Dealing with the sudden passing of a loved one can be one of the most emotionally draining episodes in your life. Your situation can worsen knowing another person’s negligent actions caused your loved one’s untimely death. Fortunately, you can fight for the compensation you deserve for your losses.
At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we know no amount of compensation can replace your loss. However, taking the liable parties to court can help you get justice for your loved one and get closure after this traumatic event. To learn more about all of our services in a free, confidential consultation, call our Glen Burnie, MD wrongful death attorneys today at (410) 694-7291.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims in Glen Burnie, MD
The surviving family members of a deceased person can fight to get compensation through what is known as a wrongful death claim. As a plaintiff, the decedent’s surviving estate can obtain compensation for the harm done to their loved one and their own losses. In Maryland, there are two main types of wrongful death claims you may file: a wrongful death action and a survival action.
Wrongful Death Action
A wrongful death action or claim can be brought by the decedent’s estate against those responsible for their loved one’s untimely death. This means that the decedent’s spouse, children, and parents can bring a claim as their loved one’s primary beneficiaries. However, there may be situations where a decedent may not have primary beneficiaries, in which case their brothers, sisters, nephews, or nieces may come in as secondary beneficiaries. However, it is essential to note that the primary beneficiaries will always take priority over secondary beneficiaries. Our Glen Burnie, MD wrongful death attorneys can help you hold the right parties liable and fight for the compensation you deserve for your loss.
Survival actions are independent of wrongful death claims. These claims can help a deceased person’s estate recover compensation their loved one would have received had they survived and sued on their own behalf. Through a survival action, the estate can fight for compensation related to the decedent’s pain and suffering, medical costs, and lost earnings before death. This cause of action can be challenging to prove. However, it is essential to understand that you can have the chance to fight for your compensation. Our Glen Burnie, MD wrongful death attorneys can help you with all of these matters.
What You Need to Prove in a Wrongful Death Claim in Glen Burnie, MD
Wrongful death claims are part of personal injury law. As such, the plaintiffs in such claims have the burden of showing the defendant’s negligence, which is similar to many other personal injury lawsuits. Typically, there are four main elements that a claimant in a wrongful death suit needs to prove. These elements are known as a legal duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. We explain each of them below.
Legal Duty or Duty of Care
The legal duty or a duty of care is the first element you will need to show in court. The legal duty refers to the legal obligation every person within society has to behave as a prudent, reasonable person under their given circumstances. For instance, all car drivers are expected to refrain from engaging in conduct that may put others at risk on the road. Additional duties might exist based on traffic laws or other rules and restrictions. If your loved one was involved in a car accident, you may provide evidence supporting an argument that the defendant owed your loved one one of these legal duties.
Breach of Duty
The breach of duty – your claim’s second element – requires you to provide evidence that the defendant failed to follow their legal duty. Following the same example, you may provide evidence showing that the defendant engaged in negligent behavior that led to your loved one’s accident, injuries, and subsequent death. For instance, you can provide evidence proving that the defendant was speeding, drunk driving, or texting and driving when the crash took place.
Causation is perhaps the most challenging element to prove, and yet it is arguably the most critical part of your wrongful death claim. Causation requires tying your loved one’s death to the defendant’s negligence. In other words, you will need to prove that, but for the defendant’s negligent actions or omissions, your loved one would not have died. Our Glen Burnie, MD wrongful death lawyers can help with this element.
Finally, you will be required to demonstrate that you engaged in losses as a consequence of your loved one’s death. You can achieve this by providing evidence showing you suffered economic losses, such as funeral and burial expenses and lost income or more intangible harms, such as grief. Once you have proven all of the elements in your claim, you may get compensation for your losses. It is best to hire an experienced Glen Burnie wrongful death lawyer who can guide you through the entire process.
Compensation for a Wrongful Death Claim in Glen Burnie, MD
Every wrongful death case is different, and each claim brings with it different elements that can significantly impact the amount of compensation you may expect. However, the court will always analyze your circumstances and calculate your compensation accordingly. Our Glen Burnie, MD wrongful death lawyers can sit down with you to discuss your case to help you have an idea of what you may expect from your case. It is also essential to understand that you have a limited time to file your claim and should act quickly.
According to Maryland’s statute of limitations, you have up to three years from your loved one’s death to file your claim. If you miss this deadline, you may risk losing your chance to fight for compensation. Our Glen Burnie, MD wrongful death lawyers can help you with this and other legal matters.
Glen Burnie, MD Wrongful Death Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
If you have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligent actions or omissions, we can help. Our Glen Burnie, MD wrongful death attorneys from Rice, Murtha & Psoras can help you hold the liable parties accountable for your loss. We know no amount of compensation can bring back those you have lost. However, taking your case to court can help you have the closure you need during this challenging time. To learn more about our legal services in a free, confidential consultation, call our Maryland personal injury lawyers today at (410) 694-7291.