Remedies For Survivors After A Fatal Car Accident In Maryland
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the US, and statistics reveal how the risks affect Maryland motorists. According to five-year averages reported by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MD DOT), 530 people are killed in the 492 fatal crashes that happen every year in the state. If someone close to you died in a tragic collision, you will certainly be grieving and emotionally distraught about the personal loss. However, without the deceased individual’s contributions and support, you may soon start to feel other implications from the void left behind.
Fortunately, Maryland auto crash laws provide you with legal remedies when a loved one dies because of a negligent driver. It is possible to recover compensation for your losses through a wrongful death case, though there are multiple requirements you must meet. The process can be complicated, so rely on an Owings Mills fatal car accident attorney for help with challenges. An overview of wrongful death claims after a traffic collision is also useful.
Proving a Wrongful Death Case: Deadly auto crash claims are like other car accidents in the sense that you must prove the essential elements of negligence. You need evidence showing that the at-fault motorist failed to exercise reasonable care while driving and that this was the direct cause of the accident. Examples are speeding, running red lights, drunk driving, and failure to yield.
The difference with fatal traffic collisions is that there is another element you need to prove: You also need to show that you have standing to pursue a wrongful death claim. By statute, the following individuals are authorized to file a lawsuit:
A surviving spouse;
Any relative who was dependent upon the deceased person, but only if none of the above exists.
If you have proof of negligence by the at-fault driver and are a person with standing, you may recover compensation for funeral costs, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Wrongful Death Legal Steps: In addition to knowing the basics of what you have to prove, some information on how the process works is useful. Maryland requires all motorists to carry auto insurance, which covers the losses of victims when a policyholder causes a crash. Therefore, this is where you start with a wrongful death case. You file a claim with an at-fault driver’s insurer, and many suits settle at this stage.
Wrongful death cases involve more extensive losses than injury-causing accidents, so insurance companies may refuse to pay fair compensation. The next step in the legal process is suing in court and going through litigation.
Discuss Your Options with a Maryland Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
It is helpful to know the basics about wrongful death cases, but you can see that the legal process can be complex. Instead of putting your rights at risk, count on Furman | Honick Law to assist with filing a claim, settlement discussions, and litigation. For more information, please call 410-844-6000 or go online to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Owings Mills or Baltimore.