Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, P.A.

Baltimore Law Blog

When Maryland residents experience the loss of a loved one, it can be painful and traumatic. This may be particularly true when the loss comes unexpectedly, which can lead to a search for answers as to what happened and who may be at fault for the death.

While there are never any satisfactory answers to explain why someone has been taken too soon from their family, the surviving family members may find some relief through a wrongful death action against those responsible for the death. Each state has a statute describing who may bring a wrongful death action, and what must be proven in order to succeed.

For instance, the mother of a woman killed in a fire recently brought a wrongful death action against the owners of the property where an electrical fire took place. The owners rented out the property to the woman, and, according to the lawsuit, they were negligent in failing to warn the woman of conditions they knew or should have known would cause harm. The property owners also did not comply with the city fire code, the lawsuit alleges, as no smoke alarm had apparently been installed in the home.

The lawsuit is fairly typical of an ordinary wrongful death lawsuit, in terms of the elements that must be shown to succeed. Typically, individuals must prove the death of a loved one was caused by someone else's negligence or intent, and the surviving family members suffered monetary injury as a result. There are many different kinds of damages that may be available to surviving family members, depending on the facts and circumstances of the particular case.

Source: News Sentinel, "Wrongful death complaint filed over 2011 fatal fire in Fort Wayne," Ellie Bogue, Dec. 17, 2013

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