Legal Process Of A Wrongful Death Case In Maryland
Wrongful death cases differ from other kinds of injury cases since the usual point of contact - the person who was injured - is deceased now and not able to communicate any longer with a wrongful death attorney in Maryland about the details of the incident. Therefore, one of the unique aspects involved in a wrongful death case is trying to determine the best way to communicate with all of the parties who are involved. The other main issue is to conduct a thorough investigation of the event. Generally speaking, anyone who is involved with a wrongful death needs to be aware that the case will probably take longer than they expect. Wrongful death cases, on rare occasions, are resolved fairly quickly. This can be beneficial for the grieving family. However, most wrongful death cases need a great deal of time to investigate the accident thoroughly provide surviving family members with notice and work through the entire process properly.
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What Kinds of Damages May Be Awarded in a Wrongful Death Case?In a wrongful death claim, there are different kinds of damages that can be recovered by immediate family members depending on the specific circumstances. Those damages can include both non-pecuniary and pecuniary losses that the decedent's immediate family members incur. When applicable, damages might also include other types of non-economic damages, depending on each case's specifics. They can include emotional pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of society, comfort, companionships, protection, attention, care, guidance, education, training, counsel, and advice. When you meet with a Maryland wrongful death attorney at Pinder Plotkin for your initial consultation we will discuss the details of your case with you. We will then discuss the potential damages you might pursue that are specific for your individual case.
How Do Wrongful Death Cases Begin?Basically wrong death claims start the way other types of personal injury claims do. They are triggered by another person's negligent act or acts, and in these cases, result in an individual's death. A Maryland wrongful death lawyer getting involved in the case will depend on the deceased's surviving family members. It is very important for an experienced and skilled wrongful death/personal injury lawyer to get involved as soon after the accident as possible so the lawyer can investigate the claim properly and advise family members on what they can expect throughout the claims process. After a thorough investigation is conducted, we will know most of the finer details of a case. That will allow us to field various defenses and arguments from the other party involved.
What Does Investigating a Wrongful Death Case Involve?Conducting an investigation of a wrongful death claim is quite unique since the person who was involved in the occurrence or accident is deceased now. Therefore, it differs from other types of injury cases when it comes to how to investigate the occurrence properly, whether there were any witnesses or not, what other people were involved, and why and how the person dies. Therefore, Maryland wrongful death cases tend to be more sophisticated and complex than most typical injury cases, and need an experienced lawyer who has handles these kinds of cases in the past.
What are some of the Factors That Might Affect a Wrongful Death Case?Every case is unique. However, a common reason for a wrongful death case to be delayed is the long process involved in investigating the circumstances that caused the accident. For example, an investigation might be necessary if there are questions about how is a fault for the accident. If third party sources are relied on by the investigation for things like governmental investigative reports, toxicology records, or medical records, it can take some time to obtain those records and verify their accuracy and whether or not the records can be relied on. Wrongful death claims involve numerous factors, even throughout the initial investigation. this can cause it to take a lot longer than many people think it should. A few of those factors are evaluating the claim's value and notifying members of the family. Putting a good litigation plan together also can take some time, depending on the individual case's circumstances and facts. The statute of limitations on a wrongful death claim is usually three years from the date of the incident that caused the person's death. In Maryland, there are typically not different statutes of limitations on survival actions. The statute of limitations is the same on a wrongful death and survival action: three years from the occurrence's date.
Is The Contributory Negligence Law in Maryland Applicable to Wrongful Death Cases?Since Maryland is a contributory negligence state, if the decedent of a wrongful death claim is determined to have been even 1% liable, then the individual bringing the claim would be prohibited from recovery. That is why it is so important to investigate the events involved in the case. Since the individual involved in the claim is deceased now, everyone else must rely on other information sources to evaluate the claim and try to determine how the accident took place. If the individual who is believed to be at fault claims she or he was not at fault but that it was the decedent who was at fault instead, then more investigation will need to done to determine the claim's validity. In Maryland and other contributory negligence states, if the decedent is found to be even 1% at fault for her or his own death, then the family cannot receive any compensation.
Wrongful Death Case SettlementsWrongful death cases are similar to many other types of civil cases that get settled ost of the time without needing a trial. In a wrongful death case, determining whether the case will go to trial or settle is determined by the individual claim's circumstances and facts. If a case does get settled, that means that both parties resolve it by mutual agreement. Neither party can force a settlement. It has to be mutually agreed on. It is likely for a case to settle if it is clear who was at fault and the sources of recovery are limited. However, if there is a dispute about the proper amount of compensation or how the accident occurred, then it more likely that it will end up going to trial.
How are Wrongful Death Cases Completed?There are two different ways that a wrongful death case can be completed. The first is through a judicial determination, including:
- The case is dismissed for a legal reason or
- A judgment is entered against the at-fault party by the court