Pursuing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in MarylandDecember 3, 2018
Losing a loved one is devastating to the surviving family members, particularly when the death was caused by another person’s negligence and could have been avoided. In addition to the emotional trauma, the loss can have a serious financial impact if the deceased was the main provider of the family. A wrongful death claim can offer some financial relief for the economic losses to the family and the estate. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can explain the options that are available to you and recommend the best legal course of action.
Wrongful Death Claim Categories
In the state of Maryland, there are two categories of wrongful death claims, including the following:
- Survival actions: These are brought on behalf of the estate and provide compensation for things like funeral, burial, medical expenses, and other losses to the estate related to the death. Survival actions also compensate the estate for pain and suffering and other losses the deceased person suffered.
- Wrongful death actions: These are brought on the behalf of the surviving family members, including the spouse, parents, and children. This provides financial relief to the surviving family members by compensating them for lost wages, and other support that was provided by the deceased.
Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Only certain people may file a wrongful death claim, according to Maryland law. It depends on whether the person filing is a primary or secondary beneficiary. A primary beneficiary may include the surviving spouse, parents, or children of the deceased family member. He or she can file either a wrongful death claim, a survival claim, or both. The damages will be awarded solely to the primary beneficiary. Secondary beneficiaries may include siblings, cousins, and other family members. If the primary beneficiary either cannot or chooses not to file a wrongful death or survival claim, the secondary beneficiary can file on behalf of both parties. In most cases, the primary beneficiary files the wrongful death claim, and the secondary beneficiary files a survival action.
The amount of damages or financial compensation that the beneficiary may receive depends on whether the claim is a wrongful death claim or a survival claim. In a survival claim, damages include funeral and burial expenses, medical bills for the deceased, property damage, the deceased person’s pain and suffering, and other costs associated with the deceased’s untimely death. Wrongful death damages include lost wages, loss of the deceased person’s companionship, and the impact that has on the surviving family members. Maryland caps non-economic damages at $2 million in wrongful death cases.
Baltimore Wrongful Death Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Families Pursue Wrongful Death Claims
If you have lost a loved one and you wish to file a wrongful death claim, contact the Baltimore wrongful death lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will guide you through every step of the claims process and ensure that you are pursuing the appropriate type of claim based on your relationship with the deceased. Our experienced and compassionate team will secure the maximum financial compensation you and your family deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.