Being involved in a car accident is an extremely traumatic and frightening experience. If you were hurt, you might be in the recovery process for months. Some car accident victims never fully recover. Tragically, you may have lost a loved one in this car accident. Losing a family member in a car crash can be devastating, and you may feel that someone should be held responsible. If you think someone else’s negligence or recklessness caused the accident, which led to your family member’s death, you may file a wrongful death claim in civil court. Our Maryland attorney for wrongful death in a car accident at Rice, Murtha & Psoras can help you win compensation for your loss and pain and suffering. Read on to learn about wrongful death suits in Maryland and how you may be compensated.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim in Maryland?
A wrongful death claim may be filed against the party you believe is responsible for the death of your family member or loved one. However, not just anyone may file a wrongful death claim. To have proper standing to file the claim, you must be the deceased person’s spouse, parent, or child. A parent may not be the beneficiary of a wrongful death claim for their child if that parent is responsible for their child’s death. If you have a different relationship with the victim, such as a sibling or close friend, you may not be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit, but you might have other options. Please speak with our Maryland car accident attorneys to figure out the best option for your case.
In a wrongful death action, the plaintiff must prove that they have suffered some loss or injury due to losing their loved one in the car accident. Plaintiffs who are the spouse or child of the victim may claim monetary damages in the form of lost wages if the victim contributed financially to the household. Plaintiffs may also include damages for things like emotional pain and suffering.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Maryland?
Like many civil claims, a plaintiff has a limited time to file the claim and begin the lawsuit. For a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must file the case within 10 years of the time of death, or within 3 years of the date the cause of death was discovered, whichever is the shorter duration. For car accident cases, the victim typically dies at the scene of the accident or shortly thereafter. Unless you did not know of your loved one’s death until much later, you would likely be working within the 3-year time limit from the date of the accident.
When this time limit, known as a statute of limitations, runs out, you will have waived your right to the claim and you will not be able to file the lawsuit. Different types of claims have different time limits, so it is important to consult with a Maryland fatal car accident attorney regarding your claim as soon as possible. Under certain circumstances, the statute of limitations may be tolled, and you may have more time to file your claim. If you think you may have run out of time to file your claim, contact one of our Maryland wrongful death lawyers for assistance.
The statute of limitations may seem a bit unfair. You might think that if you have a valid claim, you should be able to file it no matter what. Statutes of limitations are in place to prevent people from filing claims years after the incident in question occurred. it is very difficult to try a case if the car accident happened over ten years ago. Most statutes of limitations are relatively long, with most being at least a few years.
What is the Civil Trial Process Like in Maryland?
Before filing a lawsuit, you must write up your formal complaint. the complaint includes information about yourself and the defendant. You must explain the event or incident that occurred and the injuries you suffered as a result. the complaint must also demonstrate how the defendant is responsible. the complaint must include what you are seeking as relief. Writing and filing a complaint can be complicated and confusing. You should seek the assistance of our experienced Baltimore wrongful death attorneys to help you with your lawsuit.
Before trial, both sides will meet several times. Each side must hand over their relevant evidence and information to the opposing side so that each side has a fair opportunity to build a case. Each side will know what the other plans to introduce at trial. Contrary to what you might see on TV and in movies, there are no surprises in court.
What Do I Get if I Win a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Maryland?
Damages refer to the compensation or relief you are seeking for your injuries and loss. Damages will generally be in the form of money. it may feel uncomfortable to place a price tag on the life of your loved one, but money is how courts generally make victims whole again. There are different types of damages for different types of injuries. You will likely seek compensatory damages, which make up your financial losses. For example, asking the defendant to pay things like medical bills, funeral costs, and lost wages would fall under compensatory damages. Punitive damages are not intended to cover any losses but rather to punish the defendant and deter future bad behavior. Punitive damages are not always available, so you should consult with our Baltimore lawyer for wrongful death in a car accident to guide you.
You may have the option of avoiding trial and accepting a settlement offer. A settlement offer is like a compromise between the plaintiff and the defendant. the defendant will offer a certain sum of money that may not be precisely what the plaintiff asked for in their complaint but might come close enough. A settlement allows the plaintiff to receive at least some acceptable compensation and avoid a time consuming and expensive trial. Please consult with our Ocean City, MD attorneys for wrongful death from a car accident before accepting a settlement offer.
Contact Our Maryland Wrongful Death Lawyer for a Free Legal Consultation
If you or someone you know has lost a family member or loved one in a car crash, please reach out to our team of Maryland lawyers for wrongful death case referrals. We can help you file your claim and get the compensation you rightfully deserve. Losing a loved one in a car accident is tragic and often devastating to family members. If someone is responsible for your loved one’s death, they should be held accountable. Contact our team at Rice, Murtha & Psoras by calling (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free legal consultation.