We live in a world where accidents happen every day. In most cases, the victim of any accident is able to recover and return to the life they previously led. Unfortunately, there are instances where fatal injuries are sustained and the victim passes away. When that happens and it’s determined negligence was a factor, you can seek legal representation from a Rockville wrongful death lawyer. We have the experience and skill needed to help you pursue a claim that provides your family with the means to cover any economic losses you incurred because of your loved one’s passing.
Instances of Wrongful Death in Rockville
When fatal injuries develop as a result of someone else’s negligence, there could be grounds to file a personal injury claim. There are a number of circumstances that can result in wrongful death. If you’ve lost a loved one in an accident, it’s important to know if your family is eligible to file a claim. In general, you’ll be able to seek compensation for losses suffered if your loved one would have been able to seek compensation for damages had they survived the accident.
One of the most common causes of wrongful death is car accidents. Reckless behaviors like texting and driving or operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol can easily result in an accident. Because actions like that take the driver’s focus completely away from the road, it’s more likely a head-on collision will happen – which is one of the most fatal crash types.
In addition to car accidents, it’s not uncommon for an instance of medical malpractice to result in a wrongful death. Medical providers are tasked with helping patients improve their health and leave the hospital or medical facility in a better state than when they arrived. When a physician makes a diagnostic or medication error or a surgeon leaves a piece of equipment inside a patient and infection sets in, they can be held accountable for their actions.
Traffic crashes and medical malpractice are not the only areas that fall under wrongful death. If you think negligence played a role in your loved one’s demise, our lawyers can investigate the situation and determine if there’s enough evidence to support a claim.
The Effects of Losing Someone Unexpectedly
According to an article published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, an unexpected death is the most common traumatic experience and most likely to be rated as the worst, regardless of what other traumatic events a person has been through.
Grief, bereavement, and mourning are common after the loss of a loved one. While grief is the internal feeling experienced in reaction to a loss, bereavement is the state of having experienced the loss. Mourning is the outward expression of loss and manifests itself in different ways based on personal, familial, cultural, religious, and societal beliefs and customs.
It’s not uncommon for surviving family members to experience episodes of prolonged grief – lasting more than one year and affecting relationships and beliefs. When a person is consumed with the loss of a family member, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to think about the future.
In addition to the psychological and emotional effects of unexpectedly losing someone, families come to a point where they need to deal with the financial consequences. If the decedent was the breadwinner, the family’s way of life may be at risk. Paying the mortgage, rent, utility bills, or even buying groceries may become difficult. There’s also the matter of dealing with end-of-life expenses, which include hospital bills and funeral expenses.
At Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC, we recognize the challenges of moving forward after an unexpected and preventable loss. That’s why we’re here to help you file a claim, so you can move forward with your family and trust your future is secure.
Understanding the Wrongful Death Claim Process
Wrongful death claims compensate the estate and the surviving immediate family members of the decedent. In Maryland, the claims are divided into survival actions and wrongful death actions. Your lawyer can explain the difference and ensure the claims are filed properly based on your situation. Survival claims are brought on behalf of the estate, while wrongful death actions are brought on behalf of the survivors of the person who died.
Once you know you have grounds to file a claim and you understand which claim or claims you’ll be filing, you need to understand who is legally allowed to push the case forward. Maryland has strict rules regarding who’s allowed to file and there are primary and secondary beneficiaries.
A primary beneficiary is someone like a spouse, parent, or child who has the right to file a wrongful death claim and a survival claim. Secondary beneficiaries are siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, and other extended family or relatives. A person in this group is only allowed to file a claim if the primary beneficiaries are unwilling to do so.
Your Rockville attorney can help you determine how much compensation to seek, as that is how damages are expressed for this type of personal injury claim. For a survival claim, damages include funeral and burial expenses, medical bills related to the final injuries or illness, property damage costs, and damages related to the deceased person’s pain and suffering. Wrongful death claims compensate surviving family members for their loved one’s lost wages and the loss of care, companionship, or guidance depending on the relationship.
Our lawyers will guide you through every step of the process. We understand how challenging it can be to cope with the loss of a loved one and simultaneously pursue legal action for their death. It’s important to remember, however, that filing a claim may be the only way to secure your family’s future.
Schedule a Case Evaluation Today
Our Rockville wrongful death lawyers understand the sensitive nature of claims involving the wrongful passing of a loved one. We’re here to support your family through this difficult time and help you recover the compensation needed to manage the economic losses you’ve incurred.
Filing a claim does take time, so it’s best to get started as soon as reasonably possible. To learn more about the process, contact our office today.