WRONGFUL DEATH EXPLAINED
Injury Attorneys Protecting your Rights
Losing a loved one is never easy, but the process is even harder when the death is unexpected. If you have lost a family member as a result of someone else’s carelessness or misconduct, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault party. While no amount of money can bring back your loved one, the compensation can help ease the financial burdens that often arise after such a tragic event. The injury lawyers at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & can guide you through the process of pursuing a wrongful death claim.
Taking Legal Action after a Fatal Accident
Under Maryland law, wrongful death is defined as an accidental loss of life resulting from someone’s wrongful act, neglect, or default. It can happen as the result of a motor vehicle collision, a workplace accident, or a slip and fall, among other examples. Wrongful death claims are rooted in the theory of negligence, which is the failure to exercise reasonable care when doing something. Reasonable care is defined as what an ordinary person would do in the same or similar circumstances to those faced by the defendant. For example, a driver who causes a fatal crash as a result of excessively speeding during a snowstorm would likely be liable for damages. This is because a typical person would probably not engage in such risky conduct during bad weather, mindful of the danger posed to others on the road.
The Maryland Wrongful Death Statute allows surviving family members of a deceased victim to file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation against the at-fault party. These individuals are known as “beneficiaries.” In Maryland, a child, parent, or spouse of the decedent may file a claim. If there are no surviving beneficiaries, a secondary beneficiary may be able to seek compensation. Secondary beneficiaries include surviving siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews, and other relatives.
It is important to note that an adult child over 21 years of age has the full legal right to bring a wrongful death claim for the loss of a parent. Similarly, parents have the full legal right to bring a wrongful death claim for the loss of a child, even if that child was over 21.
Family members who prevail in a wrongful death claim may be entitled to damages to compensate them for medical bills, lost income and benefits, funeral and burial expenses, the deceased person’s conscious pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of future earnings, and more. The exact amount of compensation will vary depending on the facts of the specific case.
Wrongful death claims must be filed within a certain time frame, known as the statute of limitations. In Maryland, they must be brought within three years of the date of death. It is important to take legal action within the statute of limitations, or you may no longer have the right to sue for damages.
Discuss Your Wrongful Death Claim with a Lawyer
At Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & , our compassionate wrongful death attorneys have helped many families in Maryland assert their rights. This is a complex area of law with which we are extremely familiar. We can work diligently to collect the facts in your case and create a legal strategy to seek compensation. To learn more about your legal rights and options, do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 888-952-9669 for a free consultation.