Maryland Wrongful Death Lawyer

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Best Maryland Wrongful Death Lawyer

Maryland Wrongful Death Attorney

If you or a loved one suffers an injury because of another party’s actions, it can form the foundation of a personal injury suit, and you have the right to seek compensation for the losses you suffered.

However, if your family member died because of another party’s actions, you would need to file a wrongful death suit. A Maryland wrongful death lawyer can be an invaluable asset for helping you manage this type of personal injury case in Maryland.

Compassionate Wrongful Death Counsel in Maryland

Whitlock Law, LLC,  offers comprehensive legal representation for wrongful death claims in the state. Throughout the years of our firm’s operation, we have successfully helped many past clients ensure accountability for those responsible for their loved ones’ fatal injuries. If you believe any other party is directly responsible for causing the death of a family member, we can help you understand the state’s wrongful death statute as it applies to your case.

This type of civil suit is an inherently difficult issue for anyone to approach due to the emotional weight that a wrongful death carries for the surviving family members. They will not only struggle with their grief while mourning the deceased, but they are also likely to face financial and household upheaval, and it is natural for anyone in this situation to have lots of difficult questions regarding the compensation they could claim from the party who caused the death.

When you choose Whitlock Law, LLC, to represent your wrongful death suit, you are investing in an experienced legal advocate who can help you understand the challenges you are likely to encounter as you seek accountability for your loved one’s death and compensation for your family’s loss. We approach every case we accept with a focus entirely on the client’s needs, and you can expect responsive communication from our team through every phase of your case.

Why Should I Hire a Maryland Wrongful Death Attorney?

While it is technically possible for you to pursue a wrongful death claim without hiring legal counsel, you are far more likely to succeed when you have a Maryland wrongful death lawyer handling your case for you. They will know what evidence you will need to prove fault, what damages you can seek from the defendant, and how to resolve your claim as efficiently as possible.

Your Maryland wrongful death attorney can handle your case proceedings for you so you and your family can mourn with some peace of mind and manage your personal affairs. This means you will not need to contend with complex legal matters alongside your grief; your legal team can keep you updated on your case’s progress and assist you in making key decisions about the direction of your case as it unfolds.

Ultimately, you have the greatest chance of success with any civil claim for damages with a trustworthy attorney on your side. Your legal team can help you identify all the various damages you can seek with the claim and accurately evaluate them, ensuring that you maximize your case award. They will also know the most efficient way to resolve your case, reducing the time it takes for you to ensure accountability for your loved one’s death.

Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths in Maryland

A wrongful death in Maryland is effectively a fatal personal injury. Any incident that can potentially form grounds for a personal injury claim could also lead to a wrongful death claim if the injury proves fatal for the victim. A few of the most common causes of wrongful deaths in the state include:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents in Maryland like car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, and bicycle accidents are a leading cause of accidental deaths throughout the country each year. The party who caused your loved one’s fatal accident may have auto insurance coverage that could provide some measure of financial relief for your family, but a successful wrongful death suit is likely to yield far better recovery.
  • Premises Liability. If a property owner fails to take proper care of their property and a lawful visitor or guest suffers a slip and fall or similar injury, the property owner faces liability for the victim’s damages under the state’s premises liability laws.
  • Acts of Violence. Unfortunately, violent crime is a persistent issue in Baltimore and the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. If your loved one was the victim of a deadly assault or other intentional criminal act, the party responsible for causing their death faces criminal prosecution and felony charges. Intentional homicide is one of the most severe criminal offenses anyone can commit and can potentially lead to life in prison.

Most wrongful death suits filed arise from acts of negligence, or failure to use reasonable care in given situations. If this applies to your case, you will need to identify the party or parties responsible for causing the death and then prove they breached a duty of care that ultimately resulted in the death. If the death resulted from illegal misconduct, your attorney could explain what implications this may have on your case proceedings.

In a case resulting from an act of negligence, success with a wrongful death claim hinges on the plaintiff’s ability to accurately identify the defendant who caused the death and prove how they caused the death. Negligence may refer to a failure to act with reasonable care or a breach of a specific duty of care. In either case, effectively leveraging evidence and witness testimony will enable a plaintiff to establish negligence in their wrongful death claim.

It is vital to note that the state enforces a contributory negligence rule for personal injury cases, including wrongful death claims. Under the contributory negligence rule, a plaintiff cannot claim compensation from a defendant if the plaintiff bears any amount of fault for causing the damages. If your loved one is discovered to have contributed to their fatal accident, it could prevent you from filing a wrongful death suit.

Defendants facing wrongful death claims and other personal injury suits in the state commonly attempt to assert contributory negligence in their efforts to avoid liability for these claims. If any such issues arise with your case, your wrongful death lawyer in Maryland will know how to leverage the facts for you. If you can successfully establish liability, you can claim compensation for the losses the defendant has inflicted on you and your family.

Claiming Compensation for a Maryland Wrongful Death

The objective of any wrongful death suit filed is for the plaintiff to hold a defendant accountable for the death they caused and to secure compensation for the losses the family suffered because of the death. Money cannot bring back the deceased, but a successful case can yield valuable compensation that enables the surviving family to adjust to their new reality a bit easier. It can also provide a sense of closure to hold the at-fault party formally accountable.

Just like in any other personal injury suit, the plaintiff in a wrongful death claim has the right to seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages caused by the defendant. Economic damages are generally straightforward and proven with the appropriate documentation. Non-economic damages are more subjective and include the intangible losses and trauma suffered by the victim’s family. The latter are capped by Maryland state law.

Economic damages are any direct financial effects of the death. In a wrongful death suit, economic damages include the losses suffered by the victim’s family. Damages suffered by the estate of the deceased must be recovered through a survival action, a separate but related civil claim.

