Typically victims don’t understand the process and what goes into a wrongful death case. One of the things to consider is contributory negligence, especially in the state of Maryland where contributory negligence bars recovery. That’s one issue. Another issue is dealing with the insurance companies and the multi-layer defenses that insurance companies put out in these cases. You will rarely find insurance companies just offering money or policy limits upon a wrongful death.
A lot of times they will wait and force people to hire an attorney and file suit. Phillips, Worthington and Allen have had several cases where that has happened. Sometimes people on their own don’t even get a call from the insurance company who is responsible. Essentially once suit is filed then they come out of the woodwork and then there are settlement offers or some type of dialogue with them.
What is Contributory Negligence In A Wrongful Death Suit?
There are a few states that still have the old contributory negligence laws in effect. Maryland is one of those states. The difference is that a jury determines fault. In Maryland a jury can determine that a person who passed away was 1% at fault themselves for the accident. Then the court can say that the person gets no recovery whatsoever.
As compared to comparative negligence states where if somebody who is killed as a result of an injury and a wrongful death contributes to it in some way, a jury would essentially apportion damages by a percentage as to what percentage is this person at fault for their own injuries.
How Quickly Should Someone Contact An Attorney For A Wrongful Death Case?
The sooner you contact an attorney regarding a wrongful death case, the better. Any time somebody passes away from a wrongful death incident, there is evidence. Over time this evidence tends to get misplaced, lost, or destroyed. There are things that can be investigated at the accident scene to see what actually happened such as getting pictures, talking to witnesses, and do what’s needed to establish the liability. The first thing in any case is you have to establish liability. It’s harder to establish liability if you can’t see a very fresh accident scene, and if you can’t document everything there it’s going to help increase somebody’s chances of success later on in the future.
What Sets Your Firm Apart In Dealing With Wrongful Death Cases?
Any time that someone passes away whether you’re dealing with a wrongful death case, a will, or property, you find that people are very distraught. Often times they have a lot of emotions and a lot of problems other than just dealing with the attorneys. Phillips, Worthington and Allen have been doing this for over 20 years. We can talk to people and console them, at the same time getting the information that they need, is what sets us apart.
These cases are very sensitive. You are trying to determine a figure as to what a person is worth. It’s very difficult because nobody is worth a simple number figure. The number figure is just what courts, attorneys and insurance companies come up with to try to compensate family for a great, great loss. There is no compensation that brings a person back. However, it is the job of an attorney to do all he can do is try to make things better by getting the family the largest amount of money possible so they can move on with their lives without the support of their lost loved one.
For more information on Misconceptions About Wrongful Death, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (301) 892-6007 today.