Prince George’s County Wrongful Death Lawyer
When another’s actions causes the death of a loved one, the deceased’s family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death actions compensate the decedent’s family members for the losses they sustained due to their loved one’s untimely death.
If your family member or loved one was killed due to the negligence of another , you should speak with a Prince George’s County wrongful death lawyer. A local attorney at Gelb & Gelb, P.C. could help you hold the negligent party accountable. Roger Gelb could help you understand the legal process and help you through each step of the way.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Wrongful death actions are personal injury claims that permits family members to recover compensation if a third party’s intentional or negligent conduct kills their loved one. Although the circumstances surrounding each wrongful death lawsuit are unique, claimants commonly initiate wrongful death actions if their loved ones die because of:
Surviving relatives may have a hard time proving wrongful death actions even if their relative dies in one of these types of accidents. An experienced Prince George’s County wrongful death lawyer could review the circumstances leading to a person’s death and help claimants understand the laws that apply to their case. An attorney could also advise claimants of the type of evidence needed to help them achieve a positive resolution in their case.
Difference Between Survival and Wrongful Death Actions
Depending on how and when the person died, Maryland law permits claimants to file survival actions, wrongful death actions, or both. The existence of two types of claims can create confusion for the deceased’s surviving family members, especially if they do not understand the difference between survival actions and wrongful death actions.
Survival actions allow the deceased’s estate to recover compensation for damages the decedent could have recovered in a personal injury lawsuit if they did not succumb to their injuries. Survival actions may only be filed by the personal representative or executor of the deceased’s estate and will likely only prevail if the deceased did not immediately die from their injuries.
Wrongful Death Actions
On the other hand, wrongful death actions are claims filed by a decedent’s surviving family members to recover compensation for the losses they experienced because of the death. Unlike survival action damages, which are awarded to the decedent’s estate, wrongful death action damages are awarded directly to the surviving relative claimants. Since wrongful death actions focus on family members’ losses and not the decedent’s personal losses, wrongful death actions will likely succeed even if the decedent dies instantaneously.
Statutory Considerations Regarding Wrongful Death Damages
Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code §§ 3-901 – 3-904 govern wrongful death actions commenced within the state, including in Prince George’s County. Section 3-904 of the Code states which relatives may recover damages in wrongful death actions. These relatives include:
- The spouse of the deceased
- Parents of the deceased
- Children of the deceased
- If no surviving spouse, parent, or child is eligible to receive compensation, any other relative who substantially depended on the deceased for support
This statute also provides that wrongful death claimants may receive compensation for economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are tangible monetary losses experienced by relatives due to a family member’s death, including loss of income or household financial contributions. Non-economic damages are non-monetary losses sustained by relatives because of a family member’s death, including emotional pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of companionship.
Although Maryland law permits recovery for non-economic damages, there is a statutory cap on the total amount of money that courts can award to wrongful death claimants for this type of damage. Since the statutory cap for non-economic damages increases on an annual basis, claimants should consult with a Prince George’s County wrongful death attorney, who could explain their rights to economic and non-economic damages and fight to protect their rights in court.
How a Prince George’s County Wrongful Death Attorney Could Help
If your loved one was killed due to the careless actions of another, you could hold the reckless party accountable. A Prince George’s County wrongful death lawyer could help you seek justice for your loved one by filing a wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf. When your family is ready, the compassionate legal team at Gelb & Gelb, P.C. is ready to help.