Wrongful Death Attorney
No amount of money can ever compensate you for the loss of a loved one. A wrongful death claim is a legal means to seek justice for your loved one, as well as compensation for your family’s future. If you have lost someone you love through the negligence of another, contact Malloy Law Offices, LLC at (888) 291-6445 to speak to our wrongful death lawyers today. You may be entitled to file a claim for damages.
Why Choose Malloy Law Offices, LLC?
- At Malloy Law Offices, LLC, our practice is focused exclusively on personal injury matters. Our lawyers have more than 15 years of experience and know how to handle wrongful death claims.
- Our personal injury lawyers know what it takes to win maximum compensation for our clients. We have a successful history of recovering significant settlements and verdicts.
- We value relationships, forge close partnerships with our clients, and ensure that their rights are protected. You can depend on us to answer all your questions and keep you informed of the progress in your case.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a legal term denoting a civil action in which surviving family members seek damages against a party for causing the death of a loved one. For a claim to exist, the deceased person must have had a personal injury claim against the responsible party had he or she lived. Claims can arise in a variety of situations, for example:
- Motor vehicle accident fatalities involving negligence: If a drunk, distracted, or otherwise negligent driver causes an accident that results in the death of a person, that driver may be liable for wrongful death.
- Death of a patient resulting from medical malpractice: If a doctor failed to diagnose a life-threatening condition or was negligent or careless in treatment, a claim may be brought against the doctor.
- Victim intentionally killed: A person who intentionally kills another may be tried for murder or a similar crime in criminal court. As an entirely separate action, surviving family members of the victim may bring a civil action for wrongful death against the perpetrator.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
A wrongful death claim can arise from an incident in which the negligence or wrongdoing of a person or entity caused the death of a person. Common causes of wrongful death include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Aviation accidents
- Construction accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Dangerous and defective products
- Slip and fall accidents
What Must You Prove In a Claim?
To hold the responsible party liable in a wrongful death claim, you must meet the same burden of proof that the deceased would have been required to meet in a personal injury claim, had the deceased lived. If the claim is based on negligence, you must show that:
- The defendant (responsible party) owed the deceased victim a duty of care;
- The defendant breached that duty of care;
- That breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of the death of the victim; and
- The victim’s death caused damages.
Why You Need an Attorney
Having a loved one die suddenly, whether it is from an accident at work, on the road in a motor vehicle collision, or from negligence in a hospital or nursing home, is absolutely devastating. Now, your life is in upheaval – this is impacting your finances, your emotions, your family, and even potentially your career. At this point, you may be wondering who you can turn to for justice. A skilled wrongful death lawyer will be able to fight on your behalf, as well as your loved ones, to ensure your family gets the justice your loved one deserves. In addition, they will provide a high level of compassion and sensitivity to the case as they work to obtain accountability for the actions of those who caused harm to your family member.
Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim is intended to provide compensation to the family of the deceased. This compensation can not only cover the financial burden the family now has to bear, but also provide a recovery of sorts for the now-lost income, as well as any pain and suffering the deceased may have endured. Wrongful death claims can be filed in two ways. The first way is a survival action, and the second is a wrongful death action.
Survival Action: The survival action is brought by the surviving members of the deceased individual’s family on behalf of the estate. This will cover the areas mentioned above: the funeral expenses incurred by the death of the family member, and pain and suffering that surrounds their death. Medical expenses are also covered under the survival action.
Wrongful Death Action: The action is filed by the direct family members of the deceased, including spouses, children, and parents. This is intended to cover areas such as loss of income and loss of consortium, or loss of companionship, and loss of support.
Who Can File?
Knowing who can file a claim can be confusing. Just like there are two ways to file a wrongful death claim, there are two categories someone can file under for their claim. The first is as a primary beneficiary. A primary beneficiary is someone who is a spouse, child, or parent of the deceased. The second is as a secondary beneficiary, which is the sibling, cousin, niece or nephew, or another relative.
- Primary Beneficiary: The primary beneficiary, as mentioned previously, is the parent, spouse, or child of the deceased. They will be seeking compensation directly for themselves for loss of consortium, loss of support, and loss of income due to the wrongful death of their loved one.
- Secondary Beneficiary: The secondary beneficiaries are the siblings or other relatives of the deceased individual. They will be seeking to file a survival action to recover damages for the estate.
When there is a situation where there is either no primary beneficiary or no primary beneficiary willing to come forward, then a secondary beneficiary may file both a wrongful death and a survival action on behalf of both the primary and secondary beneficiaries. A primary beneficiary may also file a survival action in a wrongful death case.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
Some of the damages a person can expect to file a wrongful death or survival claim for are the following:
- Survival Claim: Funeral expenses, medical bills, and anything else relating to the estate itself, including pain and suffering of the deceased in connection to their death.
- Wrongful Death Claim: Loss of consortium and loss of income, and anything else directly relating to what the immediate family has now lost because of their family member’s death.
An experienced wrongful death attorney will assist anyone in determining which claim to file, how to file, and what to expect throughout the process.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims
There is a statute of limitations for Maryland and Washington D.C. wrongful death claims. All claims must be filed within three years of the family member’s death, whether by a primary or secondary beneficiary. Virginia’s statute of limitations is two years. A highly skilled lawyer can help expedite the process, particularly when everything is still new. It can be difficult for family members to know where to turn or how to proceed.
Contact Malloy Law, LLC
The death of a loved one is an incredibly difficult time. When it is a wrongful death, it is even more difficult. Contact Malloy Law Offices, LLC today at (888) 291-6445 for a free consultation with a highly skilled attorney. They will go over the facts of the case and fight tirelessly for the justice you and your loved one deserve.