On May 20, 2021, a tragic car accident occurred on Interstate 83, also known as the Jones Falls Expressway, in Maryland. The wreck left one of the drivers dead at the scene. The sad incident illustrates the importance of practicing safe driving while on an interstate, especially on the Jones Falls Expressway. The event also illuminates the importance of wrongful death and survival action lawsuits as well as the importance of hiring a expert wrongful death attorney.
The expressway incident that ultimately led to the untimely demise of a Baltimore resident occurred at 5:15 a.m. The wreck happened on the far left northbound lane of Interstate 83 when an SUV crashed into the back of another SUV. The resulting force of the crash pushed both vehicles off the road.
By the time state troopers arrived at the scene of the accident, one of the drivers had already passed away. As the incident was being investigated and cleared by the authorities, the Jones Falls Expressway’s northbound lanes were closed for three hours.
Although this incident is incredibly tragic, it’s not uncommon on Interstate 83. The Jones Falls Expressway is an especially dangerous road in Baltimore and is often the site of deadly car accidents often involving multiple vehicles and chain-reaction collisions.
If you experience a vehicular accident on I-83 or another location, it’s critical that you take immediate steps to ensure your short-term and long-term wellbeing. The first step you need to take is to move to a safe area after a crash if you’re able. You should then assess the degree to which you were injured and call 911 if necessary. If you experienced injuries that require medical assistance, make sure to accept medical treatment while at the scene of the crash.
While you remain at the scene of the crash, it’s critical that you avoid discussing fault, admitting liability, or giving a statement to your insurance company before calling a Maryland wrongful death attorney. Expert traffic accident attorneys can help you through the process of the legal and insurance ramifications of your case, and they can assist you in protecting the value of your claim.
Wrongful Death and Survival Action: Maryland Wrongful Death Attorney
When a car accident results in a fatality, it can lead to wrongful death and survival action lawsuits. Both family members of the victim and the estate have the right to file a claim against the party responsible for their demise. When one or more family members file a lawsuit, it’s known as a wrongful death lawsuit. A survival action is a type of wrongful death lawsuit in which the deceased person’s estate files a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
For both wrongful death and survival action lawsuits, plaintiffs need to prove that the victim’s death was a result of the defendant’s negligence. “Negligence” is when someone fails to perform reasonable care, meaning that the person did not act reasonably given the situation. For example, drunk driving would be an example of negligence because the driver failed to perform reasonable care while behind the wheel.
Plaintiffs and their attorneys need to prove four elements of negligence to receive damages from the defendant. These include:
People have a duty of care to others depending on their circumstances. When it comes to driving, drivers have a duty of care to operate their vehicles safely while on the road. If someone fails this duty of care by driving irresponsibly, that can be considered breaking their duty of care to others.
Breach of duty occurs when someone fails to perform reasonable care. If the defendant fails to act in a way in which a reasonable person would, that could be labeled a breach of duty. For example, if someone speeds while driving on ice and subsequently hits another driver who then passes away, that could be labeled as a breach of duty. A reasonable person wouldn’t drive over the speed limit in icy conditions, meaning that the defendant breached their duty of reasonable care.
Causation means that the breach of duty resulted in the death of another person. The injuries the victim sustained from the defendant’s breach of duty need to have been the cause of death. For example, if someone is struck by a drunk driver, they need to die from the injuries they sustained at the scene. The defendant’s breach of duty while driving isn’t enough for a wrongful death claim—their negligence needs to have directly resulted in another person’s death.
Plaintiffs need to bring quantifiable damages to their case, meaning there needs to be monetary value to what they’re seeking from the defendant. For example, if a family member brings a wrongful death claim against someone, they may be seeking damages for suffering, loss of companionship, and/or loss of consortium. If the victim’s estate files a survival action, they may seek damages regarding medical expenses, funeral costs, or the pain and suffering the victim experienced before their demise.
Hire A Maryland Wrongful Death Attorney
If you’ve lost a loved one in a wreck or another accident resulting from someone’s negligence, you need to seek an expert wrongful death lawyer. Wrongful death attorneys can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your loss. If you have questions regarding wrongful death cases, contact the attorneys at Zirkin & Shmerling Law at (410) 753-4611 or contact us here. You’ll receive a no-risk, free consultation so that you’re better prepared if you move forward with your wrongful death claim.