Wrongful death occurs when someone is killed or dies as a result of misconduct or negligence by another person. Wrongful death lawsuits in Maryland are even applicable to murder. Even if criminal charges haven’t been filed or weren’t successfully charged, victims’ families often pursue a civil lawsuit to at least get some justice for what happened to their family member. There are many instances that can be considered wrongful death, of course, but what matters is that you get the justice (and compensation) you deserve for your loss.
Many states across the country have passed statutes to change the way that manufacturers, hospitals, and doctors act in a professional capacity, but that does not completely prevent wrongful death from happening. If it happens to you, you need to hire a wrongful death attorney to review your case and help you fight for your loved one. Keep reading to learn more about wrongful death lawsuits, including what qualifies and what doesn’t, as well as how you can determine what kind of compensation to ask for in your claim.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims
There are infinite situations where people can die or be killed through someone else’s fault. However, the most common claims that come to court include things like automobile accident deaths and medical malpractice. Each type of claim has its own requirements and laws, including a statute of limitations. However, the statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits can be waived in the event that the cause of death was not determined until a later date.
This is one of the most popular areas of practice for most injury lawyers. Medical malpractice can happen in any type of medical environment. Emergency rooms and operating rooms often see much more severe wrongful death situations, but even something as simple as a misprescribed medication can warrant a medical malpractice claim. Anesthesia is another area where a lot of cases are seen, as this is a very high-risk medical field and things often go wrong. Ultimately, if you lost a loved one at the hands of a doctor or medical professional, you likely have a medical malpractice lawsuit.
There are thousands of car accidents around the country every single day. Most, fortunately, are minor. Plenty of accidents do end in fatalities, though. Drunk and distracted drivers are on the road more than ever before, and even driving across town isn’t very safe anymore. Whether or not your loved one (or the responsible party) had auto insurance at the time of the accident, you should still look into a wrongful death suit for your loved one. Someone should be held responsible for the negligence or poor decisions that caused their death, after all.
As professional drivers, commercial truck drivers are held to a much higher standard than regular drivers. They have stricter regulations and driving laws to follow, and therefore should be held that much more responsible if they cause an accident. Commercial truck accidents rarely end well. These trucks weigh thousands of pounds and can cause a lot of damage and destruction in even a simple fender bender. You can choose to file suit against the trucking company, as well, because their employee was the one who caused the accident.
Occupational deaths happen all the time, and probably more often than people realize. Most companies have employees sign so much paperwork that people rarely assume they can do anything to get justice for their loved one. However, companies that are actually responsible, through negligence or misconduct, for someone’s death need to be treated as such. As long as it can be proven that the victim did not violate any policies or procedures, a wrongful death lawsuit can usually be filed. Companies often want to keep their legal affairs quiet and brief, so be prepared to be offered a settlement for your case in most cases.
Compensation for the Loss of Your Loved One
Wrongful death is a king of personal injury lawsuit.
Every state allows the family of a victim to file a civil lawsuit for wrongful death, provide that the case can be proven. The damages that are received from each claim vary greatly and depend on a number of factors. It can be hard to value a lawsuit because you are trying to put a dollar amount on the loss of life and the injustice that was done. Fortunately, there are some financial elements that factor into the equation that will help you come up with a ballpark idea of what you want. Usually, courts will consider the following elements in deciding the amount awarded in a wrongful death claim:
- Medical And Funeral Expenses Incurred As A Result Of The Wrongful Death
- Degree Of Dependence Of Survivors
- Savings And Estate Of The Deceased
- Victim’s Income
- Loss Of Family/Companionship And Pain And Suffering (Punitive Damages)
The General Assembly in Maryland passed a law regarding wrongful death found at Courts and Judicial Proceedings § 3-904. It allows the deceased’s survivors to recover the economic losses, such as lost income from the decedent. It allows certain family members to recover for their mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, comfort, protection, marital care, parental care, filial care, attention, advice, counsel, training, guidance, or education.
Hire Your Maryland Wrongful Death Lawyer Now
No matter what type of wrongful death claim you have, our experienced attorneys at KBA Attorneys can help you with your claim. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and to discuss your case and see what we can do for you. We’ve been helping individuals and families throughout Maryland and Virginia to get the legal representation they need to get the justice and compensation that they deserve for the loss of their loved ones.