Easton Wrongful Death Lawyer

When people are negligent, it often leads to very serious injuries. Sadly, those same instances can also lead to victims losing their lives, all because someone was careless, slipped up, or just simply did not do their job properly. The loss of a person you love can be devastating. In addition to the obvious emotional toll of losing a loved one, their loss can also put surviving family members under significant financial stress because of funeral costs, lost income streams, and other factors.

If you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit and do not know what to do, we can help. We know how sensitive these cases can be, so we will handle your claim with compassion and care while also fighting hard to hold those who have wronged you accountable in court.

To get help from our team of caring wrongful death attorneys, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.

Causes of Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Easton

Many different accidents and circumstances can lead to wrongful death lawsuits. No matter the circumstances that led to your loved one’s passing, our wrongful death lawyers are able to examine your situation and build a tailor-made legal case to get justice for wrongs done to you and financial compensation to offset some of the pain from losing a loved one.

Auto Accidents

It is not a secret that car, truck, and bus accidents can lead to serious injuries or death. There are a number of different parties that you may be able to sue if someone dies in a motor vehicle accident. First, you will very likely want to include the driver involved in the crash as a defendant, especially if they were doing something careless and dangerous like driving drunk. However, you may also want to include other parties in wrongful death claims stemming from an auto accident. For example, if the car that struck the deceased had defective brakes, you may also want to include the manufacturer of that component in your claim as a defendant.

Workplace Accidents

People die due to negligent practices on construction sites, in warehouses, and other workplaces every day. When this happens, you can sue those companies for negligent workplace practices. For example, if a construction company did not create a safe working environment and that resulted in someone dying on-site, you can sue them for not following industry safety standards. Note, though, that you may run into some hiccups with certain workplace accident programs outside the courtroom, but our lawyers are more than ready to address those hurdles as they come up in your case.

Premises Liability

When someone gets injured on someone else’s property, you can sue them for failing to keep their property safe for people who may enter it. The same goes for when someone dies because someone negligently failed to keep their property safe. Additionally, you can sue if someone intentionally booby-trapped their property. For example, if someone set up a firearm to go off as someone opened a door with the purpose of “scaring burglars,” you could sue if someone died from that trap.

Damages in Easton Wrongful Death Lawsuits

In personal injury lawsuits, damages are meant to get the defendant back to where they were before they were injured. In wrongful death lawsuits, you can still recover damages, but what you seek damages for may be slightly different than in a personal injury case. For the most part, you will not be getting damages based on what happened to the deceased before they passed. Instead, you will be seeking damages based on injury to you – the surviving family members filing the wrongful death lawsuit.

Damages are for the Benefit of Surviving Family Members

Under Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 3-904(a)(1), wrongful death lawsuits are for the benefit of spouses, children, and parents of the deceased victim. Accordingly, those are the parties that can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Under most circumstances, other family members like uncles, cousins, and other relatives who were close to the deceased cannot file a wrongful death claim because they are not immediate family. The circumstance where those parties can file is laid out under § 3-904(b). However, there is the additional qualifier that those family members must substantially depend on the deceased person.

Basis for Damages in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Wrongful death lawsuits allow you to recover damages for the effects the deceased’s death had on their surviving family. This includes things like funeral costs, offsetting a lost stream of income, and medical bills the deceased incurred prior to their passing. Additionally, pursuant to § 3-904(d), you can get damages for things beyond “pecuniary loss” for the death of a spouse, minor child, parent of a minor child, or an unmarried child who is not a minor, provided the child is 21 or younger or the suing parent provided at least 50% of the deceased child’s support in the 12 months prior to the child’s death. Examples of things that would go beyond pecuniary loss include loss of companionship or comfort from the deceased.

Punitive Damages in Wrongful Death Claims

Punitive damages are a special kind of damages meant to punish defendants who have done something particularly egregious. For other types of damages, you have to prove that the defendant was negligent. To get punitive damages, you have to go further. To get punitive damages, you have to demonstrate either gross negligence or malice on the part of the defendant. If you can do that, the jury can award you as much in punitive damages as they see fit.

Get Help with Your Claim from Our Easton Wrongful Death Attorneys

Our wrongful death attorneys can review your case for free when you contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s office at the number (410) 694-7291.