Wrongful Death/Survival Action
After the loss of a loved one, the family is often left with a massive emotional wound. Heartbreak, loneliness, and distress take their toll on those who are left behind. If the loved one was a financial caretaker or provider, this impact is even more severe. Lost income, protection, and care often leave families wondering who can step into their loved one’s role. Suing for wrongful death may be the best step forward, but it can also be a stressful and trying experience. If you are considering this step, you need a wrongful death attorney who can advocate for your family in court and accurately demonstrate the impact of your loved one’s death.
What Is Wrongful Death Law?
Under the Maryland Wrongful Death Law, families can seek compensation for the loss of a loved one due to another’s wrongful action. According to the Maryland Court of Appeals, a “wrongful action” is defined as any act that the deceased person would have been able to seek their own compensation for if they had not died.
Injuries and deaths as a result of wrongful action are sadly very common. According to the Centers For Disease Control, deaths from unintentional injury deaths are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, and result in over 130,000 deaths each year. Here are some of the most common wrongful actions:
- Medical malpractice
- Automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian collisions
- Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents
- Accidents involving defective or dangerous products
- Assault and neglect
- Premises liability accidents, such as falls
- Accidental overdose
- Recreational accidents
- On-the-job accidents or illnesses
The statute specifies that Wrongful Death and Survival damages “may be awarded to the beneficiaries proportioned to the injury resulting from the wrongful death.”
If you feel like you need some legal help, contact our Wrongful Death/Survival Action attorney to schedule a free case evaluation today.
What Is The Difference Between Wrongful Death And Survival Action?
Although both can be undertaken after the death of a loved one, a Wrongful Death Action and a Survival Action are two entirely separate claims that can be brought to court independent of one another. Understanding the distinction between the two can be a challenge. Remember that wrongful death attorneys file on behalf of the victim’s family, and the survival action is filed on behalf of the estate of the victim.
A Wrongful Death Action is designed to compensate the family of the deceased person for their financial and emotional loss. For instance, if a father is injured on the job, his children and spouse may be able to seek compensation for any emotional suffering that they experienced. They can also argue that the loss caused financial harm by removing a source of income.
In contrast, a Survival Action seeks to directly compensate the person who lost their life. Under Maryland law, deceased victims are still legally recognized by the court. Since a person who has died is no longer able to defend themselves and pursue the claim, a representative of their estate can take up the case on their behalf.
Can I Sue For Wrongful Death?
If you are the spouse or child of the deceased person, then you are eligible to file both a Wrongful Death Action and Survival Action claim on behalf of the decedent and yourself. If the deceased person had no living spouse or children, then any person who was related to them by either blood or marriage—and was also dependent on them in some way for their welfare—may be able to file a Wrongful Death Action and Survival Action.
When considering whether suing for wrongful Death action is the right choice for your family, contacting a wrongful death attorney right away is crucial. Maryland law has a strict statute of limitations on these lawsuits. If the family does not file a lawsuit within the necessary time period, then they will never be able to do so in the future. Time is of the essence.
Contact A Wrongful Death Attorney
If your family is thinking about suing for wrongful death, it is incredibly important to select a wrongful death attorney with a proven record of experience and knowledge. At Zirkin and Schmerling Law, our many years of experience have given us the knowledge and emotional sensitivity to help your family during this challenging time. To schedule your free consultation, please contact us at 410-753-4611 or make an appointment online.