What is a wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death claim is when the family of an individual whose untimely death was caused by the negligence of another party file a claim to be compensated for the losses and damages they have suffered. In the state of Maryland, there are two types of wrongful death actions that can be taken. Wrongful death claims are filed by the deceased’s relatives, while survival actions are filed by the deceased’s estate on their behalf.
Who can file a wrongful death claim in Maryland?
The state of Maryland allows primary beneficiaries and secondary beneficiaries of the deceased. The primary beneficiaries are the deceased’s surviving spouse, parents or children. The secondary beneficiaries are other remaining relatives of the spouse including their siblings, grandparents, uncles, nieces, nephews and others. If there are no surviving primary beneficiaries or none of them are willing to file a claim, secondary beneficiaries may file a claim on behalf of themselves and the primary beneficiaries.
What is the difference between wrongful death claims and survival actions?
Survival actions look to compensate for the harm suffered by the deceased such as the physical pain prior to death, medical bills and other expenses such as lost wages.
On the other hand, wrongful death claims look to compensate for the harm suffered by the deceased’s family such as loss of companionship, society and financial contributions of the deceased among other losses.
When can one claim a wrongful death claim?
The statute of limitations in the state of Maryland states that a wrongful death claim may be filed within three years of the date of the plaintiff’s death.
What are the damages included in a wrongful death case?
The damages included in a wrongful death claim are both economic and non-economic damages and punitive damages.
Economic damages include funeral and burial services, medical expenses of the deceased, lost wages of the deceased and all lost financial contributions of the deceased such as daily expenses and school tuition among others.
Non-economic damages are pain and suffering, which include the sadness, anxiety, loss of companionship, society and affection of the deceased.
Punitive damages occur if the other party’s recklessness or outrageous behavior played a prominent role in the accident which took the deceased’s life.
Is there a limit to how much one can recover in a wrongful death claim?
The state of Maryland has set a few caps on certain types of damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim. For non-economic damages in wrongful death claims, a maximum of $845,000 can be recovered in damages, this amount increases to $1,267,500 if there are two or more beneficiaries in a wrongful death claim, this brings the total limit to $2,112,500. Moreover, in cases of wrongful death claims as a result of medical malpractice, the cap for damages to be recovered is at $1,000,000. In addition to this, the cap for non-economic damages for survival actions is at $830,000. There are no limits on the amount of economic damages that can be recovered.
If you need a Maryland Wrongful Death Lawyer to help you with your Wrongful Death case in Maryland, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Maryland Wrongful Death Attorneys can help you.