Suffering the loss of a loved one is difficult, especially when it is the result of a preventable accident. If you have found yourself in this unfortunate situation, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit to seek compensation for what has happened.
One of the Baltimore wrongful death attorneys from our firm can help you hold the liable parties accountable by handling your case from start to finish. A free consultation awaits when you call.
Our team at Brown & Barron offers our sincerest condolences. We understand that pursuing a legal case while you are trying to cope with the unexpected loss of a loved one can be very draining and overwhelming. For this reason, we want to help you handle the legal side of things. We have assisted countless families in similar situations throughout Baltimore.
Get in touch with a wrongful death lawyer serving Baltimore, (410) 698-1717 for a free case evaluation.
While there is no question that financial compensation will not and cannot make up for your loss, taking legal action can help you obtain some peace of mind and pay any related costs.
On top of that, a successful case can pave the way for similar cases in the future and prevent the same tragedy from befalling your neighbors, your friends, and other residents of Baltimore.
Types of Wrongful Death Actions in Maryland
In the state of Maryland, a legal action concerning wrongful death can be filed as either a survival action or a wrongful death action. While both these claims are civil lawsuits filed after an untimely death, the difference between these two actions is as follows:
- Wrongful death actions are filed to recover any damages an individual or family suffered as a result of losing their loved one.
- Survival actions are filed on a deceased person’s behalf and are wholly concerned with any losses suffered by their estate, so all compensation is paid directly to the estate—not the person filing the claim.
Who Can Pursue Wrongful Death and Survival Actions?
To file a wrongful death action, you must be a primary beneficiary, which could be:
- A surviving spouse
- An adult child of the deceased (biological or adopted)
- A parent of the deceased
A primary beneficiary can also file a survival action to recover compensation for the estate.
Surviving nieces, nephews, siblings, and other blood relatives of the deceased are considered secondary beneficiaries and can usually only file survival actions. Thus, a secondary beneficiary typically cannot recover compensation for their own personal losses.
Which Accidents Qualify for a Wrongful Death Action?
Any fatal accident that was caused by another party’s negligent actions—whether they were willfully or unintentionally negligent—will be considered grounds for a wrongful death action. Claimants will have to prove that negligence occurred in order to win a wrongful death case.
This may sound simple, but liable parties—no matter if they are fully aware that they are responsible—often attempt to avoid being held accountable. However, a Baltimore wrongful death lawyer from our firm can work with you to stand up to a negligent person or company.
Potential Damages in Wrongful Death Actions
A primary beneficiary pursuing a wrongful death action can request compensation for any damages incurred as a result of their loss. Law groups all damages into two categories:
- Economic damages: These include funeral and burial expenses, medical treatment the deceased received between the accident and their death, property damages, lost wages, and any other expenses with an accompanying bill.
- Non-economic damages: These can be pain and suffering, emotional distress, trauma, loss of guidance, loss of companionship, loss of consortium, loss of love and affection, and any other losses that are emotional, mental, or difficult to measure monetarily.
The state of Maryland does not limit compensation for economic damages but does put a $2 million cap on non-economic damages.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
How much compensation a claimant may recover in their case depends on several factors, including the kinds of damages the claimant is seeking and their estimated value. One of our firm’s lawyers can help you determine which damages you should claim and calculate their individual worth. Then, we can determine the approximate total amount you may be able to recover for your case.
Whether your case resolves in a settlement or court award can also affect the amount of compensation you receive. Depending on your case, one option may let you recover more compensation than the other.
Contact Brown & Barron online today to schedule a free case review with a with a wrongful death lawyer serving Baltimore.
Baltimore Wrongful Death Claim FAQ
What is the Maryland Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations?
For claims concerning wrongful death, an eligible claimant has three years from the date of the death to take legal action in most situations, per Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-904. If the wrongful death arose from medical malpractice, though, the law allows for a five-year statute of limitations under certain circumstances. The more time you give a legal professional to prepare your claim, the stronger it can be, so do not wait to contact an attorney to get more information about the statute of limitations that applies to your case.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is legally defined as a death that arises due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another party. The family members of the deceased individual have the right to file a lawsuit against those they believe are responsible for their loved one's untimely demise.
