How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out

How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?

The typical wrongful death settlement is brought about when a wrongful death occurs to an individual. A wrongful death, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “a death caused by the negligent, willful, or wrongful act, neglect, omission, or default of another.” When this kind of death occurs, the deceased individual’s next of kin has the right to seek wrongful death settlements within the statute of limitations that are set (either on a federal level or at the state level).

Any situation where a wrongful death settlement is needed can be especially painful and stressful. So we want to explore the answer to the question of “how are wrongful death settlements paid out” below.

How are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?

To answer the question of “how are wrongful death settlements paid out” is pretty straightforward. A typical wrongful death settlement will be paid in one of two ways. Those two ways are:

  • A lump-sum payment
  • A structured settlement

There are differences between these two kinds of wrongful death settlement payments in how they are paid out. For a lump-sum payment, the typical wrongful death settlement payment will be paid out to the deceased individual’s family or beneficiaries all at once.

A structured settlement payment will occur through regular payments to the individual’s family or beneficiaries over time.

When it comes to which method is utilized in paying out wrongful death settlements, the parties that are involved in the case must decide. This will typically be decided at the end of the case. Though depending on the situation tied to the defendant in a typical wrongful death settlement case that may affect how disbursement is also handled.

For example, a defendant may be financially unable to afford a lump sum payment. This may lead to a structured settlement payment where they are able to pay out different amounts of money over a period of time.

Wrongful death settlements that will be fully covered by an individual’s insurance may be handled in a lump sum payment on the other hand. These are the two main ways that wrongful death settlements will be paid.

The state of Ohio also has laws that apply to the “distribution to beneficiaries” that a typical wrongful death settlement may be affected by as outlined in Section 2125.05 of the Ohio Revised Code.

What Damages are Available in Wrongful Death Settlements?

When it comes to the damages that are available in wrongful death settlements, damages (as laid out by Section 2125.02 of the Ohio Revised Code) can include things such as:

  • Compensation for a number of financial losses (i.e. funeral expenses, medical costs, etc)
  • Loss of “prospective inheritance” to an individual’s heirs
  • Mental anguish caused to surviving spouses, parents, next of kin, or dependent children
  • Loss of support from “reasonably expected earning capacity of the decedent”

Consider Working with a Wrongful Death Attorney

An individual may want to work with a wrongful death attorney as they seek a typical wrongful death settlement. A wrongful death attorney can provide assistance in navigating the ins and outs of the legal process and handling the insurance company negotiations or mediations.

The aftermath of losing a loved one can be difficult and stressful. A wrongful death attorney in Ohio can help to ease the process and provide experienced representation in your case.

Heit Law, LLC is a personal injury law firm based in Columbus, Ohio that handles a wide range of cases that include car accidents, catastrophic injuries, and wrongful death. Handling all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, Corey Heit is an experienced wrongful death attorney in Columbus who has served as a number of clients’ wrongful death advocates over the years.

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