When a person is injured by the negligence of another party, they have the right to file a legal claim for personal injury. However, if a victim dies from their injuries, a deceased person cannot legally file a lawsuit. After a sudden accidental death, surviving family members are left with many financial and emotional losses and they deserve to hold any negligent parties accountable for the death. Fortunately, Maryland law allows certain family members to file a legal claim for wrongful death.
Wrongful death can arise from a wide variety of incidents including motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, falls, workplace accidents, accident caused by dangerous products, and any other incident caused by negligence or violence. If you have tragically and unexpectedly lost a loved one in a preventable incident, you should not delay in discussing your rights with the experienced wrongful death lawyers at The Casper Firm in Baltimore. We will thoroughly evaluate your case and help you recover for your losses whenever possible.
WHO CAN FILE FOR WRONGFUL DEATH?
Wrongful death laws can vary significantly from state to state. In Maryland, the statute sets out that only certain surviving family members–referred to as “beneficiaries”–can file for wrongful death. Specifically, “primary beneficiaries” including a spouse, children, or parents may seek wrongful death damages. In the instance that no primary beneficiaries exist or they are not willing to file a claim, a “secondary beneficiary” may do so. Secondary beneficiaries can include siblings, nieces or nephews, cousins, or similar relatives.
WHAT RECOVERY IS AVAILABLE FOR WRONGFUL DEATH?
A wrongful death action is intended to compensate family members for the losses they incurred as a result of the death. Some of the damages that may be sought include:
- The financial contributions the deceased would have made to the household had the death not occurred;
- The companionship, care, and guidance the deceased would have provided;
- The emotional pain and suffering of the surviving family member.
The losses in a specific case will depend on the circumstances of the death, including the age of the victim, their relation to the beneficiary, how the death occurred, and more.
In addition, a “survival action” can be filed for the losses suffered by the deceased before their death. Some of the damages available in this type of case include:
- Costs of medical care between the accident and the time of death;
Lost income between the accident and the time of death;
- Funeral expenses (capped at $10,000 in MD);
- Pain and suffering they experienced prior to passing;
- Punitive damages if the behavior that caused the death was particularly egregious or intentional.
Note that if the death was deemed to be instantaneous, only medical and funeral expenses can be recovered in a survival action.
Consult with a Baltimore Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If you believe you may be entitled to recovery for a loved one’s wrongful death, your first call should be to the highly experienced Maryland wrongful death lawyers at The Casper Firm, LLC. We handle every aspect of your legal case so that you can focus on your emotional recovery and grief process. Please call for a free consultation at 410-989-5097 as soon as possible.