The economic damages you may be able to recover from a successful wrongful death suit include:

  • The financial support the deceased would have provided to their beneficiaries. This can include the income they would have been able to continue earning in the future and can be difficult to accurately calculate without an attorney’s assistance. It’s possible to claim not only the deceased’s lost future income but also the lost valuation of investments and diminished inheritance resulting from their unexpected death.
  • Lost value of household and childcare services that the deceased provided. If the deceased leaves behind a spouse and children, their surviving spouse may need to overhaul their work schedule and/or arrange for childcare for their children. Any such expenses can be cited as economic damages in a wrongful death suit.
  • Funeral and burial expenses. It is very likely that the funeral and burial for the deceased will occur prior to the finalization of the wrongful death suit filed by the surviving family. A successful claim can yield compensation for these expenses, and the party who paid for the funeral and burial can receive full reimbursement.

The total economic damages you can recover from a successful wrongful death suit may amount to much more than you initially expected if you have the right legal team on your side. In addition to these damages, you also have the right to seek pain and suffering compensation. The surviving spouse of the deceased can claim loss of consortium and affection while surviving children can claim lost parental guidance and companionship.

The usual limit for pain and suffering compensation in a personal injury case in the state is $935,000, and this limit increases each year. However, the limit is multiplied in cases in which fatal injuries result based on the number of surviving beneficiaries. The deceased’s estate also has grounds for a claim. For example, in a wrongful death suit with more than two surviving beneficiaries and grounds for an estate claim, pain and suffering could total about $2.3 million.

If the defendant caused your loved one’s death through an intentional and illegal act, punitive damages and/or restitution could also come into play. Your wrongful death attorney can explain how these forms of compensation could factor into your case award and estimate how much you could potentially recover. Punitive damages aim to reflect the severity of a defendant’s illegal misconduct.

How to Resolve Your Wrongful Death Suit in Maryland

The majority of the civil claims filed in the state each year end in private settlement negotiations. If the defendant in your wrongful death suit accepts liability for the death and caused the death through simple negligence, it is possible to settle your claim outside of court as long as both you and the defendant are willing to compromise. During settlement negotiations, a plaintiff and a defendant meet privately with their respective attorneys to discuss terms.

It is possible to resolve a civil suit in a fraction of the time that litigation requires as long as both parties are willing to negotiate. However, settlement may not succeed for many possible reasons. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to resolve your wrongful death suit through private settlement negotiations, you will need to prepare for litigation, and this will take much longer to resolve.

It is also vital to note that it is possible for the beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate to have grounds for a survival action in addition to their wrongful death suit. This claim is counterintuitively named as it applies to the damages suffered by the deceased if they lingered after their fatal injury before passing away. This claim could recover compensation for medical expenses and other damages incurred during this period.

Due to the fact that the unexpected death of your loved one has the potential to generate multiple complex legal cases, it is vital to have trustworthy legal representation on your side. Whitlock Law, LLC, has years of professional experience resolving wrongful death suits and other personal injury cases throughout the state, and we are fully prepared to leverage the extent of our experience to your unique situation.

Whether you anticipate resolving your case through private settlement or you are bracing for litigation, your trusted Maryland wrongful death lawyer can guide you through these proceedings fluently. Our goal in your case is maximum compensation for the losses the defendant caused and to help you and your family feel a sense of closure and justice following the untimely death of a loved one.

Maryland Wrongful Death FAQs

Q: What Is the Value of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A: The value of a wrongful death lawsuit depends on multiple variables. Your Maryland wrongful death lawyer can assist you in the assessment of the various economic damages you can claim, and you can also claim compensation for your family’s pain and suffering. State law enforces a cap on pain and suffering compensation in personal injury claims, but this cap is significantly increased in cases involving fatal injuries.

Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A: The statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit in the state is the time limit in which you must file your claim; otherwise, you lose the chance to ensure accountability of the at-fault party and secure compensation for your family’s loss. The time limit for wrongful death suits is three years, and this time limit starts on the date of the death. However, the statute might be delayed if fault for the death can’t be immediately determined.

Q: Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Suit?

A: Only certain parties are eligible to file a wrongful death suit. If the deceased had a legally enforceable estate plan that named a personal representative, this individual would likely act as a plaintiff in the wrongful death suit on behalf of the victim’s beneficiaries. Alternatively, the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased are eligible to file a claim, followed by any other relative by blood or marriage who was dependent upon the deceased.

Q: Will a Defendant Go to Jail for Causing a Wrongful Death?

A: A defendant may go to jail for causing a wrongful death under certain conditions. If they caused the death through simple negligence, they would face liability for the wrongful death suit filed by the victim’s family, but they could face criminal charges if they were egregiously negligent and/or broke the law in causing the death. If they did break the law, their penalties in sentencing are likely to increase substantially due to the fatal effects of their illegal act.

Q: What Will It Cost to Hire a Maryland Wrongful Death Lawyer?

A: The cost to hire a Maryland wrongful death lawyer will depend on the attorney’s billing policy. If you hire Whitlock Law, LLC, to represent you, your fee will be a percentage of the case award we secure for you, and you will only pay this fee if and when we win your case. If our team is unable to obtain compensation from the defendant, you pay no fee, so there is no financial risk in hiring us with our contingency fee policy.

Whitlock Law, LLC, is ready to help you approach your wrongful death suit with confidence and peace of mind. We have years of professional experience we are ready to leverage for you and know how to help our clients overcome the various challenges they could face after losing a loved one unexpectedly. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation with a trusted Maryland wrongful death lawyer with your case.


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