Losing a close relative is always difficult, but learning that their passing occurred due to an avoidable incident can be devastating. In many cases, the deceased’s surviving relatives feel as though they have no avenue for justice. This is especially true when the state does not bring criminal charges.
A wrongful death lawsuit could provide that measure of justice the surviving family deserves. If you have lost a loved one due to medical malpractice or nursing home abuse, you could be entitled to recover damages through a wrongful death action. Let a Rockville wrongful death attorney advise you of your rights today.
Discuss Your Rights Regarding a Wrongful Death Case
If you believe the loss of your loved one was due to the negligence of another party, you could benefit from a discussion with legal counsel. In many cases, the best option for securing justice following the death of a loved one is through a civil lawsuit. A wrongful death case could compensate the surviving relatives and hold the responsible party accountable.
Get in touch with a wrongful death lawyer serving Rockville, (410) 698-1717 for a free case evaluation.
A civil lawsuit is not an option after every death, even if the passing was unexpected. To serve as the basis for a civil lawsuit, a death must be considered “wrongful” under the law. Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-901 defines this term.
According to this statute, a wrongful death results from “an act, neglect, or default including a felonious act which would have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued.” In other words, if the cause of death would have served as the basis for a personal injury lawsuit had the decedent survived, it could serve as the basis for a viable wrongful death case.
In general, three acts could lead to a wrongful death lawsuit. The first and most common example is an act of negligence. When a person causes someone else’s death due to their carelessness or recklessness, the death could be wrongful. The other examples include deaths caused by intentional acts or medical errors.
What Are the Potential Damages in a Wrongful Death Case?
The damages—which is the term for the financial compensation the beneficiaries recover from a wrongful death lawsuit—are designed to cover specific hardships caused by the untimely death. These damages include both emotional and financial hardships. Some common examples include:
- Loss of marital or parental care
- Loss of companionship and comfort
- Loss of advice, counsel, and attention
- Loss of future financial support
- Emotional distress
- Loss of training, guidance, and education
Your Rockville wrongful death lawyer may also be able to help you recover compensation for any medical bills your loved one incurred before their death, as well as their funeral and burial expenses.
Who Are the Beneficiaries of a Wrongful Death Case?
When a wrongful death lawsuit is successful, the beneficiaries in these cases recover financial compensation from the at-fault party. Of course, losing a loved one impacts many different individuals, but only certain relatives may recover compensation in a wrongful death action. The law divides the beneficiaries of these lawsuits into two categories: primary and secondary beneficiaries.
Understanding these beneficiaries is important. Not only are these the parties set to recover from a wrongful death lawsuit, but they are also the individuals who have the right to file the case to begin with. While many states require a representative of the estate to pursue the wrongful death action, in Maryland, the surviving relatives have the right to do so.
The primary beneficiaries are the first parties set to recover from a wrongful death lawsuit. Per Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-904, this category includes the decedent’s spouse, parents, and children. As long as a primary beneficiary is alive to inherit, a secondary beneficiary of the estate will not recover anything. With some exceptions, each of these individuals generally has an equal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Secondary beneficiaries are only relevant if there are no living primary beneficiaries. A secondary beneficiary can be any party related by either blood or marriage to the decedent.
However ,a second requirement must also be met: a secondary beneficiary must show that they were financially dependent on the deceased at the time of their passing to be eligible for compensation in a wrongful death case.
Contact Brown & Barron online today to schedule a free case review with a with a wrongful death lawyer serving Rockville.
The Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits Brown & Barron Can Help With
While countless circumstances could lead to a loved one’s passing, not all of them can serve as the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit.
At Brown & Barron, our Rockville wrongful death lawyers focus on two types of wrongful death cases:
When doctors, nurses, or hospital administrators make errors, it could have life-threatening consequences for a patient. These errors could worsen an underlying condition or result in additional injuries. Some common medical errors include applying the wrong treatment, delayed diagnosis, and failure to perform necessary testing.
Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
Elder abuse is far too common in nursing homes. It can take many forms, but one of the most common that may lead to death is physical abuse. If a resident suffers severe injuries at the hands of an abuser and isn’t treated properly, it may cost them their life.
Neglect is also a dangerous form of nursing home abuse that may lead to death. When a resident is deprived of necessities, such as food, clean clothing, medication, and medical care, leading to their death, their loved ones deserve compensation.
The attorneys of Brown & Barron know the pain that comes with an unexpected loss. A Rockville wrongful death attorney from our firm could work with you to ensure your rights are protected during this sensitive time. Reach out for a free consultation right away to learn more.
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