Experiencing the loss of a loved one is never easy. The grief can be excruciating no matter what caused the death to occur, but when it is a sudden loss, that grief and pain can be multiplied. In some cases, a death cannot be prevented, for example, if a medical condition is the cause of death. However, if the victim’s death was preventable and someone else or a company could be to blame, the family of the victim may reach out to a Maryland wrongful death lawyer.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Maryland?
Someone who wants to file a wrongful death claim in Maryland must fall into one of two categories which are either the primary beneficiary or secondary beneficiary. In most cases, the primary beneficiaries file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for their losses, while either beneficiary can seek damages on behalf of the estate.
- Primary beneficiaries include the surviving spouse, parents, and children of the deceased person. If a primary beneficiary is alive, he or she may file a wrongful death claim, a survival claim, or both.
- Secondary beneficiaries include the surviving siblings, cousins, nieces, and nephews, and other relatives. If there are no primary beneficiaries or no primary beneficiary is willing to bring either type of claim to court, a secondary beneficiary may file on behalf of both the primary and secondary beneficiaries.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Maryland
A wrongful death claim has two purposes: To compensate for the immediate family of the victim and to compensate the estate of the victim. Think of it like this: When someone is injured, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to receive compensation for their injuries. A wrongful death lawsuit is similar, but since the victim is no longer here to file their own lawsuit, the family does it on their behalf. Because the victim met an untimely death and thus, is not able to submit their own claim, the family has the option to file their own because of how they are affected by the sudden loss of their loved one.
A wrongful death claims in Maryland is split into two categories:
- Survival Actions: These actions represent the estate. They include medical, funeral and burial expenses for the victim as well as any pain and suffering endured by the victim because of the injury/illness and death.
- Wrongful Death Actions: These actions represent the survivors and include the parents, children and the spouse of the victim. And include any lost wages, pain, and suffering, stress, loss of companionship and decrease in quality of life, etc., that have come about as a direct result of the victim’s death.
Maryland Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Claims
Most states have a deadline in which a wrongful death claim can be filed. In the state of Maryland, in most cases, the claim must be filed within three years of the victim’s death. If a claim is filed after that date, the case will likely be thrown out of the courts because the three-year statute of limitations has passed.
Wrongful Death Lawyer in Maryland
If you have experienced the untimely loss of a loved one in Maryland, the wrongful death lawyers at The Lapidus Law Firm can help. The cause of death does not always dictate if you have a strong case. It could be a work accident, a slip and fall, a car accident or something else. No matter the circumstances, you will receive the support and dignity you deserve as you are gently guided through each step of the wrongful death claim process. Call the Maryland wrongful death lawyers at the Lapidus Law Firm today for a free consultation at (301) 605-4296.