How Do Damages Work for Fatal Car Accidents in Maryland?
Car accidents cause hundreds of thousands of injuries to victims every year and, unfortunately, many crashes are deadly. The Maryland Department of Transportation (MD DOT) reports that there is an average of 492 fatal traffic crashes every year, out of a total of 115,555 collisions. These car accidents cause 530 fatalities, so some of the incidents are so severe that they kill multiple occupants in the vehicle. For surviving family members, it is difficult to pick up the pieces while they are grieving.
In Maryland, there are remedies for survivors when a loved one is killed in a car accident. The laws provide options through a wrongful death case, so you may qualify to recover compensation if you were affected. Damages work slightly differently compared to other personal injury cases, and an Owings Mills fatal car accident lawyer can explain the details. You can also read on for some information about compensation after a deadly auto crash.
Overview of Wrongful Death Cases: Because they are a type of personal injury claim, you will need to prove certain facts for a wrongful death case. Most fatal car accidents occur because of negligence, which is a theory of liability in the practice of law. You need evidence showing:
- The at-fault motorist had a duty to drive safely.
- That driver breached this duty of care through speeding, drunk driving, failure to yield, or other carelessness.
- The breach of duty was the direct cause of the fatal car accident.
- As a surviving loved one, you suffered losses because of the death of your loved one.
In addition to proving these essential elements for wrongful death, there is another requirement. You must have “standing” to sue, which means you have authority under the law to file a lawsuit. Not all survivors have standing, but you do qualify if you are the surviving spouse, adult child, or parent of the deceased. You may also be eligible to file for wrongful death if you are a surviving relative, by blood or marriage, who was dependent upon the decedent for support.
Damages for Fatal Car Accidents: In a wrongful death case, the survivors are considered victims even though it was their loved one who was killed. The focus is on how the individual’s death affects you financially and in terms of quality of life. You may be eligible to recover:
- The costs of medical treatment before the deceased died;
- Funeral expenses and burial costs;
- Lost income the decedent would have contributed to the family;
- Losses related to guidance, support, education, love, and consortium.
Our Maryland Fatal Car Accident Attorneys are Ready to Help
If someone close to you was killed in an auto accident, it is important to take legal action to protect your rights. Furman | Honick Law will pursue a wrongful death case to ensure you receive fair compensation for the losses you sustain. Please contact us at 410-844-6000 or visit our website to set up a no-cost case review at our offices in Owings Mills or Baltimore, MD.