Clinton, MD Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing a loved one as a result of someone else’s actions is an immensely distressing experience that can leave a lasting impact on one’s life. Furthermore, pursuing compensation for such a profound loss can be an arduous task, especially when coping with grief.

If you have suffered the loss of a loved one, it is possible that you are eligible for compensation through a wrongful death claim. These legal proceedings can be intricate, but our skilled team is here to provide guidance and support. In Maryland, there are specific laws governing wrongful death claims and defining the types of damages that can be pursued. Additionally, crucial guidelines outline how these damages should be distributed among the beneficiaries of the deceased.

For a free review of your case with our Maryland wrongful death lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras, call today at (443) 508-7927.

Defining Wrongful Death in Clinton, MD

Under the Maryland Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art. § 3-901(e), wrongful death is defined as an act of negligence or an action that causes the death of an individual. If the act or neglect was such that it would have given the victim a right to sue if they had not passed away, the person responsible for the wrongful death is liable. This law ensures that individuals are held accountable for their actions that lead to the death of another person.

Wrongful deaths can occur as a result of various circumstances, including negligent or intentional acts. However, the majority of wrongful deaths stem from the negligence of another person. In such difficult times, our team of wrongful death attorneys is here to provide legal assistance, regardless of the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s passing. It is important to note that the act leading to wrongful death does not necessarily have to result in criminal charges for the negligent party to be held accountable in civil court.

In order to pursue a wrongful death case, it must be proven that the victim’s death was directly caused by the negligent act, and the plaintiff must have suffered harm as a result. This harm extends beyond physical injuries and encompasses losses such as medical expenses and the loss of companionship. Additionally, it is crucial to assess whether the victim played any role in the negligence that led to their own death.

It is also essential to consider Maryland’s strict contributory negligence rule when evaluating the victim’s conduct. Unfortunately, Maryland follows the pure contributory negligence standard, which means that if the victim had any contribution to the accident, the plaintiff might be unable to recover damages. This stringent standard is only upheld by a few states, including Maryland.

Individuals Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Clinton, MD

In Clinton, the law permits only specific family members to seek legal recourse and recover compensation for the loss of a loved one due to wrongful death. According to the Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art. § 3-9049(a), only primary and secondary beneficiaries are allowed to file a wrongful death claim. Primary beneficiaries, who are entitled to a higher priority in the order of compensation, include the deceased’s surviving spouse, children, and parents.

If the deceased person did not have a spouse, children, or living parents, then the law allows secondary beneficiaries to claim damages. These secondary beneficiaries are usually relatives who were related to the deceased either by blood or marriage and were dependent on them while they were still alive. This ensures that those who were closely connected to the deceased person can receive the compensation they deserve.

Damages You Can Claim for a Wrongful Death in Clinton, MD

In the event of a wrongful death, the compensation awarded can be classified into two main categories – economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover losses related to financial support and services that the deceased would have provided, such as lost wages, medical expenses, and funeral costs. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, cover losses that are intangible and difficult to quantify, such as emotional distress, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering.

Economic Damages

When a wrongful death occurs, it can lead to economic damages that the family members of the deceased have to bear. These damages are quantifiable and can be calculated in monetary terms. They include expenses such as hospital bills, emergency medical services, medication costs, loss of current and future wages, and funeral expenses. In Maryland, there is no maximum cap on the amount of economic damages that can be claimed by the plaintiffs, which means that they are entitled to receive compensation for all the expenses incurred as a result of their loved one’s death.

Non-Economic Damages

Maryland law also allows compensation for non-economic damages, which are difficult to quantify as they involve emotional harm such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of parental, filial, or marital care, mental anguish, and loss of guidance and training. These damages require a complex calculation to determine a fair monetary value. Our team can provide assistance in this matter, whether the case is settled or argued in court, ensuring that you receive just compensation for your losses.

It is unfortunate that Maryland imposes limitations on certain types of damages that can be recovered by surviving family members in a wrongful death lawsuit. The caps vary depending on the cause of the wrongful death lawsuit and the number of claimants. However, these caps are subject to annual increases.

For the year 2023, the maximum amount of pain and suffering or non-pecuniary damages that can be awarded in Maryland is $2,300,000. If more than one surviving family member files a wrongful death lawsuit, the cap for 2023 is $1,380,000.

Fortunately, there is no limit to the amount of economic damages that can be awarded in a successful wrongful death lawsuit.

How Long You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Clinton, MD

The statute of limitations sets the time limit for filing a wrongful death claim. In Clinton, Maryland, under Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art. § 3-904(g), the parties eligible to file a lawsuit have three years from the date of the wrongful death to initiate their legal action. However, it is important to recognize that three years might not provide as much time as it initially appears, considering the complexity often associated with wrongful death cases. These cases typically require substantial evidence gathered from multiple sources to establish a valid claim. Failure to meet the filing deadline will result in the court dismissing the lawsuit.

Nevertheless, specific exceptions might extend the timeframe for filing a claim. It is not uncommon for criminal charges to be filed in connection with a wrongful death. In such situations, a civil suit cannot commence until the criminal prosecution has concluded. Additionally, if the deceased person’s estate has not undergone probate, an additional five years might be granted to file the claim. Our firm is available to review your case and determine the applicable filing deadline, as well as evaluate any potential exceptions that might apply.

Our Clinton, MD Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help

For a free case evaluation with the Maryland wrongful death lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras, call today at (443) 508-7927.