Attorney for Workplace Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Maryland
Everyone expects their spouse or loved one to return home from work every day. Unfortunately, some jobs are dangerous or unforeseen accidents occur that result in an unexpected death. When an employee is killed in the workplace, their family and loved ones have options. In situations where the death is the direct result of negligence or an intentional act, the surviving family members could be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Our experienced attorneys for workplace wrongful death lawsuits in Maryland understand the complexities and hurdles involved with filing a lawsuit against an employer.
However, just because the road may be difficult, it is not impossible. In many cases, the death benefits provided through workers’ compensation insurance are insufficient to provide for a family’s financial needs. For this reason alone, surviving family members should consider a wrongful death claim. If you lost a loved one in a work-related accident, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to review your legal rights and options.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Maryland
A wrongful death claim is filed when a defendant, either through their negligent or intentional conduct, caused or contributed to someone else’s death. However, not everyone is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Typically, this type of litigation involves a close family relation, such as a spouse or child, or the deceased’s estate.
Wrongful death claims can arise from many of the same incidents that result in personal injury lawsuits, including car accidents, medical malpractice, and slip and fall accidents.
Another common cause of fatalities in Maryland are work-related accidents. Many jobs present inherent risks and other deaths are the result of unfortunate circumstances. No matter how a work-related death occurred, a spouse or family could be suddenly left without financial support. Unlike other fatal accidents, Maryland law provides death benefits for eligible surviving family members through its workers’ compensation laws. However, these benefits do not mean you should not talk with an experienced Maryland wrongful death attorney to understand all your legal rights and options.
Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits or a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Maryland
If you are the dependent of someone who was killed in a work-related accident, you might be eligible to receive death benefits through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Qualifying dependents are usually limited to the spouse or children of the deceased employee. However, in some situations, extenuating circumstances will who is qualified.
While death benefits could be helpful, they are limited. If you are a qualified dependent, the benefits will be paid for five to twelve years. If you are a young spouse or have young children, these benefits are often insufficient to cover all the financial losses associated with the death.
In addition to the limited time benefits will be received, the death benefits are capped at Maryland’s average weekly wage or two-thirds of the deceased income at the time of death.
Other restrictions and limitations include the termination of benefits as of the date of the deceased employee’s 70th birthday, which could be a problem if a couple was elderly at the time of death.
While death benefits are certainly helpful, they are limited and often not enough to fully compensate a family for the death of a loved one. By speaking with our knowledgeable Maryland wrongful death attorney, you could see if you have other options.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits for Fatal Work-Related Accidents in Maryland
In many situations, the dependents of a deceased employee are prohibited from filing a lawsuit against the employer for wrongful death. This prohibition exists because, as stated above, employees are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. However, if the death resulted from the employer’s negligence or intentional misconduct, an eligible surviving family member is entitled to file a wrongful death claim.
One of the benefits of a wrongful death lawsuit is the amount of available damages. “Damages” is the legal term the refers to the harm a person suffered because of the negligent or intentional conduct of the defendant. In a wrongful death claim, a surviving family member will not only experience the emotional devastation of losing a loved one but also the financial hardships associated with the loss of income and support the deceased provided.
Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit are categorized as non-economic and economic. Non-economic damages include emotional distress and mental suffering connected to the death of your loved one. Under Maryland law, non-economic damages in wrongful death claims are capped at $890,000 as 2020.
However, there is no cap on the economic damages awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit. If you lost a young spouse in a work-related injury, you could be entitled to the full amount of income they would have earned over the course of their life. This does not mean simply taking their current salary and multiplying it by how many years they would have worked. the calculation takes possible promotions and the value of the current dollar into consideration as well. Unlike workers’ compensation death benefits, there are no caps on the salary or time frame.
Proving a Maryland Wrongful Death Claim for a Death in the Workplace
Wrongful death claims are complicated cases. Therefore, before a plaintiff attempts to settle a wrongful death claim, a thorough investigation of the accident and death must be conducted. For a beneficiary to received workers’ compensation benefits, the claimant only needs to establish that their loved one was killed during the scope of their employment. However, in a wrongful death lawsuit, a claimant must prove that the death resulted from negligence or intentional conduct on the part of the employer.
For example, if your loved one was killed because of a crane malfunction, an employer could be held liable if they failed to have the crane routinely inspected or repaired. In cases where an employer knew a crane, or any other piece of equipment was defective, and it caused an employee’s death, they could be held liable for any damages.
Call Our Maryland Attorney for Workplace Wrongful Death Lawsuits for a Free Consultation
Our Maryland attorneys for workplace wrongful death lawsuits are experienced and committed to fighting for the rights of surviving family members and loved ones. the unexpected loss of a family member is emotionally devastating and often a financial tragedy. If an employer’s negligence or intentional conduct caused the death of your loved one, they should be held legally accountable. If you lost a family member in a workplace accident, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free appointment and review your legal options.