Maryland Wrongful Death Claims

Losing a loved one is never an easy experience, but that hardship is rendered even more traumatic when friends or family members pass away because of the negligent actions of another person or entity. Surviving family members are left wondering how such egregious errors were made that could lead to the death of their loved one. In cases where an individual dies unexpectedly due to negligence on the part of another, wrongful death suits are a means for family members to recover damages and hold the responsible parties accountable for their reckless decisions. Maryland wrongful death claims can be complicated, and an experienced wrongful death lawyer can help you through the process of filing a personal injury claim and receiving compensation for your suffering and that of your loved one.

Wrongful Death Definition

Simply put, wrongful death occurs when someone dies because of the negligence or carelessness of another person or entity. In these terrible situations, the surviving family members, which includes, but is not limited to, spouses, parents, and children, may be able to collect monetary damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Wrongful Death Claims in Maryland Some of the more common situations leading to wrongful death include:

  • Vehicular accidents (e.g., motorcycle accidents)
  • Fires
  • Construction accidents
  • Nursing home abuse or neglect
  • Unsafe or defective products
  • Medical malpractice

No amount of money can bring a loved one back, but forcing negligent parties to provide compensation through a wrongful death suit is typically the only way of motivating those parties to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

Who May File a Wrongful Death Suit

Section 3-904 of the Maryland Code regulates wrongful death claims and dictates specifically who is able to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of the victim (this person is referred to as the “beneficiary”). In order to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Maryland, beneficiaries must fall into one of the following three categories in terms of their relationship to the deceased:

  • Child
  • Spouse
  • Parent

Secondary beneficiaries may sometimes be awarded damages, for example individuals who were related to and financially dependent on the deceased, but only under specific circumstances.

Economic & Non-Economic Damages

The potential future earnings of the deceased that will not be realized due to their passing would be considered economic damages according to Maryland law.One aspect of wrongful death suits that is unique to the state is that there is no cap or limit on how much a beneficiary can be awarded for these types of damages. The amount awarded will be determined by the judge or jury.

However, according to the laws of the state of Maryland, there is a cap on non-economic damages, meaning compensation awarded for more loosely defined damages such as loss of companionship and love, emotional turmoil, and etc.

Both economic and non-economic damages can and often are awarded in Maryland wrongful death claims, but it is important that beneficiaries know the difference between the two kinds before they file and also the specifics of the compensation that might be awarded for both.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

As is true of every state in the nation, there are specific laws governing the filing of wrongful death claims in Maryland. For people who are inexperienced with the legal field and this particular type of claim, it is beneficial to seek assistance for a wrongful death attorney who can help plaintiffs explore their options for recovering damages and help them through the process of filing a suit. Pursuing a wrongful death claim in order to hold the negligent party or parties responsible for the egregious loss of life will require sifting through complex details such as medical procedures, building codes, and an organization’s records. Due to the complex nature of wrongful death claims and the various types of compensation that may be awarded, it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can give you the best chance for a positive outcome in your case.

Nothing can truly make up for the loss of a loved one, and no monetary reward can ever heal the pain and suffering endured by survivors when a family member passes because of mistakes made by other people or entities. The death of a child, parent, or partner is a devastating blow, especially when a loved one’s death comes from negligence or careless at the hands of another person, a medical professional, or a seemingly faceless institution or business. However, there are resources at our disposal to attempt to seek compensation for our loss, as well as to hold the negligent parties responsible for their behavior and to prevent them from repeating that same behavior.

The experienced personal injury attorneys at our firm are sympathetic to the plight of those who have lost a loved one and can help them to pursue legal recourse against the individuals who are responsible. Contact our law office today to schedule a no-cost consultation with a qualified lawyer who can help you explore your options for compensation.