Wrongful death is not something many Maryland residents think of, but it happens. It’s important to know how to file a lawsuit when in this situation.
What is wrongful death?
A wrongful death is the death of a person that is caused by negligence or even a deliberate act of recklessness or violence. It’s any type of death that would have allowed the victim to file a personal injury claim had they lived. Many things can lead to a wrongful death, including car accidents, medical malpractice and violent crimes.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Maryland?
All states have rules pertaining to who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Maryland, the deceased person’s surviving spouse, children or parents can file. However, if the victim was not married, had no children and their parents were deceased, any relative by blood or marriage is entitled to file the wrongful death claim as long as they were financially dependent on them.
A family member of someone who died due to someone else’s negligence, recklessness or violence must file their wrongful death lawsuit within the statute of limitations. That period of time is three years from the date of the person’s death. The only exception is if the individual died from an occupational disease. For example, the victim died after long-term exposure to toxic materials at work. In that situation, the statute of limitations would be 10 years from the date of the death or three years from the date that the illness was identified as the cause of death, whichever happens sooner.
What damages are possible in a wrongful death lawsuit?
If a wrongful death lawsuit is successful, the surviving family members can recover damages for loss of guidance, care and support, loss of consortium, mental anguish and emotional pain and suffering, medical expenses and funeral and burial costs.