Catonsville Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you lost a loved one because of someone else’s dangerous, negligent behavior, there are ways beyond the criminal justice system through which you can get justice. Our team can help you file a civil action for damages and fair compensation.

Wrongful death is defined somewhat broadly. In short, if someone causes the death of another person through some wrongful act, they may be sued in a civil proceeding. Generally, wrongful death claims can be filed by immediate family members of the deceased person, including spouses, children, and parents. You and your family may recover damages for the many monetary costs of death (e.g., funeral costs, lost income, medical bills) in addition to non-economic damages for your mental anguish and emotional pain. To build your case, we need evidence. Our evidence may depend on the nature of your loved one’s accident.

For a free review of your case, call our wrongful death attorneys of Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.

What Exactly is a Wrongful Death in Catonsville?

Exactly what makes a death wrongful is defined rather broadly under the law. According to Md. Code Cts. and Jud. Proc. Art. § 3-902(a), a person may sue another person whose wrongful actions caused the death of someone else. A wrongful act is defined under Md. Code Cts. and Jud. Proc. Art. § 3-901(e), and it includes negligence or omissions that would entitle someone else to sue if death had not occurred.

In short, what makes an action “wrongful” is hard to describe. While many wrongful acts involve criminal actions, many others do not. The defendant in a civil claim for wrongful death does not necessarily have to be criminally charged.

Common examples of wrongful death claims include car accidents. Accidents are sometimes deadly, and negligent drivers may be held civilly liable for wrongful death. The same goes for various other accidents that might lead to death.

If you are unsure whether your loved one passed away under wrongful conditions, talk about your case with our wrongful death attorneys. Many people are frustrated when they cannot uncover evidence of wrongful actions on their own. An experienced attorney might know where to look to find the proof you need.

People Who Can File Claims for Wrongful Death in Catonsville

Not just anyone may file a wrongful death case. Typically, these types of cases are limited to certain immediate family members of the deceased person. According to Md. Code Cts. and Jud. Proc. Art. § 3-904(a)(1), an action for wrongful death may be for the benefit of the deceased person’s spouse, children, or parents. Parents may not benefit from such legal action if they are responsible for the death of the child.

This can be a bit frustrating for some. You might have been very close to the deceased person, but you might be unrelated by blood or marriage. While you might want justice for the deceased person, close friends usually cannot file cases. However, you should still talk to our team if you want justice for your close friend, but they have no other surviving family to file the case.

Recoverable Damages in Catonsville Wrongful Death Claims

Damages in wrongful death cases can be quite substantial. Not only do plaintiffs have to deal with the high costs of losing a loved one, but the emotional and psychological damages might be overwhelming.

Pecuniary losses include damages related to the loss of money. Funeral and burial costs for your loved one should be accounted for. If your loved one contributed financial support, you can close the loss of their income. This is common in cases where the person filing the case is the surviving spouse. This also tends to be common where the deceased person was the primary income earner for their household.

You might also claim certain costs incurred by the deceased person before they passed. For example, if you lost your loved one in a car crash, they might have been rushed to the hospital, where they received costly emergency medical care before passing away. In that case, you can claim your loved one’s medical bills among the damages in your wrongful death case.

According to Md. Code Cts. and Jud. Proc. Art. § 3-904(d), damages for mental and emotional suffering may also be considered. A spouse can claim the loss of companionship, comfort, and marital care. Surviving children might claim the loss of parental guidance and parental affection. These are very subjective experiences, but they might be worth substantial compensation.

How to Get Evidence to Support Your Catonsville Wrongful Death Case

We need evidence to support your case, but the type of evidence we need and where we might find it depends on the unique factors surrounding your case. A major component of most wrongful death cases is the medical records of the deceased person. We need a doctor who can testify exactly what your loved one’s cause of death is. This is especially important in cases where the manner of death is less than clear and might be challenged by the defendant.

We should also check for potential witnesses. Many accidents are somewhat public events. For example, if your loved one passed away in a car accident, other drivers might have seen what happened. Your case may be much stronger if we can track down witnesses who back up your claims.

When a person passes away in an accident, the police usually investigate. While we normally cannot use police reports as evidence because they are often considered inadmissible hearsay, we might use the reports as a guide to find more evidence. If the police uncovered anything important, it is likely in the report, and we can find it for ourselves.

For Help Starting Your Case, Call Our Catonsville Wrongful Death Attorneys

For a free review of your case, call our wrongful death attorneys of Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.