Baltimore Wrongful Death Lawyer
When you or someone you love dies due to the negligent conduct of a third party, call a Baltimore wrongful death lawyer to discuss your options. In Baltimore in 2022, there were 335 homicides, according to The Baltimore Sun. Of course, this statistic covers only a fraction of the total number of deaths in Baltimore due to conduct of a third party. Whether it is negligent or intentional conduct dictates how much you may recover, but not whether you may recover.
You may recover if the death of your loved one is wrongful. Generally, this is due to negligent conduct, such as in a car, truck, pedestrian, or motorcycle accident. But it can also be due to criminal conduct as well. Baltimore has a high homicide rate. If the death is due to criminal conduct, the estate’s representative for the decedent may press criminal charges in addition to your civil claim as a close family member. In the criminal case, the state will control the case. But on the civil side, you get to be in control. Hire a Baltimore wrongful death lawyer to have experienced counsel on your side.
Who may Make a Claim
The general rule in Maryland is a spouse, parent, and child of the decedent may each make a wrongful death claim. Unfortunately, close friends or siblings are not covered under the statute. The rationale for this is simple. There is not always enough coverage for all parties if the statutes covers more than those groups. Additionally, courts view that, in general, it may become more about the financial benefit than the loss of someone you depend on and love. There are certain exceptions that limit recovery for spouses, parents, and children. Additionally, § 3-904(b) of the Maryland Code states if there are no persons who qualify under § 3-904(a) like a spouse, parent, or child, then an action for the benefit of any person related to the deceased by blood or marriage who was substantially dependent upon the deceased. This is a reason why it is imperative to consult with a Baltimore wrongful death lawyer to understand how the law applies to your case.
Compensation in a Baltimore Wrongful Death Case
The damages under this statute are not only for pecuniary, or economic, loss or benefit. In addition to that, claimants may receive damages for mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, comfort, protection, marital care, parental care, filial care, attention, advice, counsel, training, guidance, or education where applicable. See Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-904. Notably, Maryland has a cap on damages for wrongful death actions. Although, in a recent decision, it no longer has a cap on damages for intentional torts. This means more accessibility to the compensation you deserve when a loved one you depend on is stripped from your life. If there is only one claimant, the cap is sitting around For assistance determining what your claim is worth, speak to a Baltimore wrongful death attorney.
Dead Man’s Statute
The dead man’s statute in Maryland is distinct to the state. It makes parties to certain types of proceedings incompetent to testify concerning a transaction or statement by a decedent or incompetent person. However, the statute is inapplicable to suits with heirs of the decedent suing or being sued in a wrongful death action. Reddy v. Modi, 39 Md. App. 675 (1978). This is all to say leading a trial in a wrongful death action in Baltimore is complex. The court assigns more rules to a death case than a typical negligence case.
Speak with a Baltimore Wrongful Death Lawyer
A wrongful death in your family is likely one of the most difficult things you will have to go through in your life. Simplify the process. Get someone on your side who has handled thousands of negligence cases. The person who causes your family member’s death should not get to walk free. Hopefully the state will take care of that. You are entitled to compensation for your loss. Call today for a free consultation.