Towson Wrongful Death Lawyer

When someone dies because of another person’s negligence, the cause of civil action the accident victim could have had against that negligent person “survives” their death. In practice, this means that surviving family members of a fatal accident victim may have the right to take legal action in their loved one’s name against the person or entity responsible for causing their death.

Pursuing this kind of claim while grieving for a family member can be challenging in both procedural and emotional ways, all of which can make the assistance of a compassionate personal injury attorney especially crucial. With a dedicated Towson wrongful death lawyer by your side, you could enforce your right to recovery and protect your family’s best interests while also giving yourself the time and space you need to process this immense tragedy.

How Wrongful Death Litigation Differs from Criminal Prosecution

While wrongful death claims can move forward before, after, or even during related criminal cases for manslaughter or murder, the two cases exist as completely separate proceedings, and the outcome of one case generally does not affect the outcome of the other. In fact, it is possible to hold someone civilly liable for wrongful death even if they are not convicted of any crime related to their actions, since—like other types of personal injury claims—the wrongful death standard of proof is “based on a preponderance of evidence” and not “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Additionally, criminal prosecution does not allow the court overseeing the case to impose financial penalties against a convicted defendant that must be paid to the family of the person who lost their life because of their actions, while compelling this kind of compensation is the central purpose of civil litigation. A Towson wrongful death attorney could explain these concepts in more detail and offer further guidance about how a particular claim might progress.

Special Rules for Wrongful Death Claims

According to Maryland Code, Courts & Judicial Proceedings §3-904, only a deceased person’s surviving spouse, children, and/or parents are allowed to pursue a wrongful death claim under most circumstances. If none of these people are available to file suit, any other relative of the decedent by blood or marriage may proceed with a claim, as may anyone who was substantially dependent on the decedent for financial support.

Recoverable damages in a wrongful death claim are meant to account for the losses surviving family members will experience as a consequence of their loved one’s death, and may include:

  • Loss of future financial support from the decedent
  • Lost marital, filial, and/or parental care
  • Lost companionship and comfort
  • Lost advice, guidance, and attention
  • Emotional pain and suffering

Importantly, though, state law sets caps on recovery for non-economic damages that vary from year to year and based on the number of beneficiaries, as a wrongful death lawyer in Towson could explain in more detail.

A Towson Wrongful Death Attorney Could Help

Deciding what recovery option to pursue—or even whether to pursue legal action at all—after a family member’s accidental death can be an understandably complicated and exhausting process. Fortunately, help is available from knowledgeable legal professionals who know how difficult these claims can be and could offer custom-tailored guidance through whatever path best serves your family’s needs.

A Towson wrongful death lawyer could review your potential claim in a confidential setting during a private consultation. Schedule yours by calling today.