Perry Hall, MD Wrongful Death Lawyer

Death is a part of life, but what do we do when death occurs under wrongful circumstances? If you believe your loved one’s passing directly results from another’s negligence, talk to our lawyers about how you can take legal action and get justice.

A death may be considered wrongful in a legal sense when it is caused by someone else’s negligent or perhaps illegal behavior. While some wrongful death cases involve criminal acts, others might not. Claims for wrongful death are usually for the benefit of specific family members, including children, spouses, and parents. If no such people exist, a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may file the claim. To support a wrongful death claim, medical records are crucial. Any other evidence that can help prove the cause of death should also be obtained, including testimony from medical experts who review the case. Damages in wrongful death cases tend to be high, as the losses suffered by a grieving family are usually taken quite seriously by the courts and juries.

Contact our wrongful death lawyers at (410) 694-7291 and ask our team at Rice, Murtha & Psoras for a free, private assessment of your claims.

Available Damages and How They Are Divided in Perry Hall, MD Wrongful Death Cases

Damages in wrongful death cases tend to be substantial. There is no greater injury than death, and the pain that families endure may be immeasurable. According to Md. Code Cts. and Jud. Proc. Art. § 3-904(d), damages awarded in wrongful death cases may include pecuniary losses (i.e., monetary costs and economic losses) in addition to various non-economic damages.

For example, you can claim the cost of burial and funeral expenses, your loved one’s lost income and financial support, and even medical bills your family member incurred before they passed away. You may also claim damages related to emotional pain, loss of consortium, loss of marital care, loss of parental guidance, and other painful losses and experiences.

People Who May File Wrongful Death Claims in Perry Hall, MD

While a deceased person who was the victim of another’s wrongful behavior might leave behind a whole host of loved ones, only specific family members may bring a wrongful death claim. Under Md. Code Cts. and Jud. Proc. Art. §3-904(a)(1), a wrongful death action is often available for a spouse, parent, or child of the deceased individual. However, a parent may not receive damages from a wrongful death claim for a child if they are at fault for the child’s death.

This may be disappointing to people who were very close with the deceased individual but are not technically immediate family members. However, there might still be a way for a more distant relative to file the case. Under § 3-904(b), if there are no immediate family members, including parents, spouses, or children, any other person related by marriage or blood who was substantially dependent on the deceased individual may submit the case.

What Makes a Wrongful Death Wrongful in Perry Hall, MD?

The law under Md. Code Cts. and Jud. Proc. Art. § 3-902(a) states that a person may bring a wrongful death claim against someone whose wrongful act or omission causes the passing of another. This is not a very detailed explanation of what makes a wrongful death wrongful. We can look to § 3-901(e), which holds that a wrongful act may include neglect, an intentional act, or defaults or omissions. Felonious or criminal acts may be considered wrongful for the purposes of a wrongful death claim, but not all wrongful actions are crimes.

A commonly cited reason for wrongful death is a car accident. Car accidents happen all the time, and not everyone is lucky enough to survive. If you lose a family member in an auto accident, you can sue the person responsible for the crash. This may require evidence from the accident scene and your family member’s medical records after the crash to prove that the accident caused their death and that the defendant caused the accident.

Another somewhat common reason behind wrongful death claims is medical malpractice. If your family member was being treated by a doctor and unfortunately passed away because of the doctor’s negligent care, you might have a case of wrongful death against the doctor and the hospital they work for. It can be tricky to prove claims like these because not all instances of medical treatment gone wrong are malpractice. Patients respond differently to treatment, and a positive outcome is never guaranteed. To prove your case, we would need to show how the doctor’s treatment fell below the standard of care.

Evidence Needed to Support Wrongful Death Claims in Perry Hall, MD

The evidence our wrongful death lawyers need to support your wrongful death claim will likely revolve around your loved one’s medical records. If your loved one was rushed to a hospital for emergency medical treatment before they passed away, those medical records are crucial to establishing the cause of death. If your loved one’s passing was immediate, there may still be records from a medical examiner.

Accurate medical records are only half the evidentiary equation. We also need medical experts to review those records and testify about them in court. Medical records can be very complex, and the average juror with no medical background might not fully understand what they mean. A medical expert can review the records and explain them so the jury will understand them.

While medical records are key to your case, we should also look into other evidence sources to support your claims. Evidence from the accident scene might include photos or videos of the scene. We should also look for security cameras in the area to see if your loved one’s accident was caught on video. The availability of this kind of evidence depends on how your loved one was injured. Talk to our team about the evidence needed for your specific case.

Speak to Our Perry Hall, MD Wrongful Death Lawyers About Your Claims Now

Call our wrongful death lawyers at (410) 694-7291 and ask our team at Rice, Murtha & Psoras for a free, private assessment of your claims.