Losing a loved one is a painful and often financially draining experience. However, if someone else is to blame for your family member’s death in Waldorf, Maryland, you could sue them for damages to help your family recover.
Here is how a Waldorf wrongful death attorney from Brown & Barron can assist with the steps in the litigation process.
Criteria for Wrongful Death Cases
As with Maryland personal injury actions, you can file a wrongful death case against another party if the incident arose from the following:
This is when the other party is at fault for breaching a duty of care. For instance, a motorist should drive responsibly to avoid causing accidents. However, they would be negligent if they were, for example, texting when they crashed into your loved one—texting while driving is prohibited in Waldorf and takes away their focus from the road, putting others at risk.
You can also file a wrongful death case if your loved one was hurt by someone’s willful behavior, such as during a crime. For example, the deceased may have gotten shot in a robbery or a drive-by shooting. In this scenario, you do not need to prove their negligence but that their action led to the loved one’s death.
A strict liability wrongful death case is when the party getting sued did not directly harm the victim but is still responsible for the cause. One instance would be a manufacturer becoming liable for a death caused by a product defect. Another example would be a dog bite—the dog owner would be responsible for any deaths resulting from bites.
An attorney for wrongful death can help investigate the incident and gather proof of the other party’s fault in the accident. These can include witness testimonies, photos, and video footage.
Relevant Laws Can Differ Per Case
As the causes behind anyone’s death can vary, the relevant statutes can differ with each incident. Therefore, a wrongful death lawyer will also review various local and state laws that could apply to your situation.
For example, if a loved one died in a car accident, the lawyer for wrongful death could look into traffic and other motor vehicle statutes for possible violations. On the other hand, if a gun misfire killed them, the attorney would check Maryland’s gun control laws.
Get in touch with a wrongful death lawyer serving Waldorf, 410-547-0202 for a free case evaluation.
Filing Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Waldorf
Who Can File Wrongful Death Cases in Waldorf?
According to Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-904, the surviving spouse, children, or parents can typically bring the wrongful death lawsuit to court. However, if none of the above individuals remains, anyone dependent and related to the deceased by blood or marriage, such as a sibling or cousin, can file the case instead.
Where to File Your Suit
As with other civil cases, the county where the wrongful death happened has jurisdiction over your case. However, since you lost the loved one here in Waldorf, you will have to file your suit at the Charles County Circuit Court.
Besides helping with the filing procedures, your attorney can also represent you during the court proceedings until the case settles.
Time Limits for Filing Your Wrongful Death Case in Maryland
Wrongful death actions in Maryland usually adhere to a three-year statute of limitations. That means you have three years from your loved one’s death to file the case. However, if they died due to occupational illnesses—diseases developed due to toxic materials in the workplace—you would have to file within ten years from their death date or three years from when you discovered the cause.
Compliance with this filing requirement is crucial to recovering damages, as the court automatically rejects late submissions. Therefore, starting sooner rather than later would be prudent to avoid missing the deadline. When building the wrongful death case, your lawyer can help check your progress to ensure that you can still file the lawsuit punctually.
How Damages Work in Wrongful Death Claims
If your wrongful death case settles favorably, you would be able to recover economic damages, compensating you for the financial losses caused by your loved one’s passing. These can include:
- Any accrued medical bills before death (hospitalizations, surgeries, and so on)
- Funeral and burial costs
- The wages, pension, or other benefits lost with the loved one’s death
- Loss of financial support for children
You could also recover damages for the intangible cost of the death, such as:
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of care, companionship, or consortium
- Loss of guidance, training, and value to society
Your attorney can help compile all available records of your expenses to help calculate your recoverable damages more accurately.
It would be best to have your lawyer review the case before filing. They can see if there are any discrepancies in your statements and evidence that could prevent you from receiving a settlement.
Consult with Our Waldorf Wrongful Death Lawyer About Your Claim Today
While a loved one’s passing is always painful, know that you could seek justice and compensation against the person or entity at fault. The law office of Brown & Barron is here for consultation 24/7 if you need assistance with a wrongful death claim in Waldorf. With decades of combined experience in Maryland medical malpractice, birth injuries, nursing home abuse, and wrongful death laws, our team stands ready to guide and represent you throughout your case.
You can receive a free consultation with our Waldorf wrongful death attorney by submitting the details requested in our online form here. You can also call us anytime or speak with our live chat support team for more inquiries on our legal services.
Contact Brown & Barron online today to schedule a free case review with a with a wrongful death lawyer serving Waldorf.