You need a firm with the skill to aggressively pursue your claim. We are prepared to fight for your rights, even if it takes us up against the police or other authorities and institutions. We have done it successfully in the past, and we’re ready to do it for you.

Filing a Claim for Death Caused by Negligence

Wrongful death refers to an incident where someone else’s negligence, misconduct, or carelessness caused your loved one’s death. You do not have to prove intent to kill, but you must demonstrate that the defendant was strictly liable for your loved one’s death, or that their negligence played a significant role. You can also take your family’s losses into consideration. If you have sustained emotional or financial damages, you may have a case.

While wrongful death statutes are written separately for each state, they tend to fall in line with the same general guidelines. For the most part, any wrongful death claim must contain four key elements:

  • The defendant’s actions caused the victim’s death, either 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 to survivors or beneficiaries

The circumstances surrounding a wrongful death case can be complicated. You will need help establishing and organizing the facts to present in court. Simeone & Miller can explain applicable state laws and help you navigate the maze of complexities.

How is “Misconduct” Defined by Law?

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 person, corporation, 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 have been injured by similar misconduct.

Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

State law will govern the allocation of damages between survivors, 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.

Damages in a wrongful death case may include:

  • Reasonable funeral and burial costs
  • Future lost wages of the victim
  • Loss of society and companionship
  • Loss of parental training and guidance
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages for the recklessness of the defendant

Although monetary compensation cannot make up for the emotional loss, it can help eliminate the financial burdens and anxieties you’re dealing with. However, a wrongful death lawsuit cannot be filed by just anyone. In order to file a legitimate wrongful death lawsuit, you need to qualify as the personal representative of the deceased’s estate.

Our Recent Victories in Wrongful Death Cases

$935,000.00 settlement: two women were killed in an apartment fire
$750,000.00 settlement: woman suffered fatal injuries due to medical malpractice
$750,000.00 settlement: man was killed in an auto accident with an 18-wheeler
$550,000.00 settlement: man died from an infection that doctors did not treat
$450,000.00 settlement: woman was killed after colliding with a truck

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Washington, D.C.?

Unlike a criminal case, which is brought by the government, in Washington, D.C., wrongful death lawsuits are brought by the personal representative of the estate of the deceased. Pursuant to Section 20-303, a surviving spouse or domestic partner, or children of an intestate decedent may be appointed as a personal representative.

In the absence of these potential beneficiaries, it is possible for extended relatives to file a wrongful death lawsuit. No matter who is filing the lawsuit, the personal representative generally has two years from the date of the victim’s death to file. There are, however, exceptions to this rule that can shorten or lengthen this time period.

The following individuals may be entitled to damages:

  • The spouse of the deceased
  • The deceased person’s children
  • Parents of the deceased
  • Grandparents of the deceased
  • Other beneficiaries of the deceased

In most cases, the closest familial relations receive damages obtained through a wrongful death action. Generally, damages are awarded to close family members who relied on the deceased person for financial support.

Determining the Proper Jurisdiction for Your Case

Many times, a wrongful death lawyer 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 involving wrongful death. The legal team at Simeone & Miller, LLP is experienced in “choice of law” matters, as well as the many other intricacies involved in pursuing a wrongful death case in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, D.C..

Call Simeone & Miller, LLP for a Free Consultation

Whatever type of accident was involved in your loved one’s death, you can trust that our firm has the experience to help. Contact a D.C. wrongful death lawyer in a free consultation for the advice you need. Our firm has been recommended by more than 1,000 clients, so you can trust that your family’s case will be in good hands.

Simeone & Miller, LLP, based in Washington, D.C., provides personal injury and medical malpractice legal services across Maryland and Virginia. In Maryland, our services extend to Baltimore City, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, and Frederick. In Virginia, we serve clients in Arlington County, Alexandria, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park.