Survival vs. Wrongful Death Actions in Maryland

Following an accident where a preventable death of a loved one has taken place, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure what to do next while processing your grief. Depending on the circumstances of how the death took place, however, you or the loved ones of the deceased may want to consider filing a lawsuit on their behalf to recover compensation. Usually, potential plaintiffs file either a wrongful death or a survival action claim, but it can be confusing to figure out what the distinctions between the two are at first. Knowing the difference is an important step to getting started with your lawsuit.

According to a recent local news report, a woman died following a major crash. Local authorities were pursuing the driver of the vehicle in an active police chase at the time of the crash. The chase began as a routine traffic stop, but when the driver pulled into a nearby parking lot, presumably to stop for the officers who had pulled him over, he instead sped away. Authorities pursued the driver but lost sight of the vehicle after it swerved in front of another vehicle near a curve in the road. As police continued down the road, there was debris on the road and authorities realized that the vehicle they were pursuing had crashed.

The driver fled from the car following the accident, and his passenger was located on the ground near the car with life-threatening injuries. First responders attempted to treat the passenger on the scene, but she was pronounced dead. Several officers subsequently began to conduct a search for the driver with the use of K-9s and a helicopter. Officers later located the driver in a nearby neighborhood, where he was taken into custody. Investigators believe that narcotics may have been a contributing factor in the crash and are working to identify witnesses. Local police had their dashboard camera and microphone activated during the accident, and as the footage is released, the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash continues.

In Maryland, you may have grounds to bring a wrongful death or survival action lawsuit if the individual died because of another person’s negligence or recklessness. If the death was preventable had the at-fault party’s actions not taken place, you should consider bringing a claim on behalf of the deceased individual.

Usually, there are two types of claims that take place following an accident involving a preventable death: wrongful death claims and survival actions. The distinction between the two claims is who is bringing the case, and the damages or compensation sought.

Wrongful death claims are usually filed by relatives of the decedent, including, but not limited to spouses, parents, or children. These parties are usually seeking compensation for harm inflicted upon them as a result of their loved one’s death.

Survival actions, on the other hand, are brought by the deceased’s estate. The executor of the estate usually stands in as the decedent’s personal representative and seeks compensation for harm caused to the deceased leading up to their death.

Do You Need a Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you or someone you know was recently injured or killed in a Maryland car accident, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today. Our attorneys have years of experience representing injured clients and will work to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation today, contact us at 800-654-1949.

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