Wrongful Death Attorney Columbia Maryland
When a loved one dies as the result of an accident, you are faced with numerous questions. How will you pay for final expenses? How will you continue the lifestyle to which you’re accustomed? Who will pay for any outstanding medical bills? Such questions shouldn’t trouble you during bereavement. Your main concern should be tending to your family and grieving in peace. With the help of a Columbia wrongful death lawyer, a wrongful death settlement may give you the peace of mind to mourn without financial stress.
What Is Wrongful Death?
The surviving members of a family may file a wrongful death lawsuit if they believe their loved one died as the result of negligence. This settlement is meant to make up for lost wages from the deceased, final expenses, and other intangible losses such as companionship.
A wrongful death claim may involve any type of accident, from a car accident, a slip and fall, medical malpractice, even product liability. Anyone can be at fault for acting negligently – individuals, companies, even the government.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
To file a wrongful death claim, you must be related to the deceased in some way. The following parties can file a claim:
- Immediate family members: Parents, spouses, and children are the most common parties who file wrongful death claims.
- Life partners and financial dependents: Anyone who depends on the deceased’s income may be eligible for a wrongful death settlement. Lifelong partners (i.e., common law partners) may also file.
- Extended family: In some cases, grandparents and siblings may sue for wrongful death, especially if they’re caring for the deceased’s children.
There may be many responsible parties in a wrongful death suit. If involved in a car accident, the survivors may sue the responsible driver, while a hospital or doctor may be responsible for a death involving medical malpractice.
In some cases, the government has immunity from wrongful death claims. Talk to a Columbia wrongful death attorney to see if your case qualifies for a wrongful death suit.
Types of Damages in Wrongful Death Suits
Qualified survivors can seek different types of damages for wrongful death suits. They can be lumped into three categories:
- Economic: These include any contributions the deceased would have made to the family (also known as earning capacity) as well as funeral expenses, loss of benefits, and goods the family member would have provided.
- Non-economic: These are also known as intangible losses and include mental anguish, grief, loss of companionship, loss of consortium, and loss of care or protection.
- Punitive: In some cases, people die as the result of intentional acts or in light of severe misconduct. In these cases, families can pursue punitive damages. These damages punish the wrongdoer for committing gross negligence. A pharmaceutical company, for example, may commit gross negligence for offering kickbacks to doctors for prescribing a drug for off-label use.
- Attorney’s fees: Plaintiffs also have the opportunity to have any legal fees included in the settlement amount.
There are time limits for bringing a wrongful death suit to court. In Maryland, that statute of limitations is three years. The statute of limitations begins with the misconduct that causes the wrongful death, not the death itself. To maximize your chances of a claim, get in touch with a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.
Columbia, MD Wrongful Death Attorneys
At Discepolo Firm, we operate on the philosophy that no one should get away with negligence. We’re dedicated to helping families recover damages from wrongful death claims. A fair settlement will help you pay for final expenses and make up for economic and emotional distress of such a devastating loss. Call us to set up an initial consultation.