Baltimore Attorney for Wrongful Death in a Car Accident
Modern technology and safety features have made cars as safe as they have ever been. In addition to features such as seatbelts and airbags, many of today’s vehicles feature advanced systems such as blind-spot detection, emergency brake assistance, and warnings for lane drifting. Unfortunately, despite the newest technology, accidents occur in and around Baltimore. Often the cause of these accidents is driver negligence or human error. When a tragic accident results in a fatality, family members and loved ones have legal options.
The Baltimore attorneys for wrongful death in a car accident at Rice, Murtha & Psoras are committed to holding drivers and others responsible for the harm they caused. the unexpected death of a family member will not only fill their loved one’s with grief; it could place them into financial ruin. If you lost a family member or loved one in a car accident, contact our office at (410) 694-7291 for a free consultation.
Wrongful Death Claims for Baltimore Car Accidents
If you were injured in a car accident, you are entitled to sue the at-fault driver for compensation for your financial losses, including medical expenses and lost income. However, if someone is killed in a car crash, eligible family members can file a lawsuit to recover what they have lost because of the untimely death.
When a person files a personal injury lawsuit, they must prove that the other driver was at fault. This requirement is the same in a wrongful death claim. A surviving family member would not prevail in a wrongful death lawsuit if their loved one caused the accident.
Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for a Baltimore Car Accident
Fatal car accidents occur for a variety of reasons. Often, the main cause is the reckless behavior of another driver. Some common causes of deadly motor vehicle accidents in Baltimore include drunk driving, excessive speeding, distracted driving, and recklessly ignoring traffic rules.
No matter the cause, a surviving family must prove that another driver was negligent in a wrongful death claim. In a legal sense, negligence means that a driver’s conduct deviated from what a prudent and reasonable driver would have done under the same or similar circumstances. In some cases, negligence is not difficult to determine, such as a drunk driver speeding down a one-way street in the wrong direction. However, proving negligence can be a challenge. Our experienced Baltimore attorney for wrongful death in a car accident understands the hurdles a family will face. For example, a reasonable person might drive below the speed limit through a violent thunderstorm. If a fatal accident is caused by someone driving at the speed limit through a storm, their conduct could be constructed as negligent, even though they were following the law.
In some situations, the fatal injuries could have been the result of something other than another driver’s conduct. A defect in an airbag or seatbelt could have caused the fatal injury, opening the manufacturer to liability for the death. Debris in the road could also contribute to a deadly accident. Our Baltimore attorney will thoroughly review the circumstances surrounding a car crash to determine what parties should be held liable for your loved one’s wrongful death.
Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for a Baltimore Car Accident
Surviving family members are entitled to various types of compensation following a wrongful death in a car accident. Some examples of what damages could be recovered include loss of companionship, loss of advice, loss of consortium, lost income that the deceased would have earned, and compensation for emotional pain and suffering.
Many of these damages are difficult to calculate. How do you put a price on grief? Additionally, lost wages are very speculative. Damages in a wrongful death claim must be reasonable and realistic. Therefore, our Baltimore attorney for wrongful death in car accidents will work with economic and vocational experts to determine what your loved one would have likely earned throughout their life.
In a few rare cases, punitive damages could be awarded. Unlike the compensation listed above, punitive damages are awarded by the court when the defendant’s conduct is willfully malice and reprehensible. When a court awards punitive damages, it is seeking to punish the defendant.
Maryland Limitations on Noneconomic Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Damages arising from a wrongful death claim for a fatal car accident are categorized as either economic or noneconomic. Economic damages are your financial losses associated with the wrongful death, such as lost income. Under Maryland law, there is no limit to what you could be awarded for economic damages.
Not everything a survivor family member could be compensated for has a fair market value. If you lost a loved one in a fatal car crash, our office would calculate an amount for your emotional anguish and other similar claims. These types of damages are considered noneconomic. Maryland limits the amount of noneconomic damages available in a wrongful death claim. the cap will depend on when the accident occurred. If your loved one was killed in 2020, then your noneconomic damages are limited to $890,000. This amount will increase by $15,000 each year. Unfortunately, the cap also decreases if the accident occurred before 2020.
Call Our Baltimore Attorney for Wrongful Death in a Car Accident for a Free Consultation
Riding in a car remains one of the most dangerous things a person does daily. Our Baltimore attorney for wrongful death in a car accident is dedicated to providing professional and compassionate representation to those who lost family members in fatal crashes. If you lost a loved one or family member in a car accident, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.