No, an autopsy is not necessary in a wrongful death case. If you lost a loved one to an accident, you might wonder about the procedures for filing a wrongful death claim. Losing a loved one is an emotionally devastating time. It can be hard to know that you are making the right decisions.
If you have questions about your loved one’s claim, you can ask our Columbus personal injury lawyers. Our Ohio-based wrongful death law firm takes wrongful death cases.
Ohio Law Regarding Autopsy Reports
Ohio has set regulations regarding autopsy records but leaves whether it is necessary to have one up to the coroner. Ohio Revised Code Section 313.06 describes the duties of the coroner and their deputies.
Not all cases will require an autopsy. In most cases, autopsies are not performed, and a formal coroner’s verdict is not issued with the report. If an autopsy is not performed, the death certificate issued will be the official established cause of death.
Determining the Requirement for an Autopsy
Some deaths are sudden, violent, unusual, or suspicious. In these cases, contacting the coroner to determine if there is an established need to perform an autopsy is required. According to Ohio Revised Code Section 313.06, the funeral director must notify the coroner at once if a request is made for cremation services.
Regulations Restrict Information Release
You might be concerned about the information released about your loved one’s cause of death. Either side of a lawsuit can challenge the official cause of death during any proceedings. Ohio Revised Code Section 313.10 states that death records are public information.
If Your Family Has Religious Objections to an Autopsy
You might be questioning how to manage your family member’s wrongful death claim and how to communicate their wishes that they had religious objections to being autopsied. Ohio Revised Code Section 313.131 was written to address religious beliefs.
If a friend or relative, as defined by law, can reach out and inform the coroner that the individual objects to autopsy due to religion. In most cases, this is respected. When the coroner is notified, the autopsy will be delayed for 48 hours, allowing the family to file a formal request with the court.
If no friend or relative files this petition in the designated time frame, the coroner will proceed with the autopsy. Another reason an autopsy might be respectfully performed is that, despite the request, an autopsy can benefit a criminal investigation. An autopsy might be necessary to establish the cause of death to further protect others from any immediate threat from what or whom may have harmed your loved one.
What Defines a Wrongful Death Claim in Ohio?
Ohio Revised Code Section 2125 defines a wrongful death, who can pursue compensation or claims, and under what circumstances damages might be recoverable.
You could file a wrongful death claim if your beloved family member died because of another person’s negligence or misconduct. As defined by law, specified family members could file a lawsuit against the negligent party and pursue compensatory damages.
Types of Recoverable Damages You Could Claim in a Wrongful Death Claim
Economic and non-economic damages you could secure in a wrongful death case include the following:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical bills
- Loss of expected income
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of assistance
- Emotional and mental anguish of family
Types of Wrongful Death Causes
You might have lost a loved one because of any of the following accidents or causes:
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Workplace injuries
- Auto collisions
- Product liability claims
- Construction falls
- Medical malpractice
- Pharmaceutical claims
- Defective medical devices
There are many causes behind wrongful death cases, and families are often left picking up the pieces. Your attorney can help you sort out fault, autopsy petitions, evidence gathering, eyewitness interviews, and more. Lawyers also help with the discovery process in proving the defendant’s negligence or responsibility for your family member’s passing.
Our Team Is Ready To Take On Your Wrongful Death Case
We work closely with the families of wrongful death victims. We live and work in Ohio with our own families. It matters how our neighbors and friends are treated. Allow us to assist your family in getting the compensation you need to recover.
Our attorneys are primed to help you find the answers to what caused your loved one’s death. We are also ready to follow through to hold negligent parties accountable.
Connect With Us for Answers Concerning Wrongful Death Claims
If you have questions concerning your wrongful death claim or the logistics of an autopsy, you should contact the Fitch Law Firm LLC.
We offer complimentary consultations for families who lost loved ones. Our team members are compassionate and understand how your loss has impacted you and your family.