Wrongful death claims may be appropriate when a person dies because of another’s negligent or intentional conduct. In these situations, Maryland allows the deceased’s family to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. While the state permits these claims, the wrongful death statute is challenging and requires strict adherence to notice and filing requirements.
Maryland Code § 3-901 explains that a party may bring forth a wrongful death action if a death occurred because of another party’s negligent act or omission. The primary inquiry is whether the deceased would have been entitled to damages if they survived the incident. In this situation, spouses, parents, and children may be entitled to monetary compensation. These claims may arise from a construction accident, nursing home abuse or neglect, defective products, medical malpractice, and auto accidents.
For instance, news sources recently described a harrowing four-vehicle accident in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. State troopers and Maryland State Police Crash Team responded to the scene of the accident. A preliminary investigation reveals that an Audi crashed head-on with an SUV in the center turn lane. The SUV then swiped another vehicle which flipped over and hit another sedan. The SUV driver and passenger died at the scene of the accident. In addition to a host of weapon possession charges, police charged the driver of the Audi with driving under the influence and reckless driving.
After an accident, such as the one above, the eligible family member must establish each element of a negligence claim by the “preponderance of the evidence.” Although this standard is lower than a criminal case, it can be exceedingly challenging for plaintiffs. An attorney can gather the appropriate evidence to prepare and present a compelling case to a judge or jury.
Damages in a Maryland wrongful death accident case typically include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to quantifiable damages such as the cost of property damage, medical treatment, and loss of income. The law considers non-economic damages to be more subjective losses such as loss of support, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and pain and suffering. However, Maryland imposes a cap on economic and non-economic damages. It is important to note that wrongful death and survival actions are separate claims. While wrongful death claims are filed on behalf of the grieving family members, survival actions are filed on behalf of the deceased person themselves.
Has Your Loved one Died in a Maryland Accident
If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries or died in an accident, contact the experienced Maryland injury lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen. The lawyers at our firm have an in-depth understanding of Maryland’s complex personal injury and wrongful death laws. We work with injury victims and their families to address all possible avenues of recovery. Our firm handles Maryland car accident claims, as well as those involving premises liability, defective products, medical negligence, and more. We routinely recover substantial amounts of compensation on behalf of our clients and look forward to seeing how we can help you with your case. Contact Lebowitz & Mzhen at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team.