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What is Considered “Wrongful Death” in a Civil Case in Maryland?


If you have lost a family member in Maryland due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct, you could attempt to seek monetary compensation.  Maryland’s wrongful death statute was created to provide grieving family members with a means of securing compensation for the wrongful pain and loss that they have suffered.  it is important to speak to an attorney early about your ability to pursue a claim for wrongful death in Maryland.
Some family members worry whether the death was truly “wrongful death.”  As a result, many people miss out on an opportunity to seek monetary justice through the appropriate channels.  If your loved one’s death was caused by an accident or by someone’s negligence, it likely qualifies for a wrongful death claim and you should speak with a Maryland wrongful death lawyer immediately.
If you believe you may have a case for wrongful death in Maryland, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras, where we will be happy to answer your questions and fight to get you what you deserve.  We offer free consultations.  Call today to schedule your personal consultation at (410) 694-7291.

What is “Wrongful Death” Under Maryland Law?

A death is considered “wrongful” when the death results from someone’s negligence or other misconduct.  the negligent party could be an individual (like a reckless or drunk driver) or a corporation or larger entity (like the manufacturer of a faulty airbag that failed to deploy during an accident).
This negligence is often described as a “wrongful act.”  It’s helpful to think of a wrongful act as something that the deceased would themselves use as grounds for a civil lawsuit had they not died.  For instance, if Jim was injured in a car accident where the other car was speeding out of control and directly caused Jim’s injuries, Jim would be able to sue the other driver.  If Jim died in the crash and cannot sue, his family can sue as part of a wrongful death lawsuit instead.

The Wrongful Death Statute in Maryland Explained

Maryland’s wrongful death statute was created to provide a surviving family with a means to seek compensation for the death of a family member after an accident or other wrongful acts.
If a death qualifies as a “wrongful death” because it was caused by an accident or other dangers, a Maryland wrongful death attorney will often file two different lawsuits: a “wrongful death” claim and a “survival action.”  Damages for a survival action relate to the loss and pain of the deceased person and are distributed to the deceased person’s estate, whereas damages from a wrongful death action are distributed directly to the family members. Maryland law allows you to bring both a wrongful death claim and a survival action at the same time.
If you have any questions about Maryland’s wrongful death statute, please call our Baltimore wrongful death lawyers for a free consultation.

Who Can Sue for “Wrongful Death” in Maryland?

Maryland differs from most other states on the subject of who can file a wrongful death lawsuit.  Individuals who qualify as “wrongful death beneficiaries” are usually limited to the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased.  the lawsuit may be brought on behalf of many individuals as long as they all fit that description. Therefore, it is important to attempt to include everyone who might fit the description of a beneficiary in the lawsuit.
If the deceased has no surviving spouse, children, or parents, then a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought by another individual, if that individual is related to the deceased by blood or marriage and was substantially dependent on the deceased.  If you are not sure if you qualify as a wrongful death beneficiary, please call our Aberdeen wrongful death lawyers for a free consultation about your beneficiary status.

Examples of Wrongful Death Cases in Maryland

The following are some common examples of ways that wrongful death cases happen.  If your loved one died in any of the following ways, our Towson wrongful death attorneys may be able to help.

Car Accidents

The surviving family of someone killed in a car accident can often sue the at-fault driver for their loved one’s death.  When someone causes a car accident because they were speeding, driving under the influence, or texting and driving, their wrongful act makes the death qualify as a “wrongful death.”

Medical Malpractice

A hospital or private practice whose negligence causes the untimely death of a patient is liable to the family of the patient.  Negligence in the practice of medicine includes writing irresponsible prescriptions, operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or any other instance where a physician doesn’t take reasonable care while providing medical services.

Workplace Accidents

Maryland employers have a duty to keep employees safe and secure while on the job.  If the employer fails to establish proper safety guidelines or asks its employees to perform their job in a way that might be hazardous to their health, they take on liability for certain harms that might follow.

Defective Products

Manufacturers of products that aren’t inherently dangerous have a duty to their customers to ensure that what they sell is safe for the general public.  Dangerous qualities such as concealed or illegible warning labels can have disastrous results and leave the manufacturer on the hook for the consequences that may follow.

Contact Our Maryland Wrongful Death Attorneys Today for a Free Consultation

A diligent, experienced Mount Airy wrongful death attorney can ensure that you are paid what you deserve. For a free evaluation of your case, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 today.