If you’ve lost a loved one in an accident they weren’t at fault for and believe another’s careless actions or negligence may have led to the incident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of your loved one. A Baltimore wrongful death lawyer from Belsky & Horowitz, LLC can help make this possible and bring possible closure to a tragic event that could have been prevented.
The term “wrongful death” implies a death that is wrongful or should not have occurred. According to Maryland laws, a wrongful death is one that was caused by another individual’s, group’s, or organization’s unlawful or negligent actions or inaction. A wrongful death lawsuit is one that’s brought against the responsible individual, group, or entity on behalf of the victim who lost their life because of those actions or inaction.
While filing a lawsuit against the responsible group or individual will not bring back your loved one, filing a claim can go a long way towards allowing a grieving family to find closure and move forward with their lives. Personal injury lawsuits like wrongful death claims can also illicit change and force a responsible corporation, for example, to improve a policy that may prevent future injuries.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by family members or significant others on behalf of the deceased individual. Every state has different laws that govern under what conditions a loved one can file a claim and who may file.
In the state of Maryland, family members can file for survival actions as well as wrongful death actions. What this means is that both the deceased’s final expenses can be covered by the lawsuit as well as compensation that may go towards the surviving family members and the loss they have experienced. These losses may include lost companionship, pain and suffering, loss of guardianship, loss of support, and lost wages.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Maryland?
In the state of Maryland, only primary and secondary beneficiaries can file for damages caused by a wrongful death. “Damages” is a legal term that refers to a sum of money that is rewarded as compensation for losses or injury that occurs. In the case of a wrongful death, damages are awarded to the family to provide for the loss of their loved one and the financial, physical, and emotionally support they offered.
The two types of beneficiaries that may file for damages include:
- Primary beneficiaries include the deceased’s parents, the surviving spouse, and any children. Primary beneficiaries can file for both survival and wrongful death actions.
- Secondary beneficiaries include brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews, and other family members. A secondary beneficiary can only file if no primary beneficiary has opened a case, but they may file on behalf of both types of beneficiaries if that situation applies.
If there are no living primary or secondary beneficiaries, no claim can be filed.
What Types of Accidents Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim For?
Determining when a death can be defined as wrongful can be difficult. A wide variety of situations can count as wrongful. Some of the most common situations and circumstances include the following:
- Car Accidents – When a negligent driver like a drunk driver causes a car wreck and causes a life to be lost, the family may be able to file for wrongful death charges in addition to any criminal charges in place. The same applies to truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of motor vehicle crashes.
- Medical Malpractice – When a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional makes an error that causes a loved one to pass away, the family may be able to sue.
- Nursing Home Abuse – When a loved one loses their life in an elder care facility due to negligence or abuse on behalf of the staff members, you may be able to take legal action.
- Product Liability – When a defective product or harmful drug causes someone to lose their life, it may be possible to file a claim against the corporation that manufactured the product or placed it on the market.
If you are unsure about whether your case may count as a wrongful death, we encourage you to get in touch with the Baltimore wrongful death attorneys at Belsky & Horowitz, LLC as soon as possible. We will be happy to speak with you regarding your potential case at no cost or obligation to you.
What Else Do I Need to Know About Wrongful Death Cases?
In addition to the above information, here are some things you’ll need to know if you’re thinking about speaking to a lawyer about your potential Maryland wrongful death claim:
- In Maryland, you can potentially receive economic (survival) damages for your loved one’s funeral and burial expenses, their final medical bills, their lost wages, and the costs of bringing the suit.
- Maryland imposes limits on the amount of damages a family can recover for non-economic damages. These are often referred to as “pain and suffering” damages. As of 2017, that damages cap is $830,000 for both survival and wrongful death actions. With additional beneficiaries, that cap can be raised.
- Wrongful death lawsuits can be some of the most complex to fight inside and outside of the courtroom. To succeed with your case, you will want to hire a wrongful death lawyer who is exceptionally skilled and experienced.
How Do I Know I’ve Found the Right Baltimore Wrongful Death Lawyer?
It can be difficult to know if you’ve contacted the right attorney when there are hundreds of law firms in Baltimore to choose from. It’s important to pay attention to your potential lawyer’s track record, experience, and to how they treat you and your case. Don’t hesitate to reach out to as many attorneys as possible to speak to each and see how they speak to you. An experienced, honest, and compassionate injury lawyer can make all the difference.
If you’d like to know more about the Maryland wrongful death attorneys from Belsky & Horowitz, LLC, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. We’re proud to fight for what we believe in—and that includes each and every one of our clients and their cases.