Written by attorney George Randolph Rice Jr

What are Wrongful Death and Survival Actions in Maryland?

What are Wrongful Death and Survival Actions in Maryland?

When a loved one has been killed in an auto accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, through medical malpractice or by the negligence of another person or company in Maryland, there are two legal options for the personal representative of the victim’s estate and the family of the victim. Those two options in Maryland are a survival action and a wrongful death action.

A survival action in Maryland is a claim or lawsuit brought by the personal representative of the deceased (victim). A personal representative is an individual that is appointed by the Court to administer the estate of the deceased. The personal representative stands in the shoes of the deceased and files any claims or lawsuits on their behalf. The personal representative will seek recovery for injuries suffered by the victim, which allows for compensation to the victim’s estate for the pain and suffering, damages, and actual expenses incurred by the victim that were suffered up to the moment of death.

A wrongful death action is brought by the relatives of the victim and seeks compensation from the negligent party for the accidental death of the victim.

The survival and wrongful death actions are most typically filed in cases of auto accidents, truck accident, motorcycle accident, medical malpractice cases and any other death caused by the negligence of another person or company.

Damages in a survival action are measured by the actual harm to the victim of the accident. The ability to file the action is granted to the personal representative and allows that individual to recover damages that the victim could have recovered if he or she had survived the accident. Damages are limited to an award of funeral expenses and pecuniary and non-economic losses sustained between the time of injury and death. Under Maryland Statute, if the death is instantaneous, there can only be a claim for medical bills and funeral expenses (funeral expenses are limited to $10,000.00 by Maryland law). The damages awarded in a survival action go to the personal representative and become assets of the estate of the deceased.

Damages in a wrongful death action are sought not by the decedent but by those that have suffered because of the death of the victim. These individuals are called beneficiaries and can be a husband, wife, parent, child, or anyone related by blood or marriage to the beneficiary.

If you have lost a loved one through the negligence of another, contact my office at (410) 288-2900 or [email protected] to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help. Survival and wrongful death actions are complicated legal procedures and require the knowledge of an experienced Maryland attorney. Potential claimants should seek the advice of a trusted survival and wrongful death attorney in Maryland.

The contents of the article do not create an attorney-client privilege or relationship and are not intended as legal advice.

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