Our wrongful death lawyer Frederick, MD residents, call upon for support has witnessed the grief families face after the loss of a loved one due to another’s negligent actions. Such a loss will impact a family forever, as a gaping hole is left in their wake. Sometimes, these tragedies can be wholly unexpected, and when they occur at the hands of someone who did not uphold their duty of care, a more profound impact can result. Families with loved ones may consider taking a wrongful death action to hold those responsible accountable for their behavior. When considering taking legal action, the assistance of professionals from Peeples Law Group will be necessary. We can assist with making sure the appropriate steps are taken in achieving the best possible outcome for your situation.
Do Not Wait to Hire Help
The loss of a loved one can send those left to pick the pieces into a complete whirlwind. The thought of pursuing a wrongful death case can be overwhelming, and knowing where to start can be entirely unclear. It will be helpful if you reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible. They will be able to step in and guide you throughout the process. Our team will evaluate the specifics of what has happened and then determine whether legal action is necessary. Know that to pursue the case, you must be eligible to do so. Typically, only one claim can be filed, often done by the executor appointed to oversee the estate. The process can vary depending upon the state, which is why reaching out to a lawyer will be critical.
Taking the Proper Path: Settlement or Lawsuit?
One particular benefit to working with our Frederick, Maryland wrongful death lawyer is having a professional who can help you determine the most appropriate course of action. Typically, there are two paths you can take, a settlement with the insurance company or a lawsuit. There are both advantages and benefits to each. For example, pursuing a settlement may resolve faster and provide a higher likelihood that you won’t walk away empty-handed. A lawsuit might take longer but has the ability to yield much higher compensation. However, this process can be risky, and an unfavorable outcome could result in the family walking away empty-handed. Typically, a lawyer will recommend pursuing the insurance claims process before filing a lawsuit. Despite this, know that in some cases, depending upon the case, your lawyer may feel as though your case is strong enough and egregious enough to file a lawsuit from the very start.
Gathering Evidence is One of the Most Critical Components
Evidence will play a central role in the outcome of the case. Plaintiffs pursuing a settlement carry the burden of proof meaning, they must prove that the defendant was negligent. In partnership with your lawyer, it will be critical to gather as much evidence as possible to ensure a favorable outcome. From the very beginning, it will be crucial to collect the following:
Your attorney may enlist a private investigator’s assistance to gather details but know that any evidence you can provide can be critical for the claim.
What if My Loved One Died Due to Work-Related Circumstances?
When individuals die as a result of work-related circumstances, their surviving loved ones may or may not have legal options available to them outside the scope of the personal injury claims process. For example, most workers who perish due to occupational illness or work-related injury are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits at the time of their death. When workers who are eligible for workers’ comp die due to work-related causes, their surviving beneficiaries are generally eligible to receive significant workers’ compensation death benefits.
The workers’ compensation system isn’t unified in the United States. Instead, every state, district, and territory has its own rules in place concerning eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits and concerning the process for filing claims related to these benefits. As a result, you’ll want to speak with our firm’s Frederick, MD wrongful death lawyer team about whether your loved one was eligible for workers’ compensation benefits at the time of their death and which jurisdiction’s processes will govern your claims process.
Generally speaking, workers are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they have been classified as either a part-time or full-time employee. Similarly, they are generally considered ineligible for these benefits if they work as an independent contractor. Some specialty industries (notably, the railroad and much of the maritime industry) have their own systems of compensation distinct from the general workers’ compensation systems that function in each jurisdiction.
It’s important to understand that work-related causes are defined broadly within this system and that they system is not fault-based. Practically speaking, this means that even if your loved one was at fault for the circumstances surrounding their death and even if they weren’t physically at their place of business when they sustained harm, you may still be eligible to receive death benefits. As a rule of thumb, a worker must “simply” have died as a result of injuries or illness sustained due to work-related activities and they cannot have been intoxicated or impaired on the job, trying to hurt themselves, or at-fault for an altercation in order to be eligible for benefits. If you have questions about your eligibility to receive workers’ compensation death benefits as a result of your loss, know that the experienced Maryland legal team at Peeples Law Group can clarify your situation for you.
What if Those Responsible for My Loved One’s Death Have Been Charged with Criminal Wrongdoing?
If your loved one died due to another’s criminal wrongdoing, it is critically important to understand that the criminal justice system and the civil justice system are distinct in the United States. This means that our firm’s Frederick, MD wrongful death lawyer team can help you to file a civil case against those responsible for your loved one’s death, regardless of whether the criminal justice system has attempted (successfully or unsuccessfully) to hold those responsible accountable via criminal charges. The standard of proof in civil cases is famously lower than it is in criminal cases. As a result, many surviving loved ones have discovered that it can be easier to hold individuals responsible for wrongful death via a personal injury claim than it is for prosecutors to make criminal charges “stick.”
Legal Assistance Is Available
After losing someone, the impact can be intense for family and loved ones. Peeples Law Group knows that the death of your loved one may impact you both emotionally and financially. Our compassionate and supportive team wants to help you take action. Schedule a consultation with our Frederick, MD wrongful death lawyer to get started.