Wrongful Death Lawyer Baltimore
Can a Domestic Partner File a Wrongful Death Claim?
When a person’s death is caused by the negligence of another party, a wrongful death case may arise. Accidents ranging from car accidents and slip and fall accidents to medical malpractice and product liability may result in a wrongful death. These types of cases can be complex because the decedent is unable to advocate for themselves. Instead, a third party, typically a family member of the decedent, will be required to bring the case and navigate the legal process.
Who Can File a Claim?
In most states, immediate family members of the decedent may bring a wrongful death claim. This includes spouses, parents, children, siblings, or next of kin. Even if unmarried, a domestic partner is also able to bring a claim. In addition, unrelated individuals who were financially dependent on the decedent are typically able to bring a claim. Many families choose to hire a wrongful death lawyer in Baltimore to file a lawsuit on their behalf.
Wrongful Death Settlements and Domestic Partners
If the decedent had a will, the estate and the survivors named in the claim will likely be able to file a claim for a settlement. The settlement, however, will usually be disbursed to survivors as if there was no will in place. What each survivor will receive depends on Baltimore laws and the status of each member of the estate. For most states, funds are disbursed to spouses or domestic partners as follows:
1. If the decedent has no surviving parents or children, the entire settlement is awarded to the spouse or domestic partner.
2. If the decedent has no children, but at least one living parent, three-quarters of the settlement will be awarded to the spouse or domestic partner.
3. If the decedent shared children with a spouse or partner, two-thirds of the settlement is awarded to the partner.
4. If a spouse or domestic partner is not the biological parent of the decedent’s children, half of the settlement will be awarded to the partner.
What Damages Can Be Recovered?
Economic damages that may be recovered in a Baltimore wrongful death claim include medical bills, funeral and burial costs, and loss of wages and benefits. In most cases, a wrongful death lawyer may also recover damages for loss of services, financial support, and prospective inheritance.
Survivors may also be able to recover non-economic damages in a wrongful death case. This money may compensate for things such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.
Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer
In most states you only have two years from the time of the decedent’s death to file a wrongful death claim. Once the statute of limitations is up, you are no longer able to bring forth action. Time is of the essence if your family is considering hiring a Baltimore wrongful death lawyer.
Grieving the death of loved one can make dealing with these legal issues unbearable. For this reason, it may be helpful to hire a wrongful death lawyer Baltimore families trust to ensure that a claim is made in time. For more information about filing a wrongful death claim, contact Greenberg Law Offices today.