Under the law in Maryland, survivors can sue the person responsible for their loved one’s death. This right is set out under Maryland’s Courts and Judicial Proceedings § 3-904. Families can seek compensation for the loss of their loved one because of another person or entity’s wrongful acts. A wrongful act is one for which the deceased could have filed a personal injury lawsuit if they survived. The damages awarded are in proportion to their losses. This law was created because families are often left to suffer when a loved one dies suddenly. Not only do they suffer heartache but they miss out on companionship, financial support, protection, care, and other benefits. When someone else causes an individual’s death, relatives can file a wrongful death case in Maryland.
There are two types of claims which you can pursue following the wrongful death of your loved one. A wrongful death claim is filed to recover damages for the family’s harm. A survival action claim is for the harm done to the deceased.
Situations Which Can Result in Wrongful Death
Given the wide variety of ways in which people lose their lives, wrongful death lawsuits can emerge from several situations. However, vehicular accidents lead to many of these claims since more than 500 people die in crashes in Maryland every year. Wrongful death cases can emanate from accidents involving bicycles, cars, motorcycles, trucks and even RVs.
While traffic accidents account for many lawsuits, there are not the only reason why people lose their lives wrongfully. Whenever an individual dies because of another party’s recklessness, negligence or malice, survivors can seek compensation. This includes cases of assault and other types of violence.
Like other states, Maryland punishes those found guilty of manslaughter and murder under criminal law. While they may go to prison, this doesn’t practically help the family deal with the loss of their loved one. They still have to deal with the financial consequences of having their loved one taken from them. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help them to get the compensation they need. Of course, it’s necessary to work with a wrongful death attorney in Takoma Park, Maryland to build a strong case.
Other reasons for filing a claim include:
- Defective or dangerous products
- Premises liability accidents
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Medical malpractice
- Construction site accidents
Getting Compensation in a Wrongful Death Case in Maryland
You can obtain compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. While there’s no cap on economic damages, non-economic damages could be paid to a maximum of $860,000 in 2019. Some of the expenses and losses for which you can recover damages are:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical expenses
- The deceased’s pain and suffering
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of care, companionship or guidance
As is the case with personal injury claims, there’s a statute of limitations governing wrongful death claims. Usually, family members must file their lawsuit within three years of their loved one’s death. However, there are some exceptions. If the case involves a government entity, you may need to file a notice of claim within a few months. This protects your right to file a wrongful death claim later. Meanwhile, if a death results from an occupational illness, you have:
- Three years from the date the disease was found to be the cause of death or
- Within ten years of the death, whichever comes first
Despite what seem like generous timeframes, it’s best to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Even if you’re not sure if you want to pursue a case, you’ll learn about the deadlines you need to consider. Wrongful death cases can be complicated so you shouldn’t wait to get legal advice. Doing so could jeopardize your right to claim compensation.
While no amount of money will fill the void in your life, it can help to ease some of your strain. It is the only option the judicial system provides to help families who lose a loved one through wrongdoing or negligence.
Contact a Takoma Park Injury Attorney at Pinder Plotkin LLC
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can provide families with a sense of justice. It can also help to ensure that wrongdoers are punished and deterred from behaving similarly in the future. If your loved one died because of someone else’s actions you need to consult experienced attorneys in Takoma Park, Maryland. At Pinder Plotkin LLC, we’ll do everything we can to help you get the compensation you deserve. All you need to do is set up a free consultation. Contact us today and let us help you during this difficult time.