If you’ve lost a loved one because of the actions of someone else, filing a lawsuit might be the last thing on your mind. As difficult as your situation might be, many people find they have no choice but to take legal action. Who can bring a wrongful death claim?
Losing a loved one can create unexpected, lifelong financial burdens. A wrongful death claim is an opportunity to fill the financial gaps left by the loss of your loved one and to receive a bit of justice for your loss.
Many people misunderstand wrongful death claims or have misconceptions about how they work. What are some of the most common misconceptions?
1. Anyone Can File a Wrongful Death Claim
The law limits who can file a wrongful death claim after someone dies. Claims can be filed by any individual who has been adversely affected by the death of a loved one. Who can bring a wrongful death claim?
- Domestic partners
Wrongful death claims can only be filed by certain people in specific situations. The reason that only certain people can file a wrongful death claim is that the claim is based on the relationship between the person who died and the person who is filing the claim. The loss of a spouse or child is a unique type of loss, which is why these family members are typically able to file a claim.
2. Your Time to File a Claim Varies
The filing period for a wrongful death claim varies depending on the state in which you file your claim.
Most states have a statute of limitations of two to three years from the date of the loved one’s death. Maryland’s statute of limitations on wrongful death claims is three years.
It is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your claim is filed within the appropriate time frame.
3. You Must Prove Negligence
To file a successful wrongful death claim, you must be able to prove that the death of your loved one was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party. This could include cases of medical malpractice, car accidents, or workplace accidents.
4. Wrongful Death Claims Result in Significant Awards
The amount of damages the court awards in a wrongful death claim varies depending on the specifics of each case. Factors to consider include:
- Age of the deceased
- Extent of the injuries
- Amount of financial support that the deceased would have provided
In many cases, these are significant awards. However, it’s important to speak to an attorney and assess what you’re likely to receive before filing your wrongful death claim.
5. Only Certain States Allow Wrongful Death Claims
While most states have a statute of limitations for wrongful death claims and specific laws governing these claims, it is possible to seek compensation in all 50 states if you lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligence.
It’s important to work with an attorney who understands the laws in your state.
Was your loved one a victim of someone else’s negligence? Has their loss left you unsure of your future and concerned for how you’ll make ends meet? You could be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.
To schedule a consultation to discuss your case with experienced an attorney or if you have questions about wrongful claims in Maryland, contact Shugarman & Mehring at 410.783.4200 or toll-free at 888.342.7200.