Clarksburg, MD Wrongful Death Lawyer

No one is truly ready for the loss of a loved one. The experience can leave surviving family and loved ones feeling shocked, angry, upset, or any other multitude of emotions. Death can be upsetting under “ideal” circumstances, but when someone you love dies because somebody screwed up, the feelings that cause it can be greatly intensified, and it can all seem profoundly unfair – because it is.

If you suspect that your loved one died because another person was negligent, we can help. Our lawyers know how difficult wrongful death cases can be for the people filing them. We have the experience to know that it takes compassion as well as determination to be successful in these claims in court, so rest assured that we will fight tirelessly for you while also giving you the space to grieve and do what you need to do.

To get a free overview of your case from our wrongful death attorneys, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras by dialing (410) 694-7291.

What Leads to Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Clarksburg, MD?

Many different incidents can ultimately lead to wrongful death lawsuits in Maryland. The factor that determines whether you can file a wrongful death claim is whether the death was caused by someone else’s negligence. A lot of the things that would lead to personal injury cases had the deceased survived can generate wrongful death lawsuits, including:

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Sadly, many victims of car, bus, and truck accidents die from the injuries they get in the crash. As of April 30, 2024, the state of Maryland has reported 170 deaths because of auto accidents. Depending on the vehicles involved, victims may be more likely to suffer fatal injuries in a crash.

First, if a victim is driving an older vehicle, they may be more likely to get badly injured because older cars have fewer safety features than modern ones. Second, if the victim’s vehicle is much smaller than the defendant’s, they are more likely to get badly hurt and succumb to their injuries. For example, if a truck hits a compact car, the driver in the smaller vehicle is much more likely to get hurt or pass away. Third, the speed at which the defendant is driving can affect the severity of the impact. Finally, if the deceased was a pedestrian when they were struck, the chance of death greatly increases. Even a slow-moving car can seriously injure a pedestrian and potentially kill them.

Driver negligence like speeding, drunk driving, ignoring other traffic laws, and driving unreasonably and carelessly can all lead to a motorist negligently taking someone else’s life.

Medical Malpractice

We trust medical professionals with our lives. Unfortunately, sometimes they, too, make mistakes, and sadly, those mistakes can end up costing people their lives. A botched surgery, incorrectly prescribed medication to which the victim has a fatal allergic reaction, or failure to diagnose a treatable illness are all negligent acts that could lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.

To successfully prove that medical malpractice caused the deceased’s death, you need to show that the medical professional failed to meet the standard of professional care and responsibility upheld by medical professionals. You generally demonstrate this by bringing in expert witnesses. Opposing counsel will doubtless do the same, so our wrongful death attorneys will work hard to ensure that we win the “battle of experts” that often takes place in medical malpractice cases.

Premises Liability

Property owners have a responsibility to keep their premises safe for people who might enter onto it. When they fail to do that, unknown hazards can lead to people losing their lives. Even something as innocuous as a rickety staircase can result in an unfortunate person losing their balance and taking a fatal fall.

When property owners illegally set traps for people they do not want on their property, the chance of death greatly increases. This can mean anything from digging a large pit in the ground and covering it up to rigging firearms to shoot when a door opens. In those types of cases, there will likely also be criminal charges alongside any civil actions.

Defective Products

When dangerous products are put out to market, they can sometimes kill the end-user. Products that are dangerous when used in their ordinary course are considered “defective” under the law. Examples of product defects that could lead to someone’s death include brakes that do not work properly on motor vehicles, electronic appliances with shoddy plugs, or firearms with safety selectors that do not work all of the time.

Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Clarksburg, MD

There are some specific rules about who is actually allowed to file wrongful death lawsuits in Maryland. Pursuant to Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art § 3-904(a), in virtually all circumstances, only the deceased’s children, parents, and spouses can file these lawsuits. The sole exception is when there are no children, spouses, or parents of the deceased. In those cases, members of the deceased’s extended family who were “substantially dependent” on the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit per Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art § 3-904(b).

Additionally, there is something else called a “survival action,” which is not brought by family members but by the deceased’s estate’s executor. This lawsuit is meant to get damages for the injuries the defendant experienced before they passed on, and the damages go to the deceased’s estate so that their will can be effectively carried out. Our lawyers can help you figure out both survival actions and wrongful death claims.

Speak to Our Wrongful Death Attorneys from Clarksburg, MD About Your Claim

Get a free case review from Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s wrongful death attorneys when you call (410) 694-7291.