Elkridge Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing a loved one through an act of negligence is a tragic experience. While no amount of money could ever replace your family member, you can get justice for your loss by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Wrongful death claims are designed to give certain grieving family members the legal right to be compensated for the financial losses caused by the untimely death. Our attorneys handle these cases with the compassion they deserve, balancing the need to work aggressively to protect your interests with the respect the situation calls for. By filing a wrongful death claim, you can pursue damages for the costs associated with your loved one’s passing, as well as compensation for what they would have contributed in their lifetime had they not been taken from you.

For a free case analysis with our wrongful death attorneys, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.

Understanding Wrongful Death in Elkridge, MD

In Elkridge, the term “wrongful death” is used to refer to claims that can be brought by surviving family members in the event of a fatal accident. According to MD. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art. § 3-901(e), wrongful death is defined as any act of negligence that results in the death of another person. If the victim would have had the right to sue had they survived, then the person responsible for the wrongful death can be held liable.

Essentially, If someone dies because of someone else’s negligence or intentional act, it can be considered a wrongful death. The causes of wrongful death are many, but most of the time, it is caused by someone’s negligence. No matter the circumstances, our wrongful death attorneys are always ready to provide the support you need in these difficult times. We will guide you from the filing of your lawsuit to gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses.

While the person responsible could be charged with a crime, it is not necessary to file a wrongful death claim. The negligent party can be held accountable in civil court, even if they are not facing criminal charges.

How Do Wrongful Death Lawsuits Work in Elkridge, MD?

Survivors of a decedent, such as the surviving spouse, children, and parents, can bring wrongful death claims in Elkridge. These claims are usually made on their own behalf for the loss of their loved one.

The estate of the victim has an additional independent claim known as a survival action. In Elkridge, a personal representative of the estate can make a survival action on behalf of the victim’s estate to recover damages for injuries sustained by a fatally injured person. This can include medical expenses, funeral costs, and non-economic damages for pain and suffering experienced by the victim.

When an individual is unlawfully killed by another party, their close family members should have the right to pursue compensation for both the financial loss caused by the death and the emotional suffering of losing someone they love.

How Long Does an Elkridge, MD Wrongful Death Case Take?

Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing exactly how long a wrongful death case will take in Elkridge. Some cases could last years. Still, most cases follow the same general process outlined below, which should help you understand how long your case could take:

Filing the Claim

A wrongful death lawsuit begins with the preparation and filing of the case. During this stage, our team will help you gather important pieces of evidence, such as medical records, accident reports, and witness statements. This can be time-consuming, but our firm prides itself on achieving results as quickly as possible. Depending on the complexity of the case, this initial phase can take just a few or several months before the lawsuit is filed in court.

However, it is very important to keep in mind that you will not have an indefinite amount of time to file your claim. According to Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art. § 3-904, surviving family members will have only three years to file their claim. While this might seem like a good deal of time, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible if you have lost a loved one. If you miss this deadline, you will be barred from recovering compensation.

The Discovery Process

Once your case is filed, the discovery phase begins. This is where both parties exchange information through depositions, requests for documents, and interrogatories.

The discovery process allows our team to build your case by collecting evidence from the other party. This is arguably the most crucial phase of a wrongful death case, as it often uncovers important details about the circumstances leading to the individual’s death.

However, the length of the discovery process can vary significantly, typically ranging from six months to a year, depending on the cooperation level between the parties involved. The reason for this is to give each side to respond and gather evidence. However, if the defendant in your case is withholding evidence that you have a right to, our attorneys can file a motion to compel them to turn it over.

Settlement Negotiations

Many wrongful death cases in Elkridge are settled before they reach trial. After the discovery phase, our team will have a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the other party’s defenses.

It is hard to predict how long settlement negotiations will take. In some cases, the cause of the wrongful death is so obvious that the claim settles quickly, while others can take months of back-and-forth discussions. However, our lawyers will be ready to take your case before a judge or jury if it is clear that negotiations are going nowhere.

Going to Trial

If settlement negotiations do not result in an agreement that totally covers the losses you have suffered, we will proceed to trial. Once the trial starts, it can last from just a few days to several weeks, depending on the complexity of the case.

Regardless of the challenges in your case, our team will be able to present the evidence in a way the court can understand. In many cases, that means employing expert witnesses to explain difficult concepts to the court, like complex medical explanations or detailing how a piece of machinery failed to work the way it was supposed to.

Of course, no one can predict exactly how a judge or jury will decide. However, if it is clear that justice was not done in your case, we can file an appeal.

Our Elkridge Wrongful Death Lawyers Are Here to Help You Through this Challenging Time

Contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras by calling (410) 694-7291 to speak with our wrongful death lawyers and get your free case review.