Is a Survival Action Different from a Wrongful Death Action?
While survival actions and wrongful death actions arise from the same event – the wrongful death of an individual – they serve different purposes and compensate for different types of losses. A wrongful death claim seeks to compensate the surviving family members for their personal losses due to the death of their loved one, including economic support, companionship, and emotional distress. On the other hand, a survival action is a lawsuit that the deceased person could have brought had they lived, and that is filed on behalf of their estate.
How Do I File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Initially, you must determine your eligibility to file the claim; eligibility is typically limited to immediate family members or dependents of the deceased. Once eligibility is established, you must adhere to the state's statute of limitations, which requires that a wrongful death claim be filed within three years of the date of the deceased person's death. The claim itself involves proving four elements – duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and actual suffering of damages by the plaintiff. Given the intricacies of these cases, it is highly beneficial to hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer from Brown & Barron in Baltimore.
At Brown & Barron, our legal team stands by our clients to help them argue their cases. To substantiate your claim, one of our lawyers can hire an expert to reconstruct the accident and corroborate the evidence. Also, your attorney can conduct extensive research specifically relating to your case.
The reason we fight so hard is that we know how important legal action is for the deceased’s family. A wrongful death claim or lawsuit is often the last recourse available for many of our clients.
During a free initial consultation with a member of our team, we can give you a better idea of what your case may be worth.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Wrongful Death in Baltimore?
There are many reasons to hire a lawyer from our firm when seeking wrongful death damages. For you, the main reason may be that you won’t have to think about these legal matters while you mourn your loss. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on your family and leave your case in our hands.
When you allow our firm to take over your case, our attorneys will:
- Investigate the incident: Your lawyer will look into what caused your loved one’s death and who may be liable.
- Gather evidence: In your case, evidence may be medical records, a police report, a witness testimony, a toxicology report, and/or a supporting statement from an expert, like an accident reconstructionist.
- Handle communications and negotiations: You won’t have to talk to the other party’s insurer at all.
- Represent you in court, if necessary: If the insurer isn’t willing to negotiate fairly, your lawyer can take them to court and argue your case to a jury.
Additionally, our lawyers will help you understand Maryland’s wrongful death laws and how they apply to your case.
About Our Wrongful Death Attorneys
Our attorneys have dedicated their careers to helping people like you and your loved ones. Our clients include family members of victims of nursing home abuse and medical malpractice, including birth injuries. If your loved one suffered a fatal injury in a healthcare facility, we can help you. With over 137 years of combined experience, we have the knowledge and resources to fight for fair compensation in your case.
Since our attorneys work on a contingency basis, you won’t pay us anything until we recover compensation for you. We’ll do everything we can to secure your financial recovery, just as we have for many of our previous Baltimore clients.
Hear From Our Clients
"Brown & Barron, LLC has to be one of the best law firms in the state of Maryland, possibly the entire country. The quality of their service is second to none. They go above and beyond to serve their clients and get the job done."Eric B.
"The best professional experience I have ever been a part of. I trusted them the entire way, and they exceeded all expectations."Darius L.
"Brown & Barron provided efficient, straight-up, and straightforward services in my medical malpractice case. They answered all my questions and kept me informed every step of the way."D.D.
"After a two-year process, my case is resolved. I would like to commend and highly recommend Mr. Chris Casciano for his diligence, attention to detail, and support for myself and my family."A.L.
"They definitely get the job done in will go above in beyond for the clients I appreciate all the hard work that they have done over the years."Ashley L.
If you’re considering pursuing a wrongful death claim, Brown & Barron wants to hear from you. We can offer you a free initial consultation to discuss your case and potential financial recovery under state law. We can also provide you with an estimate of the value of your case and tell you more about the legal process.
From 2017 to 2021, our firm recovered more than $82 million in compensation for our clients across a spectrum of practice areas. Helping clients seek justice and move forward after a life-changing event is why we practice law in the first place. You can trust us to put you and your family first.
What Is the Maryland Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations?
For claims concerning wrongful death, an eligible claimant has three years from the date of the death to take legal action, per Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-904. The more time you give a legal professional to prepare your claim, the stronger it can be, so do not wait to contact an attorney.