How Does Maryland Deal With Wrongful Death?
Today we will explore an important topic in Maryland personal injury law – wrongful death. Specifically, we will explore the legal conditions under which surviving family members can recover for losses related to the death of their loved one.
What does Wrongful Death Mean in Maryland?
Code of Maryland Section 3–904 outlines the state-specific approach to wrongful death. Maryland created this statute to allow family members to recover compensation for the death of a loved one, if a third party was at fault for the death. The compensation family members can recover must be proportional to the injury that caused death. There are two types of legal mechanisms available under this statute – wrongful death and survival action.
What is the Difference Between Wrongful Death and Survival Action?
Both wrongful death and survival actions involve the same harm or injury that results in death of another person. The difference between these actions involves the victim.
A wrongful death action seeks to compensate for the harm inflicted on the surviving family members. Even though the deceased person’s family is still alive, their circumstances are likely different. The loss of a family member can have a tremendous emotional impact on the surviving family. If the deceased family member was the breadwinner of the family, there will be economic impact as well. The surviving family members can recover for those damages.
A survival action seeks to compensate for the harm inflicted on the deceased family member. Under Maryland law, tort claims survive the victim’s death, allowing their remaining family members to sue on the victim’s behalf. Stated otherwise, the victim’s family members can recover damages for harm inflicted on the victim.
Which Family Members are Eligible to Bring a Wrongful Death Action?
Maryland law allows the spouse, children or parent of the victim to bring a wrongful death action. Maryland does provide an exception when the victim does not have a living spouse, child or parent. In such situations, any living family member – “by blood or marriage” – who was “substantially dependent” on victim can bring a wrongful death action.
Do You Have Questions for an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney?
Whether you are dealing with wrongful death, survival action or other aspects of personal injury law, the process can be overwhelming. That is where an experienced personal injury attorney can step in to assist – explaining the law, helping you sort out next steps and serving as your personal advocate. The Baltimore attorneys at Iamele & Iamele, LLP have experience dealing with wrongful death, survival action and other aspects of personal injury law. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for help.