Losing a loved one due to another’s negligence can be emotionally and financially devastating for families. Under Maryland law, eligible family members have a right to file a wrongful death claim against the negligent parties and recover financial compensation.
At Parker, Pallett, Slezak & Russell, LLC, our dedicated and compassionate Perryville, MD wrongful death attorneys are determined to hold the at-fault parties liable for damages and help grieving family members attain a sense of closure. If you lost a loved one in the Perryville area, contact us to discuss your case today.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim in Perryville, MD?
According to Maryland Code of Courts & Judicial Proceedings Section 3-902(a), eligible family members may pursue a legal claim against an individual or entity whose wrongful actions caused the death of their loved one.
Section 3-901(3) defines a wrongful action as an act of negligence, intention, or default, for which the injured victim could have sued for damages if they had survived. With our team of experienced personal injury attorneys and wrongful death attorneys in Perryville, MD, on your side, you can obtain justice and compensation for the loss of your loved one.
Types of Damages You Can Recover in a Wrongful Death Case
The recoverable damages in a wrongful death case in Maryland may include:
- Loss of income from the victim
- Medical bills and other costs related to the decedent’s care prior to death
- Funeral or burial costs
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship, protection, comfort, attention, and guidance
- Loss of marital care or consortium
- Pre-impact fright suffered by the decedent
- Exemplary damages can be awarded by a court in exceptional cases where the conduct of the defendant was particularly reckless or egregious.
Who Can Claim Wrongful Death Damages in Perryville, MD?
Under Maryland law, family members with the closest relationship to the decedent and/or most dependent on their income before the accident are generally prioritized over other claimants. These include:
- Primary Beneficiaries: Spouse, child, or parent of the decedent
- Secondary Beneficiaries: In the absence of a primary beneficiary, relatives by blood or marriage who were “substantially dependent” on the deceased person
Contact our wrongful death lawyers in Perryville, MD, to know if you qualify as a wrongful death claim beneficiary.
Survival Action in Perryville, MD
Under Section 7-401 of the Maryland Code of Estates and Trusts, a personal representative of the decedent’s estate can file a survival action to recover damages for the estate—in other words, “damages on behalf of the decedent”. In a survival action, the claim is filed for the injury and pain and suffering the decedent experienced prior to death. In a sense, a survival action enables the decedent’s loved ones to step into their shoes and pursue a legal claim even after death.
Is there a Cap on Perryville, MD Wrongful Death Damages?
In Maryland, there is no cap on the amount of economic damages that you may receive in wrongful death cases. But a cap applies to non-economic damages in these cases. The cap is usually raised each year to adjust for the rise in living costs.
In non-malpractice wrongful death lawsuits in the state, the following cap on non-economic damages currently applies:
- Limit on all wrongful death claims with two more beneficiaries: $1,380,000
- Combined limit for wrongful death and survival action: $2.3 million
Legal Elements to Prove Liability in Wrongful Death Cases
Under Maryland law, the burden of proof in wrongful death claims lies on the plaintiffs—the party who is suing for damages. Our wrongful death lawyer in Perryville can provide you with strong legal representation and prove the liability of the at-fault parties to obtain fair compensation.
When a wrongful death occurs due to a negligent act of the defendants, our law firm will leave no stone unturned to build evidence and prove the following elements of liability in personal injury claims:
Duty of Care
We will prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to your loved one. For instance, a commercial truck driver has a duty to follow the federal Hours of Service rules, a tire manufacturer has a duty to produce defect-free tires for motor vehicles, and a medical professional has a duty to follow the prevailing standard of care to diagnose and treat a patient.
Breach of Duty
We will prove that the defendant failed to meet their reasonable or expected duty of care—in other words, they “breached their duty of care.” For instance, a driver who gets behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is violating their duty to safely operate their vehicle.
We will prove that the breach of duty by the defendant became the cause of the victim’s wrongful death. Just because someone else breached their duty of care does not mean that breach caused the accident. Our investigators will collect evidence to show that the real cause of your loved one’s wrongful death was a breach of duty, and not something else.
To recover compensation, you must prove you suffered damages as a result of the accident. A personal injury lawyer can help you collect evidence and records of your injuries and prove how they were caused by the defendant’s actions. An attorney from our law office may even use expert testimony to fight for your rightful compensation.
Why Call Our Perryville, MD Wrongful Death Law Offices?
Injured victims and families of those killed in wrongful death accidents choose a Perryville car accident lawyer at our law office for a number of reasons
- Personalized Guidance: Our legal team will provide you with personalized legal guidance, advice, and attention at every step and create a personal injury strategy tailored to your individual needs, goals, and circumstances.
- Compassionate Support: Our personal injury law team knows the kind of emotional pain and anguish you are going through for the loss of your loved one. We will address your needs with compassion and empathy and help you move forward in life.
- Multi-Location Access: At Parker, Pallett, Slezak & Russell, LLC, we serve you from six convenient locations. We will regularly meet, communicate, keep you updated on the case, and engage with you to help you make the right decisions.
- Skills, Experience, Resources: We have extensive legal knowledge and skills related to Maryland wrongful death laws, decades of combined experience, and vast resources to take on powerful defendants and large insurance companies.
- Proven Track Record: Our ability to collect strong evidence, our thorough trial preparedness, and our record of large settlements and verdicts speak to our ability to get you the compensation you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the grounds for a Perryville, MD wrongful death lawsuit?
Most wrongful death lawsuits in Perryville, MD, are based on claims of negligence, medical malpractice, or product liability. However, wrongful death civil claims can also be pursued for intentional actions or felonies, such as assault.
Is it necessary to inform an estranged family member about the claim?
Under the Maryland wrongful death statute, all potential beneficiaries should be included as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. If a beneficiary’s whereabouts are unknown, a good faith effort must be made to locate and notify them about the wrongful death claim.
Do I have to pay a tax on the wrongful death settlement amount?
The wrongful death settlement amount, under the tax code, is treated similarly to personal injury compensation. Any payments that compensate the victim’s injury-related pain and suffering are not taxable. Barring certain exceptions, you do not have to pay any tax on wrongful death settlements.
What happens when a wrongful death beneficiary dies before settlement?
If a beneficiary dies after the wrongful death of the victim, the estate of the deceased beneficiary will take over their claim. Learn more about wrongful death and personal injury cases during an appointment with the seasoned MD lawyers at our full-service law firm.
Choose Our Perryville, MD, Wrongful Death Attorneys to Get Justice and Compensation
The experienced Perryville, Maryland wrongful death lawyers at Parker, Pallett, Slezak & Russell, LLC cannot alleviate your emotional loss, but we will leave no stone unturned to get you justice and help you achieve a sense of closure.
When you work with us, we will work to obtain evidence and build a strong case to hold the negligent parties liable for maximum damages. Check out some of our testimonials to learn more about us. Call us at 443-LAWYERS or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.