Filing a wrongful death claim can be the first of many steps to recover from the grief of losing a loved one. In Maryland, the law permits an action to be maintained “against a person whose wrongful act causes the death of another.” The wrongful death statute defines a wrongful act as “an act, neglect, or default including a felonious act which would have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued.” The wrongful death statute allows the surviving family to be compensated for economic and emotional damages suffered due to the death of their loved one. Whether the case gets taken to court or the claimants reach a settlement, there are some limitations to be aware of in the state of Maryland. If you are seeking some relief from the harm wrongful death has caused your family, call The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek for further assistance.
Only Certain Family Members Are “Wrongful Death Beneficiaries”
An important limitation on wrongful death actions concerns who is able file a lawsuit. Wrongful death actions can only be brought on by “wrongful death beneficiaries.” This typically includes only the spouse, parent(s), and child/children of the deceased person. Of course, there is no limit to the number of proper wrongful death beneficiaries, you simply have to fall under the statutory definition. In rare cases, where there are no living spouse, parent, or child, another family member may be able to file the lawsuit. However, they must prove they are related to the deceased by blood or marriage, and that they were dependent on the deceased individual.
Statute of Limitations
Another critical limitation is the statute of limitations imposed on filing the lawsuit. The wrongful death beneficiaries must file a wrongful death lawsuit within three years of their loved one’s death, or risk being barred from recovery. In situations where an occupational disease caused the wrongful death, there are a different set of limitations. The claimant should file within ten years of the wrongful death, or three years from when the disease was identified as the cause of death.
The Non-Economic Cap on Damages
Like a medical malpractice case, wrongful death limitations also have non-economic caps to damages recovered. The damages recovered and compensation to the family members should be proportional to the injury brought onto them by their loved one’s wrongful death, including emotional distress and trauma. Still, there is an upper limit to how much the claimant can receive on these bases. The cap for your case will depend on the year of death. For example, the cap for a death that occured in 2018 is $860,000 in the state of Maryland. However, if you have more than one beneficiaries bringing on the case, the cap may increase.
Contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC Today
Do you believe that you or your loved one has suffered as a result of medical malpractice or medical neglect? You need to talk to an experienced team of local lawyers today.
The lawyers at Cardaro & Peek, LLC have the experience and resources necessary to investigate and litigate all types of medical claims throughout Maryland and Washington D.C. Cardaro & Peek, LLC has medical personnel on staff and has access to nationally recognized, board-certified physicians and other experts, to assist in the investigation, analysis, and prosecution of all types of medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one have experienced malpractice, give us a call at 410-752-6166. Please visit our website www.cardarolaw.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more information.