Anne Arundel County Wrongful Death Attorneys

When someone you care about has passed away, the last thing on your mind will be a lawsuit. However, if a loved one has suffered a wrongful death, you may be entitled to compensation. This compensation can be used to address the financial obligations that often accompany an unexpected death.

A wrongful death action can arise from many different situations. Auto accidents, product defects, and medical malpractice are a few examples of the types of personal injury claims that can result in a wrongful death lawsuit. The counsel of our skilled and experienced attorneys is necessary to determine if a wrongful death action is appropriate for your circumstances.

If you believe that your loved one was negligently killed in Maryland, let the Anne Arundel County wrongful death attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras help you. Call (410) 694-7291 to speak with us today and discuss your options.

Definition of Death Wrongful in Anne Arundel County

A wrongful death action is a claim brought by the relatives of a person who was accidentally killed in some way. Wrongful death is a statutory claim that is governed by Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art. § 3-904. Several elements must be proven for the claim to succeed.

First, and most obvious, the victim must have suffered fatal injuries and died. Second, the death must have been caused by the defendant’s negligence. Third, the victim’s death must have resulted in injury to the family member suing. In this context, injury does not refer to physical injury. The injury referred to includes economic injury like medical bills, and pain and suffering.

Finally, the wrongful death lawsuit must be brought within the statute of limitations, which is a deadline to file the lawsuit by. In Maryland, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is generally three years. There may be some factors specific to your case that affect the statute of limitations, but our Anne Arundel County wrongful death attorneys in can identify any issues and ensure your complaint is filed on time.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Anne Arundel County?

The Maryland wrongful death statute deals with two levels of beneficiaries that can file a complaint. These are commonly called primary and secondary beneficiaries. The key difference is closeness to the deceased.

A primary beneficiary can file a wrongful death suit on behalf of themselves for the damages they have suffered. Only a spouse, child, or parent is classified as a primary beneficiary. A secondary beneficiary can file a suit, but only if a primary beneficiary does not exist. A secondary beneficiary must be related to the victim, either through blood or marriage, and must be “substantially dependent” on the victim. A sibling, niece, nephew, cousin, or other relative who lived with the deceased or was financially dependent on them could be considered a secondary beneficiary. If you have any doubt regarding your status as a beneficiary, our Anne Arundel County wrongful death attorneys can speak with you to determine your standing.

Damages Available in Anne Arundel County Wrongful Death Lawsuits

There are two categories of damages that may be available to you in a wrongful death action: economic and non-economic damages. Both types of damages are based on the harm that the surviving family members face, but they cover different areas of harm.

Economic damages are often straightforward to quantify. They consist of financial damages like medical bills, present and future lost wages, funerary costs, and property damage. Any cost resulting from the death of your loved one can be considered an economic damage, and in Maryland there is no limit to the total economic damages that can be requested or awarded. Since there is a dollar amount associated with these damages, they are more straightforward to prove with bills and financial statements.

Non-economic damages are non-monetary harms caused by the victim’s death. These types of damages include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and mental anguish. Such damages are difficult to quantify and prove; however, our Anne Arundel County wrongful death attorneys can help figure out the amount of compensation you deserve…

Caps on Non-Economic Damages in Anne Arundel County Wrongful Death Lawsuits

A key difference between economic and non-economic damages is the cap that applies to non-economic damages. When the accident occurred, , the number of beneficiaries, and whether the cause of death was medical malpractice all influence the total amount of non-economic damages available to you in your wrongful death claim.

When determining the cap on non-economic damages, the date that the cause of action arises is the first factor. Usually, the cause of action arises when the death occurs or when the actions leading to the death occurs. Maryland has set different damage maximums for each calendar year, so a cause of action arising in 2021 would have a different damage cap than a cause of action arising in 2023.

The number of beneficiaries also affects the cap for non-economic damages. If there are two or more beneficiaries to a wrongful death claim, a higher cap will apply than for a single beneficiary. This is because multiple beneficiaries will have to share the damages. There is also a joint cap for wrongful death and survival actions, which are frequently filed together for a single accident.

Finally, if a wrongful death is cause by medical malpractice, there is an entirely different set of damage caps that would apply.

Non-economic damages are difficult to prove and complex to calculate. Assigning a dollar amount to the pain and suffering of a loved one’s death may seem impossible, but our experienced Anne Arundel County wrongful death attorneys can advise you of your options and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

If Your Loved One Died in an Accident, Call Our Anne Arundel County Wrongful Death Attorneys Today

The Anne Arundel County wrongful death attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras have the knowledge and experience to help you file a successful lawsuit. Call us today at (410) 694-7291 for a free case review.