Cockeysville Wrongful Death Lawyer

A sudden and shocking death due to negligence would turn anyone’s world upside down. Fortunately, when faced with these impossible situations, survivors can hold negligent parties accountable.

When approaching their wrongful death lawsuits, survivors should first establish if they have cause to file a civil claim for wrongful death in Maryland. This right is typically reserved for those with close family ties to victims, such as their spouses, parents, or children. Our lawyers will then identify the statute of limitations for your claim, which will likely be three years unless an exception applies. We will then identify recoverable damages. Depending on your relationship with the victim, you might be able to recover non-economic damages in addition to financial damages. If you file a survival action as well, your recovery might increase.

For a free case analysis from the Cockeysville wrongful death lawyers of Rice, Murtha & Psoras, call us today at (410) 694-7291.

What to Establish Before Filing Your Wrongful Death Claim in Cockeysville

Before helping you sue for a loved one’s wrongful death in Cockeysville, our lawyers will establish whether or not you have reason to sue based on Maryland’s definition of a wrongful death. Our wrongful death lawyers will also confirm whether you are an eligible plaintiff, determine the applicable filing deadline for your lawsuit, and explain which damages are recoverable in your case.

If You Have Reason to Sue

According to Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 3-901(e), wrongful deaths are caused by wrongful acts that would have entitled the victims to sue for personal injury had they survived the accidents.

For example, say a car accident happens in Cockeysville, severely injuring a victim. If the victim lives, they can sue the negligent driver for compensation. If the injured victim dies from car accident injuries, an eligible plaintiff could sue for wrongful death on their behalf.

Generally, any death due to neglect, default, or felonious act is a reason to file a claim in Cockeysville. That said, wrongful deaths are not always due to an obvious accident, such as a car accident. For example, should medical malpractice cause a victim’s death, their family might not know until they review the victim’s various medical records and other information. If you believe that negligence caused your loved one’s death, our attorneys can review the available information to confirm your suspicions and investigate the case further.

If You Are an Eligible Plaintiff

Under Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 3-904(a)(1), wrongful death claims are for the sole benefit of a victim’s spouse, children, or parents. Unless an exception applies, these individuals are typically the only eligible plaintiffs in wrongful death lawsuits in Cockeysville. For example, parents responsible for their child’s death would not be eligible plaintiffs or beneficiaries of any wrongful death claim.

If a victim does not have any surviving primary beneficiaries, any relatives who can prove substantial financial dependence on the victim could bring and benefit from a claim in Cockeysville.

Your Filing Deadline

Generally speaking, the statute of limitations to file lawsuits for deaths due to negligence is three years from the date of death, according to Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 3-904(g)(1). There are exceptions to this, such as when wrongful deaths are caused by occupational disease due to exposure to deadly or toxic substances. In such instances, plaintiffs have ten years from the date of death or three years from the discovery of the cause of death to file, whichever comes first.

Furthermore, when victims die because of criminal homicide, the accrual date for the statute of limitations might differ. In these cases, the accrual date will be when the survivors should have reasonably known the responsible party’s identity, such as when they are officially charged with crimes related to the victim’s death in Cockeysville.

Although three years might seem like ample time to prepare and file your claim, it is important to act quickly. Especially in wrongful death claims, plaintiffs might run into evidence issues the longer they wait to initiate an investigation, so do not delay your case unnecessarily.

Recoverable Damages

You should also establish which damages are recoverable in your lawsuit before filing. For example, under Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 3-904(d) if the decedent in your case was your spouse, minor child, the parent of a minor child, or an unmarried adult child in certain situations, your claim can include compensation for non-economic damages. Non-economic damages can compensate plaintiffs for various emotional losses, such as mental anguish, loss of society, companionship, comfort, and more.

Beneficiaries can also recover economic damages from the victim’s medical and funeral expenses, as well as other financial damages.

There are limits on non-economic damages in wrongful death claims. According to Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 11-108(2), the current cap on non-economic damages in wrongful death lawsuits with one beneficiary is $935,000, though this limit increases annually. According to Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 11-108(3)(ii), the limitation increases by 150% in wrongful death claims with two or more claimants or beneficiaries. Compensation limits for non-economic damages differ for wrongful deaths due to medical malpractice in Cockeysville.

To increase your recovery, our lawyers might file a survival action alongside your wrongful death lawsuit. In survival actions, eligible beneficiaries can recover compensation for a victim’s losses incurred before death. For example, if your loved one lived for some time after an accident and incurred expensive medical bills or experienced pain and suffering before their death, a survival action could cover those damages.

Finally, our lawyers can determine if the defendant acted with gross negligence when causing the accident that killed your loved one in Cockeysville. If so, survivors might get awarded punitive damages from juries in Maryland.

Call Us Today to Talk About Your Case for Free

Call the wrongful death lawyers of Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to get help with your case today.