We’ve all experienced it. Driving along a two-lane highway, taking a vacation up the coast, or just riding to work on a normal day — odds are you have driven past the scene of a fatal car accident whether you were aware of it or not. No matter where you live — Baltimore, Annapolis, D.C. or anywhere in and around Maryland — automobile and truck wrecks are a sad fact of life. As Maryland personal injury and auto accident lawyers, our firm knows how quickly a routine car ride can turn into a fight for life.
Tragically, many passenger car, pickup truck and SUV collisions result in death to one or more occupants. Depending on the speed, road conditions or other vehicles involved, a traffic accident can either be a fender-bender or a life-ending event. In cases where another party is at fault, there is also a chance that a wrongful death suit could be pursued.
When an individual dies because of another person’s negligent or wrongful behavior, it can often be appropriate to file a wrongful death claim against that party. Claims of this type allow the victim’s family to receive compensation for the loss of their loved one. The loss mentioned here refers not only to the victim, but also to the loss of the comfort, love, companionship, and financial support that individual would have given to surviving family members if the tragic event had not occurred.
It is important to remember that the death of a loved one does not take away the family’s rights to be compensated for their loss. Nor does it preclude recovery for the suffering and pain of the person who has died because of the wrongful or negligent act.
The following is a list of persons who have the right to file a wrongful death claim in the event of a death from a traffic accident, whether an occupant of a vehicle, a pedestrian or bystander:
— Parents of a child who has died
— A wife or husband who has lost a spouse
— A child or children who have lost a parent
In a wrongful death claim, damages can include financial support from future earnings and benefits that would have been received if the deceased loved one were still alive, funeral and burial expenses, and any medical expenses.