Wrongful Death

The loss of a loved one is an overwhelming experience. When that loss is caused by the negligence of another person, the pain, grief, anger and confusion that comes with it can make the experience even more devastating. For almost seventy years, the lawyers at Bekman, Marder & Adkins have been handling a wide variety of wrongful death claims including car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, and injuries and death caused by defective products. Our legal team regularly represents the families of individuals who have died because of the negligence of others. The combination of our vast trial expertise and our passion for helping our clients receive justice allows us to intelligently and effectively recover for our clients. Below are some details about wrongful death lawsuits in Maryland. Of course, every case is different, so if you have questions about whether you have a case, call us at 410-539-6633 and ask to speak to a lawyer.

Who has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit?

Under Maryland law, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the husband, wife, child, or parent of a deceased person. Unlike some other states, Maryland does usually not allow wrongful death lawsuits to be filed by siblings, step-children, or grandparents. However, there are some unique circumstances where someone other than the spouse, child or parent may bring a suit. If you are curious about whether you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit, our best advice is to call so we can speak to you about your specific situation.

How soon do I have to file a wrongful death claim?

Maryland law requires that wrongful death lawsuits be filed within three years of the person’s death. For example, if your loved one was injured in an automobile collision or because of medical negligence on September 1, 2013 and later died of his injuries on October 1, 2013, you have until October 1, 2016 to file a wrongful death lawsuit in most cases. However, as you will see below, there can be more than one claim that is created when a person dies as a result of negligence, so be sure to contact our firm as soon as possible to make sure that you do not miss the deadline for filling all the claims you and your family may be entitled to file. The more time passes, the more important memories may fade, and the more difficult it can be to obtain critical evidence.

What types of damages are recoverable in a wrongful death suit?

In Maryland, most wrongful death cases have two parts: (1) a wrongful death claim, and (2) a survival claim. While these terms can seem confusing, the difference is quite simple.

In a wrongful death claim, the recovery is measured in terms of damage to family members that result from the loss of their loved one. The spouse, parent, and child of a person who died may recover both “economic” and “noneconomic” damages. Economic damages include: (1) the financial support the person who died would have provided (often in the form of lost earnings); and (2) the value of the services that the person who died would have continued to provide to his or her family members if they did not pass away (this typically includes things like the value of cooking, cleaning, home repairs, gardening, child care, and other household services). Noneconomic damages are often referred to as “pain and suffering” damages. These include the mental anguish, emotional pain, and the loss of the loved one’s companionship and care.

The survival action is filed on behalf of the Estate of the person who died. The Estate can also recover economic and noneconomic damages. However, the damages are measured in terms of harm to the person who died. The economic damages in a survival action include medical expenses for the care that the person who died needed before their death, the funeral and burial expenses, and the lost earnings from the time the person was injured until the time the person died. The noneconomic damages in a survival action include the conscious pain and suffering that the person who died experienced as a result of his or her injury prior to death. If you believe a loved one has died as a result of negligence, we can assist in setting up an Estate and making sure that all necessary claims are timely filed.

How much does SCBMA charge?

In personal injury and wrongful death cases, whether they are motor vehicle collisions, medical malpractice, premises liability, or product cases, we work on a contingency basis. That means that we lay out the cost of filing a lawsuit and we do not get paid unless we recovery money for you.

Maryland Injury Law Blog - Wrongful death
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