No one is ever ready to lose a loved one, especially not to an unexpected and sudden accident. When you lose a loved one out of the blue because of another party’s negligence or recklessness, it can be even more painful and frustrating, because it likely should not have happened in the first place.
According to a recent local news report, a pedestrian died after being hit unexpectedly in an accident. Maryland Transportation Authority Police reported that the victim, an unidentified man, died from his injuries at the scene. The accident remains under investigation as local authorities work to identify the party responsible for causing the accident and fleeing the scene.
In Maryland, if an accident like the one described above takes place and involves you losing a loved one, it is likely that you have grounds to bring a wrongful death or survival claim. Under Maryland law, a wrongful death takes place when it is caused by a particular act or neglect which would have allowed the deceased to bring a claim to recover damages if the death had not happened.
Should I talk to a lawyer if a loved one was killed in a Maryland accident?
Yes, it is imperative to speak with a personal injury lawyer before pursuing a wrongful death or survival claim in Maryland. A lawyer can effectively advise you about your rights, assess the strength of your claim, and provide you with valuable guidance so you can make the decision that is best for your family.
First, not just anyone can file a wrongful death suit in Maryland. In fact, only a specific group of people related to the deceased individual can have standing—the ability to bring a lawsuit—in these claims. In Maryland, only close family members such as the deceased’s spouse, parent, or child are able to sue. In the event that none of these individuals exist, Maryland also allows for individuals who are related to the deceased by blood or marriage or sufficiently financially dependent on the deceased to bring a claim.
Second, survival actions are slightly different from traditional wrongful death claims. In Maryland, there is a specific statute on survival actions that provides the deceased’s estate with compensation for pain and suffering, along with other damages, incurred by the deceased that were suffered up to the moment of death. Survival actions are also typically brought on behalf of a personal representative of the deceased and seeks compensation for the injuries suffered by the victim. The amount of damages in survival actions are calculated based on the harm to the actual deceased individual, so the personal representative acts as a posthumous representative or agent of the deceased.
Wrongful death actions, in contrast, are typically brought by the relatives of the deceased seeking compensation for the deceased’s unexpected death. Harm from wrongful death lawsuits are usually measured by the harm that loved ones incur since the loved ones are representing themselves and not acting as an agent for the deceased.
Do You Need a Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you have recently lost a loved one to a Maryland wrongful death accident, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today for assistance. Our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in all types of personal injury claims and will work to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation today, contact us at 800-654-1949.