Heart disease and cancer are high on the list in terms of causes of death in America, but accidental fatalities are not far away. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deadly accidents rank No. 4. There are almost 225,000 unintentional injury deaths every year, including fatalities from traffic crashes, slip and falls, workplace incidents, and medical malpractice. For the victims left behind, grief and financial losses can be devastating.
Fortunately, Maryland personal injury laws extend to cases where the victim died of his or her injuries. You may qualify to file a wrongful death claim to recover your losses from such a horrific tragedy, but there are requirements that you must prove. Your Maryland wrongful death attorney will handle the details and legal strategy, including dealing with the insurance company and litigation. However, it is helpful to know what evidence you need for a successful wrongful death case.
Proving a Wrongful Death Case
You probably realize that evidence is necessary to enforce your rights with a claim, but you might not realize what you need to prove. Wrongful death cases are a type of personal injury case, and the theory of liability is termed negligence. You must prove that the at-fault party failed to act with reasonable care and that the breach led to the fatal accident in which your loved one died.
In addition to the elements of a wrongful death case, note another important requirement under the Maryland statute of limitations. You have three years to file a lawsuit for your claim, and there are few exceptions. If you do not initiate litigation, you are barred from recovering compensation.
Evidence for Wrongful Death Claims
One crucial piece of evidence in personal injury cases is the recollection of the victim, leading to a challenge for wrongful death cases. The victim is not available to provide testimony on how the fatal accident happened. Despite the lack of a witness, there are other forms of evidence you can use to prove your wrongful death claim, such as:
- Tire and tread marks at the scene;
- Physical evidence from the property damage to vehicles;
- Statements from witnesses who observed the accident; and,
- Police and accident reports.
Who Can File for Wrongful Death in Maryland
There are only certain individuals designated by law who are permitted to file a lawsuit for wrongful death, starting with the surviving spouse. Parents and adult children also have standing to sue in these cases. If there is no surviving spouse, parent, or child, relatives can pursue wrongful death if they are dependent upon the decedent.
Discuss Your Case with a Baltimore County Wrongful Death Lawyer If you meet the eligibility requirements for filing a wrongful death case in Maryland, it is wise to get started on the legal process right away. To learn more about evidence for these claims, please contact Attorney Michael A. Freedman. You can call 410.363.6848 or visit us online to set up a free case review at our offices in Owings Mills or Glen Burnie, MD.