Maryland Survival Actions

A wrongful death action allows for the surviving family members to sue for the death of a family member.  A survival action, on the other hand, is a claim brought by the decedent’s estates to recover any damages that the decedent could have recovered had he/she not died as a result of the incident.

Impact on Someone’s Estate

If a person is killed in an accident and did not leave behind a will, then his or her surviving family members would likely initiate a probate action in the decedent’s county of residence. They would then follow the court’s instructions regarding who would qualify as a personal representative and the legal requirements for handling the estate.

Process of Maryland Survival Actions

A survival action is typically a companion claim to a wrongful death claim. The two claims are separate and distinct based upon the decedent and who is bringing each claim, and they often each require separate proof. However, the two claims are initiated by the same acts of negligence, they are typically brought at the same time in the same lawsuit and they are negotiated or litigated at the same time.

Damages Involved

In survival actions, damages might include compensation for conscious pain and suffering as well as the economic expenses incurred by the decedent, such as medical bills and funeral costs.

Evidence Used in Survival Action Cases

Typically, medical records and bills are gathered to help calculate damages in a survival action along with the cost of a funeral and/or burial service. There can be other damages in a survival action, but the collection of that evidence is really dependent upon the facts and circumstances of each case.

Role of a Maryland Wrongful Death Lawyer

A Maryland wrongful death attorney attorney can help in the difficult circumstances of a wrongful death or survival action case because the family members will have a knowledgeable person to rely upon to investigate the claim and advise them on what compensation is available to them. It is imperative for family members to seek out a trusted wrongful death attorney in Maryland to assist them because it is a very emotional time and there is a lot going on.

Initiating Survival Action in Maryland

Survival actions are typically brought in tandem with wrongful death claims. The claims are initiated at the same time, and the process is much like the process in any other claim in that the investigation should be complete before any contact is made with either the alleged at-fault party or any insurance representatives.

At that point, pre-litigation negotiations might occur or the case might proceed directly to litigation, depending on the individual facts and circumstances. Litigation typically involves the initiation of a lawsuit in the county where the accident occurred or where the decedent resided. Once a MD wrongful death lawyer initiates litigation, the case will be put on a scheduling order and will proceed to conclusion based upon the dates included in that scheduling order.

Establishing Liability

Establishing liability can be tricky in survival actions as well as wrongful death claims because the primary point of contact is now deceased. Therefore, it is important for the attorney to properly investigate and nail down the facts and circumstances of the loss, which should be sufficient to establish liability should the case proceed to litigation.

Liability is established through the presentation of evidence to the court in front of either a judge or a jury. The evidence can take the form of witness testimony, prior statements by the parties, demonstrative evidence such as photographs and medical records and/or any other admissible evidence collected during the investigation.

After liability is established, the concentration of a case then turns to damages. The evaluation of damages of these cases can be just as tricky or complicated as establishing liability.