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The Basics of a Wrongful Death Claim

At Wingfield, Ginsburg & Lipp, P.C. we have helped many clients pursue wrongful death lawsuits when a loved one has died because of someone else’s negligence.  With over 40 years of experience our Maryland law firm has answered many questions about wrongful death cases; many people simply want to know the basics of the laws surrounding their case. Which is the subject of today’s blog article.


What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Individuals, companies, and government agencies can be at legal fault when their negligent or intentional actions cause harm to anyone. Wrongful death claims exists when someone dies as a result of those negligent or intentional actions. The incident can be anything from a simple car accident to a complicated medical malpractice case.


Who May Sue for Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death lawsuit may be filed by anyone who was financially dependent on the victim (they are called “real parties of interest”). Some of those people may include:

  • Immediate family members like spouses and children, and parents of unmarried children.
  • Life partners and putative spouses—a person who had good faith belief that he or she was married to the victim.
  • Distant family members and all who suffer financially from the death can bring a wrongful death suit. This includes grandparents, brother, sisters, and others who received financial support or care from the victim.
  • Parents of a decease fetus. Although the law on this case is debated in Maryland and Virginia, some situations allow the parents of a deceased fetus to collect damages from a wrongful death suit.


Who May Be Sued for Wrongful Death?

A number of defendants can be sued for in a wrongful death claim including individuals, companies, and government agencies. For example, if a wrongful death was the result of a car accident due to a faulty road way and a drunk driver, the lawsuit may be brought against:

  • The drunk driver
  • The establishment that sold, served, or gave the alcohol to the impaired driver.
  • The designer or builder of the faulty roadway, or
  • The government agency that failed to provide adequate warnings regarding the road hazard that caused the accident.


Wrongful death lawsuits can be complex and emotionally distressing, so you should have a DC personal injury attorney and wrongful death expert from Wingfield, Ginsburg & Lipp, P.C. on your side. Click here or call us today at (800) 584-4165 to speak with an experienced Maryland, Virginia accident lawyer.

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