulfilling the duties of their job can claim workers’ comp benefits. The health problem must be significantly disabling, meaning the person has to stop working or accept a lower-paying position for several months. Also, the problem can affect any part of the person’s body or physical functioning. Losing a finger, going deaf or blind, having a heart attack, and developing a permanent lung disease are all examples of injuries and illnesses eligible for workers’ comp.


    Location Matters

    Distinguishing what counts as a work-related activity sometimes requires going to court. Clarifying the issue somewhat, general rules that have developed over time that indicate that driving a company vehicle during business hours qualifies, but taking your own car to the office in the morning before the start of the business day does not. Similarly, falling while putting on a safety suit in the factory locker room could be what lawyers call compensable, but tripping while dressing for work at home would not be. Parking lot injuries are whole separate category of worker’s comp case law.

    Questions about whether an offsite or near-site incident could make you eligible for applying to receive payments from the Ohio workers’ compensation program are best referred to a Cleveland workers’ comp attorney before going through the lengthy process of applying for benefits.


    Cause Matters

    The state-run program to cover injured and ill workers’ medical bills and temporary disability expenses does have a list of circumstances that automatically disqualify applications. It looks like this:

    • Self-inflicted injuries
    • Injuries suffered with under the influence of alcohol or drugs
    • Injuries suffered while engaging in clearly illegal activities, including trespassing or violating environmental laws
    • Injuries suffered while fighting with co-workers
    • Injuries suffered while purposely ignoring safety rules, which includes engaging in horseplay
    • Worsening of a preexisting disease even when workplace exposures cause flare-ups that make doing one’s job impossible
    • Strictly mental difficulties such as stress

    This list of workers’ compensation exclusions leave space for interpretation, especially since employers may attempt to convince the program administrators who investigate workers’ comp applications that a hurt or sick worker caused their own health problems. A skilled and caring workers’ comp lawyer in Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio, can help a client gather and present evidence to counter such claims.


    Options Exist When Workers’ Comp Doesn’t

    Speaking with an Agee Clymer Mitchell and Portman personal injury attorney could help you explore options other than workers’ compensation. While filing and succeeding with civil lawsuits against one’s employer has become increasingly difficult in Ohio, evidence of reckless indifference to employees’ health and safety remains actionable. Another possibility could be pursuing a defective or dangerous product claim against the manufacturer of a tool or device that inflicted an injury. That tactic can succeed when a machine malfunctions, a hand tool breaks, or a walkway railing or ladder collapses.

    To discuss workers’ comp and related issues at no cost, call Agee Clymer Mitchell and Portman at (800) 678-3318 or schedule an appointment online.

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What our Clients Say

I want to thank you for representing me with my Worker’s Compensation claim. Obviously, I am very happy with the decision of Hearing Officer. I know that my employer can still appeal the decision but I hope that will not be the case. Regardless, I...

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