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Have Questions About Wrongful Death?

Wrongful Death FAQ

  • Simeone & Miller, LLP are Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC Wrongful Death Attorneys, but can I also call them for assistance with cases in other jurisdictions?
    Definitely. Many times, an attorney is needed to determine the proper jurisdiction in which to bring a wrongful death claim. This area of law is known as "choice of law" and can be complicated, particularly in complex cases such as wrongful death. Simeone & Miller, LLP offers free consultations and has an extensive track record of success in wrongful death cases. We are experienced in "choice of law" as well as the many other intricacies involved in pursuing wrongful death cases. Call us immediately and we will provide you and your family with the care, experience and professionalism you need.
  • I believe my loved one died as a result of negligence, what should I do first?

    Contact Simeone & Miller, LLP immediately. You need advice, and you need it now. A wrongful death case constitutes a specific type of legal circumstance and cannot be prejudged by a lay person. This is particularly true when an accident has occurred. Moreover, in many jurisdictions, a wrongful death case must be filed sooner than other cases.

    A common example is if a loved one died as a result of a surgical procedure or other medical issue. It is possible that your attorney may determine that the best course of action is to file suit for medical malpractice rather than wrongful death. However, your attorneys can best make that determination, and we can only do that if you contact us right away.

  • When is it appropriate to file a wrongful death case?
    Wrongful death refers to an incident where another party’s negligence, misconduct, or carelessness resulted in the victim’s death. Intent to kill is not needed to file for wrongful death, but you must demonstrate that the defendant was strictly liable for the victim’s death or acted negligently, which led to the death of the victim. You can also take the decedents’ family and dependents into consideration. If these individuals sustained emotional or financial damages, you may have a case.
  • What is meant by "misconduct?"
    Misconduct refers to the conduct that directly resulted in wrongful death. Misconduct can be an act of momentary negligence or carelessness, or it could be an intentional or reckless act. It can be the act of a single person or of a corporation, or of an employee or representative of a government institution. The law provides for the compensation of the survivors when a wrongful death occurs, just as it provides for compensation of victim(s) who may have been injured by similar misconduct.
  • Who is allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
    Generally, next of kin, a spouse, beneficiaries, and in some cases, parents and grandparents can file a wrongful death suit, depending on the state's individual statutes.
  • How are damages determined in wrongful death cases?
    This will depend on the nature of the relationship and what kinds of compensation the state allows individually. Most surviving spouses receive compensation for loss of companionship and support, while most surviving children receive compensation for loss of guidance.
  • How do I determine the wrongful death laws in my state?

    State wrongful death statues are written separately for each state, but they tend to fall in line with the same general guidelines. For the most pat, wrongful death claims contain four key elements:

    • the defendant caused the death in part or in entirety
    • negligence or liability on the part of the defendant can be shown to cause the death
    • the deceased is survived by dependents, a spouse, children, or beneficiaries
    • the death has caused financial damages

    Clearly, wrongful death circumstances are complicated issues and you will need help establishing and organizing the facts to present to a judge and jury. Simeone & Miller, LLP can explain the laws applicable to your state and help you navigate the maze of complexities.

  • What losses are covered by law?

    In general, losses suffered by the decedent's spouse, children, or next of kin, include:

    • loss of financial support
    • loss of service
    • loss of gifts or other valuable gratuities
    • loss of parental training and guidance
    • loss of society and companionship

    Statute typically governs the allocation of damages between heirs of the decedent, and these statutes are subject to oversight from the court. To determine how damages will be dispersed, the court will adhere to “intestate succession” laws. Every case is different, but the court usually has the authority to give damages to family members who normally would not receive the money.

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