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A Baltimore Wrongful Death Attorney Helps Explain Wrongful Death and Survival Claims

In Maryland, when one person acts negligently and causes the death of another person, state law allows the deceased person’s family to file wrongful death and/or survival actions. Both situations allow surviving family members to bring legal claims on behalf of their lost loved ones, but there are important differences between these two legal claims.

If you’ve lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, our deepest sympathies go out to you. Baltimore Wrongful Death Attorney John J. Leppler will hold the negligent party or parties responsible and handle your claims so that you can grieve appropriately. We’ll treat you and your claim with the utmost respect and sympathy.

Wrongful Death Claims in Maryland

In Maryland, the law allows surviving family members to recover damages for the harm that they themselves have suffered as a result of the death of a loved one. Wrongful death actions compensate certain family members for the loss of support and companionship after their loved one passes away.

Nonetheless, the law only allows certain family members to file a wrongful death action; i.e. a wrongful death claim can only be brought a deceased person’s:

  • Spouse,
  • Parent, or
  • Children.

The damages that these family members can recover include:

  • Economic Damages. These are the measurable costs, such as lost wages, medical bills, and funeral expenses, which are relatively easy to calculate, and
  • Non-Economic Damages. These are the costs that are not measurable, such as emotional pain and suffering, the loss of companionship, comfort, and protection, etc.

In most cases, surviving family members have three years to file a wrongful death action. Absent special circumstances, the law prohibits family members from filing a wrongful death action after the three-year statute of limitations.

Survivor Claims

In Maryland, the law allows surviving family members to recover damages on behalf of a deceased loved one. In this way, survival actions are different from wrongful death actions. In a survival action, the surviving family members are suing for harm or injury sustained by the deceased person before his or her death rather than for their own damages as in a wrongful death claim. So, for example, if a loved one dies instantaneously, there are little to no damages to recover.

So speaking generally, a survival action enables a surviving family member to “step into the shoes” of the deceased person, so to speak. If the deceased person has a valid claim against a third party, for negligence for example, then the surviving family members can pursue this negligence claim on the deceased person’s behalf even after their loved one’s death.

The damages in a survival claim also apply to survival claims in a common-sense fashion, and the same three-year statute of limitations applies. However, unlike wrongful death claims, damages for a survival action go to the deceased person’s estate rather than directly to surviving family members.

Contact a Baltimore Wrongful Death Attorney for More Information

Wrongful death and survivor claims are both related to tragic circumstances. We understand this and will handle your claims so that you may grieve appropriately. Let a Baltimore wrongful death attorney at the Law Office of John J. Leppler help. We will give your matter the kind of personal attention you won’t find at the huge law firms, and we offer 24/7 accessibility, no-obligation consultations, no fees charged unless you win, and same-day responses to messages. We will treat you with the utmost respect and sympathy.

Contact Baltimore wrongful death attorney John J. Leppler either by email or by phone at 443-955-1989 to schedule your free consultation.