Family members of those who died due to someone else’s negligence may be eligible to collect damages in a wrongful death claim. In Maryland, there are two types of wrongful death claims. In general, these may only be filed by primary or secondary beneficiaries.
Beneficiaries who are successful in Maryland wrongful death claim/survival actions may collect various types and amounts of damages depending on the circumstances of their case. The Towson personal injury lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC are committed to helping those seeking financial compensation for a loved one’s wrongful death collect the compensation to which they are entitled.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims in Maryland
In Maryland, surviving family members may obtain compensation not only for the harm that was caused to the decedent, but also for the harm caused to the family as a result of the untimely death. There are two types of wrongful death claims in Maryland:
- Survival action – This type of claim is brought by the decedent’s estate on behalf of the deceased party to compensate for the harm he or she suffered while still alive and any other losses related to the death. Damages may include medical expenses, pain and suffering, and funeral/burial expenses.
- Wrongful death action – A wrongful death claim is brought on behalf of the decedent’s surviving family members to compensate for the losses they suffered due to their loved one’s preventable death. Damages may include lost income, loss of companionship, and mental anguish.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Maryland?
According to Maryland’s wrongful death statute, claims may only be filed by certain family members. Other states require wrongful death plaintiffs to choose between filing either a survival action or a wrongful death claim. However, in Maryland, eligible family members may pursue both a wrongful death action and a survival action.
Those who may file a wrongful death claim in Maryland include:
- Primary beneficiaries – The surviving spouse, parents, or children of the decedent may bring a survival and/or wrongful death action against any responsible parties. If there are no such surviving family members, then anyone who is related to the decedent by blood or marriage and who was dependent upon the decedent may file a claim.
- Secondary beneficiaries – Surviving siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, and other non-immediate surviving family members are considered secondary beneficiaries. They may only file a claim if there are no primary beneficiaries or if the primary beneficiaries have chosen not to bring suit.
There are caps on the amount of damages a plaintiff may recover through a wrongful death action depending on the type of injury suffered, when the cause of action arose, and whether the death was related to medical malpractice. Generally, wrongful death claims must be brought within three years of the date of the deceased person’s death to be compensable. Therefore, surviving family members should seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure the viability of their claims.
Towson Personal Injury Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Surviving Family Members File Wrongful Death Claims
If your loved one died due to someone else’s negligent, reckless, or willful actions, contact a Towson personal injury lawyer at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your own losses and/or the losses of the decedent’s estate. From our offices conveniently located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we represent clients in Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Columbia, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks, Parkton, Pikesville, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 443-589-0150.