Suitland, MD Wrongful Death Lawyer

Perhaps nothing is more shocking than a loved one’s sudden death. The shock, anger, and sadness such an event brings forth can be almost too much to bear. Once you stop thinking about the necessary funeral plans, the effect the death will have on family and friends, and all the other things that come with losing someone you care about, you may look toward seeking justice to be done on behalf of your loved one.

With that endeavor, we can assist you. Our lawyers have a lot of experience dealing with wrongful death lawsuits in a variety of circumstances. Our firm has the drive and professionalism to doggedly pursue your claim, and also the compassion to work with you through what is doubtless a difficult time in your life.

To get free analyses of your claim from our compassionate wrongful death lawyers, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s office at (410) 694-7291.

Survival Actions vs Wrongful Death Claims in Suitland, MD

After someone dies because another party was negligent, there are two types of legal actions that may need to be brought in court. There are some important differences between the two, so our lawyers will help break down these actions so that you know what you need to do in your particular claim.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

When people think of suing someone after a loved one has died, they are generally thinking about a wrongful death claim. This is the type of lawsuit where the plaintiff sues for the effects the loved one’s death has had on their lives and the lives of other family members. The important thing to remember about wrongful death lawsuits is that they are meant to give damages to the beneficiary. In other words, the damages are based on the effects of the loved one’s passing on to their immediate family. This could mean financial hardship, loss of care, and loss of companionship and consortium.

Survival Actions

Survival actions, on the other hand, are brought by the deceased’s estate and seek damages for what happened to the deceased before they passed away. These actions are more similar to other personal injury claims in that the damages are based on what happened to the deceased, not on the impact someone’s death has on their loved ones. So, instead of seeking damages for things like lost companionship, the damages you seek in a survival action are medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other items you may expect to seek damages for in other personal injury cases.

What You Need to Do to Win a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Suitland, MD

There are a couple of important steps that need to be taken when preparing a successful wrongful death claim. When you work with our wrongful death attorneys, we can walk you through each part of the process so that you both understand what is going on and can balance legal obligations with other important things you may need to do following a loved one’s death.

Find the Right Plaintiff

The first step in successful wrongful death lawsuits is actually identifying the right plaintiff to bring the case to court. There are laws in Maryland that make it so that only a select group of people can file wrongful death lawsuits. Per Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art § 3-904(a), under almost all circumstances, the deceased’s children, spouses, and parents are the only people allowed to file wrongful death actions in court. Indeed, this excludes many extended family members, prior spouses, and other close relatives. However, if no immediate family members to file a lawsuit on the deceased’s behalf exist, other family members are permitted to file a wrongful death lawsuit pursuant to Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art § 3-904(b). The requirement here is that said family member was dependent on the deceased either financially or in some other capacity. For example, if the deceased’s cousin is disabled and was taken care of by the plaintiff, they were dependent on the plaintiff and can file a wrongful death action – provided all the other requirements for doing so are met.

Gather Evidence

Once our lawyers know who exactly is filing the claim, we can start working towards getting evidence to support it. In law, evidence can come from many different places. For example, we may collect the deceased’s medical records detailing their treatments prior to death, police reports about the relevant incident, eyewitness accounts, and more. This kind of evidence can be used to establish that the defendant negligently caused the deceased’s death – a critical point to prove in any wrongful death case.

Evidence and testimony can also be used to help demonstrate the impact the death of the deceased has had. You can have loved ones testify as to the type of person the deceased was, the impact they had on their lives, the income the defendant provided, and more.

File Your Claim on Time

It is very important that you file your wrongful death lawsuit in a timely fashion. Under Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art. § 5-101, you have three years from when the deceased passes away to file your wrongful death lawsuit. This can feel like a long time, but in reality, three years can feel like no time at all when one takes into account planning funerals, gathering evidence, and building a case before it gets filed. Accordingly, you should move decisively and speak to our wrongful death lawyers as soon as you can to ensure that you get justice for your deceased loved one.

Call Our Suitland, MD Wrongful Death Lawyers and Start the Legal Process Today

Rice, Murtha & Psoras has wrongful death lawyers ready to give free case reviews when you call our offices at (410) 694-7291.