Can A Relative Sue For A Death In A Medical Malpractice Case?

Losing a family member due to medical malpractice can be devastating, affecting everyone in the family. After taking care of more immediate matters, you or another relative can likely sue for the death in your medical malpractice case.

However, only certain family members have grounds to take such legal action, and a lawyer with our firm can help you determine who is eligible.

Who Can Recover Compensation in a Wrongful Death Action for Medical Malpractice?

When a person loses their life due to medical malpractice, any of their immediate family members can file a wrongful death action against the responsible medical facility and recover compensation from them. According to Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-904, a deceased person’s spouse, child, or parent can generally file a wrongful death action and recover compensation.

In this action, the relative can claim damages on behalf of other family members too. For example, the spouse could claim damages their children suffered. Anyone who receives compensation from the action is called a beneficiary, and beneficiaries can choose to participate in the action or not.

An extended family member may be able to file a wrongful death action if there aren’t any living immediate family members. However, this extended family member must be related to the victim by blood or marriage and must have been dependent on the victim. A lawyer from our firm can help you determine whether you or any other relatives could qualify as a beneficiary in your case.

How Can a Relative Sue for a Death in a Medical Malpractice Case?

Two ways in which a relative can sue for the loss of a loved one are:

Wrongful Death Actions

With a wrongful death action, a deceased person’s family member claims their own personal damages they suffered as a result of the loss of their loved one. The family member can also claim the damages of other family members.

A wrongful death action can help you and your family recover recompense for your loss and your related damages, and some of these damages can be ones you’ll incur in the future. So, filing a wrongful death action can help your family recover financially from your loss and support yourselves in the future.

Survival Actions

With a survival action, a deceased person’s estate representative claims damages. These damages are any damages the deceased person incurred before they lost their life.

You may choose to file a survival action if your loved one had financial damages or if you believe your loved one suffered before they lost their life.

What Damages Can I Sue for in a Wrongful Death Case?

The damages you can claim depends on which kind of legal action you file. If you decide to file both wrongful death and survival actions, you’ll be able to claim your damages, as well as those of your family members and your deceased loved one. One of our firm’s lawyers can help you make your decision, list your damages, and explain them to the medical facility’s insurance company or a jury.

In a wrongful death lawsuit, you can claim the following damages and possibly others:

  • Loss of companionship and loss of consortium
  • Loss of financial support
  • The child’s or children’s loss of mentorship and emotional support
  • Funeral or burial expenses
  • Post-mortem medical bills

With a survival action, you can claim:

  • Medical expenses your loved one had before they lost their life
  • Wages your loved one wasn’t able to earn
  • Any pain and/or suffering your loved one experienced
  • Any other damages related to your loved one’s estate

How Much Time do You Have to Sue for a Death in a Medical Malpractice Case?

In each state, there are deadlines for filing wrongful death lawsuits. In Maryland, this deadline is generally three years from the date of the decedent’s death.

Your attorney can help you meet your filing deadline, but make sure you get in touch with one quickly. Failing to adhere to it could result in the court throwing your case out of court. It will then be your responsibility to make up the related costs.

Contact Brown & Barron to File a Suit for a Death in a Medical Malpractice Case

If you lost a loved one to medical malpractice, you or a relative may be able to sue the other party. You and your family deserve compensation for your damages. Also, taking legal action may help you get a sense of closure after suffering such a tragedy.

With one of the wrongful death attorneys on your team, you won’t have to worry about legal matters, so you’ll be able to focus on family matters. You can learn more about our services in a free consultation, so get in touch with Brown & Barron today.

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