Greenbelt, MD Wrongful Death Lawyer

The death of a loved one can be traumatic, especially when their death is due to negligence. To hold a negligent party responsible for your loved one’s death, you can file a lawsuit in Greenbelt.

Wrongful deaths typically happen because of negligence. For example, a reckless driver might speed through an intersection and T-bone a victim, killing them during impact. Medical malpractice is another common cause of wrongful deaths in Greenbelt, as are slip and fall accidents and defective product accidents. To bring a successful lawsuit, our lawyers will identify who among your family is an eligible wrongful death plaintiff. We can then focus on building your case against the defendant by investigating the incident and obtaining relevant evidence. You must bring your case before the deadline in Maryland, or the court may dismiss it.

To get help with your case, call the Greenbelt, MD wrongful death lawyers of Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.

Leading Causes of Wrongful Deaths in Greenbelt, MD

Plaintiffs can bring wrongful death claims for a variety of reasons, so long as the victim’s death was due to negligence or an intentional wrongful act. While certain incidents result in fatalities more often than others, various accidents might lead to a victim’s death in Greenbelt.

Car Accidents

For example, car accidents are a prominent reason for deaths due to negligence in Greenbelt. In 2023, 534 fatal auto accidents were reported in Maryland. The root causes of these accidents vary from case to case. For example, in 2022, 135 fatal accidents were due to alcohol or drug use, while 188 were due to distracted driving.

Car accident injuries are not always immediately fatal, and victims might die from their injuries hours or days after an accident. In such cases, proving that the victim’s subsequent death was due to the car accident in question will be important.

Medical Malpractice

Furthermore, medical malpractice could cause complications that lead to a victim’s death. In fact, medical malpractice is a leading cause of death throughout the country, accounting for about 251,000 deaths per year.

For example, if a doctor left behind a foreign object during surgery, a victim could get an infection, which might become fatal. Or, suppose a doctor failed to uphold their duty of care and did not properly diagnose a patient with the right condition, causing them to go without treatment. If the victim then died because of medical malpractice, a plaintiff could then file a wrongful death claim against the negligent doctor or medical facility.

Slip and Fall Accidents

People often view slip and fall accidents as minor, though they can be very serious and sometimes fatal. For example, tripping down stairs due to a faulty handrail could result in a head injury that leads to death in Greenbelt. In these situations, the property owner may be liable for the victim’s death, provided they failed to maintain a reasonably safe environment or did not address a hazard that caused the incident.

Defective Product Accidents

Consumers assume that a product is reasonably safe to use or, at the very least, has the necessary safety instructions for proper use when they purchase it. If a product or piece of machinery is defective, it could explode or malfunction, resulting in a fatal accident. These types of incidents often take place on construction worksites but could happen anywhere. If your loved one died because of a workplace accident due to a defective product, our wrongful death lawyers could help you file a third-party claim against a negligent manufacturer.

Other Accidents

Unfortunately, any accident could be fatal under certain conditions. For example, even a dog bite accident could be deadly, depending on the location of the attack. Furthermore, bicycle accidents and motorcycle accidents also can be fatal to victims in Greenbelt. If someone close to you recently died because of someone else’s negligence, even if the case does not fit neatly into one of the aforementioned categories, you may be able to sue for wrongful death.

Winning Your Wrongful Death Claim in Greenbelt, MD

Finding success in any lawsuit will require plaintiffs to meet certain criteria. We can start preparing your case for success by identifying eligible plaintiffs, building evidence of negligence, and filing on time.

Identify the Plaintiff

Only certain individuals can bring a claim on behalf of a deceased victim in Greenbelt. Eligible plaintiffs are limited to a victim’s surviving spouse, children, or parents, and damages will be divided among these beneficiaries accordingly, as dictated by Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 3-904(a)(1). Generally speaking, if you are not closely related to a victim, you cannot sue. However, if a victim has no surviving spouse, parent, or child, any relative who can show they were substantially dependent on the victim could sue.

Build Evidence

The next step will be to build evidence of negligence against the defendant in your case. To do this, our lawyers will investigate the victim’s death and any party involved in their death. We can return to the accident location to see if nearby surveillance systems might have filmed the incident. Furthermore, we can get experts to review the victim’s medical records and testify about their likely cause of death.

File on Time

In Greenbelt, all wrongful death claims must be filed within three years of the date of death, according to Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 3-904(g)(1). There are exceptions, such as when death is due to certain occupational diseases or if the defendant is facing criminal charges related to the matter at hand. Survivors who do not file within the allotted timeframe will not be able to recover any damages related to a victim’s death.

Call Our Greenbelt, MD Attorneys to Discuss Your Claim

Call our wrongful death lawyers at (410) 694-7291 to get a free case review from Rice, Murtha & Psoras.