Wrongful Death Cases
The law offices of Michael A. Freedman provides aggressive representation to beneficiaries suffering due to wrongful death.
Wrongful death is the loss of life of an individual resulting from the willful or negligent act of another person or persons. A wrongful death case may be the result of medical malpractice, car or motor vehicle accidents, nursing home negligence, construction accidents, product defects or even murder.
In order to bring a wrongful death claim the following elements must be alleged and proved in order to prevail in said claim,( Please note Section 3-901 Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article of the Maryland Annotated Code):
- Proximately caused by the negligence of the Defendant;
- Resulting in damages to a person or persons who are within the category of defined beneficiaries under the Maryland statute covering Wrongful Death;
- Claim must be filed in the appropriate time period
Who may benefit from a Wrongful Death Claim?
- Primary beneficiaries
- wife, husband, parent and child of the deceased person.
- Secondary beneficiaries
- if there are no persons who qualify as "primary", an action shall be for the benefit of any person related to the deceased person by blood or marriage who was substantially dependent on the deceased.
How are damages divided?
Damages may be awarded to the beneficiaries proportioned to the injury resulting to them from the wrongful death.
What damages are available?
Damages are not limited to "pecuniary loss" (damages that can be estimated and monetarily compensated), but may include damages for mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, comfort, protection, marital care, parental care, filial care, attention, advice, counsel, training, guidance, or education.
Is there a limitation on the amount of damages you can recover?
In any action for Wrongful Death (or any personal injury claim), an award for noneconomic damages (mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, etc.), in which the cause of action arose after October 1999, may not exceed $575,000, (the "Cap"). Said "Cap", however increases by $15,000 every October 1 of the following year.
If there are two or more claimants or beneficiaries, an award for noneconomic damages may not exceed 150% of the above limitation, regardless of the number of claimants or beneficiaries.
What is the difference between a Wrongful Death claim and a Survival action?
The Wrongful Death claim is brought by the Primary Beneficiaries on their behalf. The Survival action is brought by the Personal Representative of the deceased on behalf of the deceased. This claim would include damages sought for economic loss (medical bills and other costs associated with the death) and any conscious pain and suffering sustained by the deceased prior to his death. The pain and suffering claim, being noneconomic damages, are limited by the Cap.
What is the applicable Statute of Limitations?
Except for "occupational diseases" an action for Wrongful Death shall be filed within three years after the death of the injured person.
The wrongful death lawyers at Michael A. Freedman, P.A. can protect your family and make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
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