Dealing with the loss of a relative is an experience that no family wants to endure. The death of a family member could also make it difficult to consider whether you should pursue a legal claim so soon after their death. However, considering wrongful death litigation may be a necessary step to pursue compensation for the death of your loved one. If you wish to pursue a wrongful death claim in Columbia, Maryland, you should contact our experienced Columbia wrongful death lawyer.
Rice, Murtha & Psoras knows the loss of a relative is tough on an entire family and we may be able to assist you in securing compensation from the person that caused their death. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys understand losing a family member can devastate a family, and we are here to present you the legal service you deserve to manage your case. If you would like to schedule a free consultation to talk about your potential litigation opportunity, call (410) 694-7291. You may also use our website to arrange your case evaluation.
How Wrongful Death Lawsuits Work in Columbia, MD
Wrongful death is a type of civil claim that can be filed against a party that is responsible for the death of another. Whether or not a party was criminally charged for the death of the decedent, the qualifying family members can still pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the party that caused their death. Unlike criminal cases, the plaintiff in a civil wrongful death lawsuit will have a lower burden of proof to prevail in their case.
When pursuing litigation for a family member’s death, it is important to note that not all family members can file a lawsuit on behalf of their lost loved ones. However, eligibility for a wrongful death case will vary depending on the laws of each state. This is why it is important to avoid making any assumptions about whether you qualify to pursue legal action after the loss of a loved one.
The reason for limiting a wrongful death lawsuit to certain family members is so that a distant or estranged family member cannot profit from a relative’s death if they did not spend time with or did not know that person. In Maryland, two categories of the decedent’s family are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit: primary or secondary beneficiaries.
Primary beneficiaries include the following people:
- The decedent’s spouse
- Any children the decedent left behind
- Parents that survived the decedent
The following is a list of secondary beneficiaries eligible to pursue a wrongful death case in Maryland:
- Brothers and sisters of the deceased
- Any nephews or nieces of the deceased
- Surviving cousins
- The decedent’s extended family
Family members should also know that secondary beneficiaries can only file a wrongful death case if a primary beneficiary does not wish to pursue the case, or there are no living members in the primary beneficiary class. Additionally, a personal representative in charge the estate can also seek a wrongful death lawsuit for the estate.
If you wish to know more about the types of wrongful death lawsuits that you can file in Maryland, you should continue reading and contact an experienced Columbia, MD wrongful death lawyer today.
Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Columbia, MD Our Firm Handles
A wrongful death lawsuit can arise out of a number of incidents. Our firm understands how the loss of a loved one can affect a family, and we can help you get started on filing a wrongful death claim that arises out of the following circumstances.
Car accidents are one of the most common causes of wrongful death claims. If a highly negligent or reckless driver operates a vehicle, there is a risk that they could cause the a motorist’s or pedestrian’s death. For example, when a negligent motorist operates a vehicle while drunk, this could cause them to fall asleep at the wheel and cause a fatal crash.
Defective Product Accidents
When purchasing a product, a consumer would expect that it would operate properly. Unfortunately, there are many products that cause the death of consumers every year. For example, if a tire manufacturer releases a defective tire that frequently blows out, this could be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit if a consumer is killed due to this defect.
Animal attacks are another common cause of fatalities that could lead to a wrongful death claim. If an out of control animal causes the death of your loved one, you may have a valid claim against the owner of the animal.
There are many other circumstances where a wrongful death lawsuit can be pursued. While it could be difficult to consider a lawsuit soon after the death of a loved one, you should be aware that you will only have a limited time to pursue your case.
Call Our Knowledgeable Columbia, MD Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
When you need to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a family member, you should speak with a skilled Columbia, MD wrongful death lawyer. Rice, Murtha & Psoras has worked on a number of wrongful death cases. We could examine the details of your case to determine how to proceed. To make an appointment for your free consultation to speak about your potential wrongful death case, reach our firm by calling (410) 694-7291. Our website to make your consultation with our Maryland personal injury lawyers.