Wrongful Death Attorneys
A wrongful death case is essentially a personal injury case in which the injured person no longer has the power to file a claim. A wrongful death may be the result of a medical malpractice, a car accident, an assault, or any other wrongful act for which the deceased person would have been able to file a claim and recover damages had they lived.
In the event of the injured person’s death, his or her family members may seek to recover damages as a compensation for any emotional and/or economic losses they may have sustained as a result of their family member’s death (this is known as a wrongful death action).
Additionally, a representative of the deceased person’s estate may seek to recover damages on behalf of the deceased person, as compensation for any economic losses and physical and emotional pain and suffering that person experienced as a result of the wrongful act (this is called a survival action). In addition to losses sustained by the deceased person while he or she was alive, a survival action may seek to recover monetary compensation for things like funeral and burial expenses.
Maryland’s wrongful death statue is found under Md. Courts and Judicial Proceedings § 3-904.
- Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., and 251,000 medical malpractice deaths occur in the U.S. each year.
- Over 135,000 unintentional injury-related deaths occurred in the U.S. in 2014.
- Over 33,000 motor vehicle traffic deaths occurred in the U.S. in 2014.
- Over 42,000 unintentional poisoning deaths occurred in the U.S. in 2014.
Wrongful death law
In a wrongful death case, the spouse, parents, and children of the deceased person may bring a wrongful death claim. In the absence of any of these family members, anyone who was dependent on the deceased person and related either by blood or by marriage may bring a case (§ 3-904(a)(1)).
A wrongful death action must be brought within three years of the deceased person’s time of death, under the statute of limitations given in § 3-904(g). However, in a case where the person’s death was caused by a toxic substance in the workplace, a wrongful death action may be brought either within 10 years of the time of death, or within three years of the date when the cause of death was discovered – depending on which is the shorter of the two (§ 3-904(g)(2)).
Damages in a wrongful death case may include money for things like lost wages, medical expenses and funeral expenses, property damage, physical and emotional pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of financial support for any dependents on the deceased person.
These damages may be recovered by a representative of the deceased person’s estate on behalf of the deceased; or they may be recovered by the deceased person’s primary beneficiaries (spouse, children, or parents) in their own behalf. In either case, the money awarded in damages usually goes to the primary beneficiaries in the case – or to the secondary beneficiaries (those dependent on the deceased and related to them by blood or marriage), if no primary beneficiaries exist.
Maryland has set a cap of $785,000 on non-economic damages for medical malpractice, under § 3-2A-09. In a case brought by two or more of the deceased person’s surviving family members, that cap rises to $981,250. In any other wrongful death case, the cap is $830,000, and $1,245,000 for a case involving multiple family members.
Attorneys Serving The Delmarva Peninsula And The Eastern Shore Of Maryland
Otway Russo, P.C., represents next of kin such as spouses, children and parents after fatal car accidents, fatal train accidents, fatal workplace accidents and suspicious deaths that may indicate negligence occurred in a health care setting.
With years of experience representing injured people and their families, our plaintiff’s lawyers have gained many skills and abundant knowledge that can benefit survivors after a fatal accident. We can take burdens off your shoulders as you adjust to life without your recently deceased loved one. We help clients in many practical ways such as by setting up an estate for a deceased family member. We review police reports, interview eyewitnesses and analyze medical records as we develop theories of negligence.
Once a negligent party has been identified, we can help families in and around Salisbury and beyond seek appropriate compensation through a wrongful death claim. In the case of bus, train or airplane accident resulting in multiple fatalities, keep in mind that each person’s death represents a unique legal matter. Your loved one who was killed had a certain level of income and/or education and died in a particular way. These and other factors will have an impact on the outcome of your wrongful death case.
Contact an Experienced Salisbury Wrongful Death Attorney
We do what we can to make it convenient for grieving family members to meet with our lawyers and learn how we can help. There is no charge for initial consultations. If you cannot come to our law offices, let us know and we may be able to meet with you elsewhere. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys. Call (410) 983-6799 for a prompt response.