Severn, MD Wrongful Death Lawyer
When victims die because of someone’s negligent act, surviving family members can bring wrongful death lawsuits in Severn.
Before filing your wrongful death suit in Severn, you need to determine whether the victim’s death constitutes a wrongful death. Essentially, did the victim die because of someone else’s negligent or intentional act, or was their death totally unrelated to any one incident or act of negligence. Furthermore, you will need to identify who among your living family members are primary beneficiaries and who are secondary beneficiaries. When building your case, our lawyers will turn to evidence, such as incident reports and the victim’s medical records. Other evidence, like witness statements, can also be impactful in wrongful death claims in Severn.
For help with your case from the Severn, MD wrongful death lawyers of Rice, Murtha & Psoras, call (410) 694-7291 today.
What Constitutes a Wrongful Death in Severn, MD?
Knowing what constitutes a wrongful death and if you can sue for a wrongful death can be a difficult thing. Our attorneys can review the circumstances of the victim’s death to determine if, in fact, negligence was the cause.
According to Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 3-901(e), wrongful death claims can be brought by eligible living family members if the victim’s death was due to negligence or malice and the victim would have had cause to file a lawsuit for damages had they lived. For example, say a victim died in a car crash because of crushing injuries. If they survived, they could have filed an injury claim against the negligent driver for compensation. This means that their living family members can sue for wrongful death in Severn.
All that said, it can be difficult to determine if someone else’s negligent act caused a victim’s death, as not all accidents immediately result in deaths. Because of that, our wrongful death lawyers can look over the decedent’s medical records and the cause of death to confirm if negligence was at play. Once we have identified who is ultimately responsible for the death of the victim, we can proceed with a lawsuit for damages in Severn.
Wrongful deaths might occur for any number of reasons, including but not limited to acts of medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, auto accidents, workplace accidents, defective product accidents, assaults, and other incidents.
Parties that Recover Damages in Severn, MD Wrongful Death Claims
In Maryland, there are primary and secondary beneficiaries of wrongful death claims. Understanding how damages are divided among survivors will be important if you plan to file a lawsuit in Severn.
According to Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 3-904(a)(1), primary beneficiaries of wrongful death lawsuits include a victim’s spouse, parents, and children. All primary beneficiaries must be identified before a claim can proceed. If there are no surviving primary beneficiaries, secondary beneficiaries can file claims. A claim for wrongful death cannot be brought in Severn if there are no living primary or secondary beneficiaries.
Because your relationship with the victim will be important when determining if you can bring a claim and benefit from it, it will be important to sit down with our lawyers and go over Maryland’s laws regarding beneficiaries of wrongful death lawsuits.
Gathering Evidence for Wrongful Death Suits in Severn, MD
Preparing wrongful death claims can be challenging as victims are no longer living and able to contribute to the case. That said, there are certain things that survivors can do to gather evidence and build a strong claim in Severn. For example, reporting the death to the authorities, obtaining the victim’s medical records, and getting witness statements can result in a successful suit.
Report the Death
If someone close to you died because of an accident, like a car crash, it must be reported to the authorities. This should take place after an accident that results in any injury, including those that cause the victim’s immediate death. Incident reports can allow our attorneys to gain deeper insight into the actual event that caused the victim’s death. Furthermore, by reporting to the police, you can create documentation of the accident and its result.
Obtain the Victim’s Medical Records
Medical records can show, in detail, why and how a victim died. Obtaining a victim’s medical records after their death can be challenging and may only be done by certain individuals, like their spouse. If necessary, our attorneys can subpoena the victim’s medical records for review. If the victim died weeks, months, or years after sustaining injuries caused by a negligent party, obtaining their medical records will be even more crucial. In doing so, we can illustrate the victim’s initial injuries and their subsequent decline in health due to those injuries.
Get Witness Statements
Witness statements will also likely be part of your wrongful death claim in Severn. If another party witnessed the accident that caused your family member’s death, whether their death was immediate or not, getting their statements will be important. To do this, our attorneys will review the incident report for the accident. This is one reason why reporting such accidents is crucial.
In addition to eyewitnesses, medical experts may be able to testify to the likely cause of the victim’s death. Such experts can review the victim’s medical records, as well as the circumstances of the accident in question, to confirm that the victim most likely died because of the negligent act of the defendant.
Collect Other Evidence
While not always available in wrongful death cases, other evidence, like photos from the accident scene and surveillance footage, can help prove fault. Our attorneys will use various resources to uncover any and all evidence that indicates the defendant’s negligence caused the victim’s death in Severn.
Contact Our Attorneys to Discuss Your Claim in Severn, MD
When you call our Severn, MD wrongful death lawyers at (410) 694-729, you can get a free analysis of your case from Rice, Murtha & Psoras.