Chillum, MD Wrongful Death Lawyer

A loved one’s sudden passing is a sad, tragic thing. This is true even when no foul play or wrongdoing is suspected. The pain is made that much worse when you suspect that your loved one lost their life because someone else was not careful. The unexpected passing of a close family member can also lead to financial burdens like funeral costs or the loss of a source of income. The last thing grieving loved ones need is to worry about finances while also mourning the loss of someone they cared about.

Fortunately, there is legal recourse available if you believe a loved one died because another person was negligent. Our lawyers know how to deal with wrongful death cases and can navigate them with the professionalism, drive, and compassion needed to succeed.

To have our caring legal team of wrongful death lawyers look over your case, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras by dialing (410) 694-7291.

Who is Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Chillum, MD?

Maryland law puts limits on who is allowed to file a wrongful death claim. Per Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 3-904(a)(1), spouses, children, and parents of the victim are allowed to bring forth wrongful death lawsuits. This means that families like cousins, uncles, aunts, and others will generally not be able to bring forth this kind of lawsuit, even if they were very close with the deceased. However, if the deceased does not have any living parents, children, or spouses, then other family members are freed up to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased, provided they were dependent on the deceased in some way, like receiving care from them or benefitting from their income.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Chillum, MD Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit may be slightly different than what you would seek in a regular personal injury case. The idea behind damages in a wrongful death lawsuit is to make up for the “financial hole” made by the death of the victim. Some of the damages our wrongful death lawyers can fight for in court include:

Funeral Costs

A funeral is often a sudden, unplanned expense. Many plaintiffs may suffer serious financial hardship when planning a funeral after an unexpected death. Accordingly, you can have the court compel the defendant to compensate you for that expense.

Pain and Suffering

You can also be compensated for the emotional pain resulting from the death of a loved one. Courts know that it is distressing to lose someone close, so you can get damages to try and offset that loss.

Loss of Care

If the deceased was a caregiver for someone – be that a child, elderly family member, or someone else, that has financial value. Accordingly, it can factor into damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Financial Contributions

Financially speaking, a major burden brought on by the sudden death of a loved one is the loss of a stream of income, especially if that family member was the “breadwinner” or was the only source of income in the household. Courts understand that value and the stress that can be put on loved ones by losing that security, so the defendant can be compelled to compensate plaintiffs for that reason.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are a special kind of damages that are not always available. Punitive damages are meant to punish defendants who have acted in a particularly egregious manner. In Maryland, you have to prove that the defendant was more than merely negligent to get these damages, which can sometimes be tricky to do. You should discuss the prospect of seeking punitive damages early on in your discussions with our wrongful death lawyers if you are planning on seeking them.

Time Limits for Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Chillum, MD

The time after losing a loved one is often hectic and emotionally difficult. However, you need to act quickly if you want to file a wrongful death lawsuit because the time you have to do so is limited. A law called the statute of limitations sets a “statutory period” for how long you have to file your lawsuit. Under Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 3-904(g), plaintiffs generally have three years from the time of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

However, there are some notable exceptions to that rule. A lawsuit alleging that a death occurred because of an “occupational disease” can possibly be filed either within ten years of the time of death or within three years of discovering the cause of death. This could, conceivably, result in a lawsuit being filed after the standard three-year period. However, filing a case for occupational disease is often limited by Workers’ Compensation rules, so you should discuss your situation with our attorneys to see what is best for you.

Once the statutory period runs out, you can no longer file a claim or collect damages. For that reason, it is important to act quickly and speak to our legal team as soon as you can.

Survival Actions in Chillum, MD

In addition to a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be involved in a “survival action.” These actions are brought by the executor of the deceased person’s estate. An executor could be you, a different family member, or any other party appointed in the deceased’s will.

The purpose of a survival action is to get compensation for injuries sustained by the deceased. Pain and suffering prior to death, lost wages while the deceased was attempting to recover, and other damages are transferred to the deceased’s estate, to be distributed as their will requires by the executor.

Speak to Our Chillum, MD Wrongful Death Attorneys Today

Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s wrongful death attorneys are ready to discuss your situation when you reach out to us by calling (410) 694-7291.