Wrongful death claims occur when the family of a deceased person whose death was caused by the negligence of another party seeks compensation for their losses.
In the state of Maryland, wrongful death cases are divided into two categories, wrongful death and survival actions, based on who brings them to court. Wrongful death claims are filed by the deceased’s relative, while survival actions are filed by the deceased’s estate, who serves as his personal representatives. In the case of survival actions, the deceased’s estate will look for compensation for damages based on the actual harm suffered by the victim such as the physical pain suffered by the victim prior to dying and expenses such as medical bills and burial services. On the other hand, wrongful death cases deal with the harm the deceased’s loved ones suffered, which is mainly the grief and anguish associated with the loss of a loved one.
Moreover, primary or secondary beneficiaries may file a wrongful death claim in Maryland. Primary beneficiaries are the deceased’s surviving spouse, children or parents, if a wrongful death claim is filed by any of these individuals, then the damages awarded will only be awarded to the deceased’s primary beneficiaries. On the other hand, secondary beneficiaries are the deceased’s surviving siblings, cousins, nephews, and nieces or any other relatives. Secondary beneficiaries may file on behalf of them and the primary beneficiaries if no primary beneficiaries are surviving or none of them are willing to file the claim.
There are many damages that can be compensated for in a wrongful death case, both economic and non-economic.
Economic damages suffered by the deceased’s family include funeral expenses, medical expenses of the deceased, the lost wages if the claim is being brought by the deceased’s child who would have been entitled to these wages along with all lost financial contributions of the deceased such as daily expenses, tuition fees, and medical bills among many others.
In addition to this, non-economic damages of pain and suffering include the grief, sadness, emotional loss of companionship, affection, love, and society.
In the state of Maryland, the statute of limitations state that a wrongful death claim may be filed within three years from the date of the victim’s death, any claims filed after this time period will be rejected by the court.
Furthermore, there are a few caps set by the state of Maryland in regards to the damages that may be awarded in wrongful death cases. For non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, the maximum that can be recovered in damages is $845,000 for wrongful death cases, however, it rises to $1,267,500 if there are more than one wrongful death beneficiaries, bringing the total limit to up to $2,112,500. Moreover, the survival action cap for non-economic damages is $830,000.
In cases of medical malpractice, the cap for wrongful death cases is at $1,000,000.
However, in the case of economic damages, the state of Maryland does not impose a specific cap and these damages have no limit.
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.