Following a major accident that results in the death of a loved one, it can often feel overwhelming as you get their affairs in order and manage the fallout of losing someone close to you. If the death of your loved one was the result of another party’s negligence or carelessness, however, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit—and hold those who are responsible for the accident accountable for their actions.
According to a recent news report, a 13-year-old boy was killed in a hit and run crash. Local authorities reported that a truck was driving north when it struck the boy, who was riding his bicycle. The boy was killed as a result of the crash and the pickup truck fled the scene. State highway patrol is seeking assistance from the public in identifying and locating the pickup truck involved in the crash, and the accident remains under investigation.
Following a major accident that is the result of the at-fault party’s negligence or carelessness, potential plaintiffs should consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Although the at-fault party in the case described previously may face criminal penalties for fleeing the scene in Maryland, this only results in criminal charges, rather than monetary compensation. To receive monetary compensation for their actions, potential plaintiffs must file a separate lawsuit in civil court to do so.
Under Maryland law, a wrongful death is one that is caused by a negligent act that would have allowed the deceased to sue the at-fault party themselves had death not taken place. Common accidents that result in wrongful death lawsuits include motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, or intentional acts, such as crimes.
In a successful wrongful death lawsuit, monetary compensation may be awarded to the plaintiff in various forms. Plaintiffs can receive damages for several types of losses, including lost wages or financial contributions, emotional or mental pain and suffering, and loss of companionship or society.
What Is the First Step to Filing a Maryland Wrongful Death Case?
If you are considering filing a wrongful death claim, it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney first. Because Maryland is one of the few states in the country still using contributory negligence laws, this may affect your ability to receive compensation. Under a contributory negligence framework, if the victim in the case is found to even be partially at fault for causing the accident, they completely forfeit their right to compensation.
In addition, filing your claim sooner rather than later is best. In Maryland, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the person’s death for most cases, but there is an exception if the deceased died from an “occupational disease.” If the deceased passed away because of exposure to a toxic substance at work, the lawsuit must be filed within ten years from the date the deceased passed, or three years from the date that the occupational disease was identified as the cause of death, whichever is sooner.
Do You Need a Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you recently lost a loved one in a Maryland motorcycle accident, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today. With our years of experience, we understand how challenging understanding the nuances of filing a successful lawsuit are and will provide you with the support you need and deserve during this challenging time. To schedule a free consultation today, contact us at 800-654-1949.