Information to Gather for Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit
November 2nd, 2016 by Attorney Roger Weinberg
If a family member has died because of the negligence or intentional act of a Maryland nursing home, assisted living facility, or group home employee, your world has been turned upside down. As much as you may struggle through your loss, you should think about whether filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be the right thing to do for you and your family.
A wrongful death lawsuit can offer compensation to the next of kin due to the death of their loved one. As with any other lawsuit, facts are needed to start an investigation and to substantiate a legal claim. Some of those facts include:
- Information about the deceased family member (full name, nickname, date of birth, Social Security number, address, phone numbers, email address)
- A listing of the deceased’s relatives, indicating spouse, children, parents and their contact information
- The name and location of the facility where the alleged negligence occurred
- The reason why the resident was in the facility
- A medical history of the resident, including medications
- A complete and detailed timeline of events which led up to the person’s death, including complaints made to the facility and the follow-up or lack of follow-up by the facility
- Names of any witnesses to the incidents in question, negligence or injury
- Names of friends or family who witnessed the deceased’s physical condition and state of mind prior to entering the facility, as well as any visitors who may have witnessed a decline in the person’s health
- Names of any facility employees that you know cared for your family member
- Photographs of any wounds, bruising, bleeding or bandages
- Dates, names and locations of any hospitals or other rehabilitation facilities the resident was in before or after the incident
- Names and contact information of any treating physicians
- Copies of any correspondence between your family and the facility, including letters, forms and emails
- Copies of any medical records or correspondence with physicians or hospitals
- Documents that can show financial or economic losses due to the death of your loved one
- An original death certificate
- If an autopsy was performed, a copy of the report or case number
- If the state performed an investigation based on a complaint, a copy of the deficiency report or case number. In Maryland this would be from the Office of Health Care Quality (OHCQ).
- If the police investigated, a copy of their report or a case number
- If 911 was called, information regarding the name of the fire department, EMS or private ambulance which attended to the deceased.
Though you need to grieve, the longer it takes to gather information concerning the death of your loved one the greater the chance witnesses’ memories may fade, records may be lost or destroyed and employees at the facility may leave, making them harder to find. Wrongful death cases can be complex, and the more facts and evidence that can be obtained the better off a plaintiff can be. Another reason not to delay is that there is a statute of limitations, or time limit, for filing a wrongful death claim in Maryland.
A majority of the cases handled by the Law Offices of Roger S. Weinberg, LLC involve the loss of a spouse, parent or child. For compassionate, competent advocacy following the death of your loved one, call 410-825-3161 or use this online contact form to arrange for a free consultation.