ClickCease Maryland Wrongful Death Lawyer | Wrongful Death Claims in MD

Maryland Wrongful Death Lawyer

Did you lose a loved one in a fatal accident in Maryland because someone else was careless?

You may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim if you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. Reach out to the compassionate Maryland wrongful death lawyers at Regan Zambri Long. We can help you understand the laws around wrongful death in Maryland and identify what damages you might be owed. Regan Zambri Long offers a free consultation, so call today to discuss your legal options.

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What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit filed by surviving family members after a fatal accident. Wrongful death claims are tort claims, such as negligence or malpractice, brought on behalf of the decedent. In the majority of states, the plaintiff in a wrongful death suit is the deceased person’s estate or immediate family. Only immediate family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Any money awarded will go to the family members or the decedent’s estate.

$77M Wrongful Death Settlement
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$19.5M Wrongful Death Verdict
$16M Premises Liability Settlement
$15.2M Wrongful Death Settlement
$15.2M Wrongful Death Verdict
$14M Personal Injury Settlement
$14M Car Accident Settlement
$11M Med. Malpractice Settlement

These types of personal injury claims in Maryland fall under the Maryland Wrongful Death Statute, which defines wrongful death as “an act, neglect, or default including a felonious act which would have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued.”

In Maryland, the victim’s estate also has another separate claim called a survival action under Maryland law. A survival action is filed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate for the injury to the victim. This would include medical expenses, funeral bills, and other damages like pain and suffering.

If you have lost a loved one and you are contemplating a wrongful death action, you should consult with an experienced wrongful death lawyer. An experienced attorney will provide support and help you advocate for your rights as a survivor and for the rights of your loved one.

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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Maryland?

When a person dies because of a wrongful act of another person, their immediate family has the right to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf. In Maryland, the beneficiaries of a wrongful death claim can be:

  • The spouse
  • The children
  • The parents
  • The siblings

If the victim was not married, the victim’s parents were no longer living, or the victim did not have children or siblings, another family member (can be related by blood or by marriage) can recover compensation if they can prove that they were dependent on the victim financially.

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What Compensation is Available After a Wrongful Death?

Damages in wrongful death cases are awarded to cover and compensate expenses from the accident as well as future expenses based on the loss of a loved one. These include:

How Much Compensation Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In Maryland, there is a limit to how much compensation you can recover in a wrongful death lawsuit. For non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, if there is only one beneficiary, they can receive up to $935,000 as of 2023. The cap does increase every year. For two or more beneficiaries, the cap is $1,402,500.

This means that the damage caused to a surviving family member caused by the victim’s absence or inability to provide for the family (lost earning capacity) can be recovered. Some relevant factors for determining how much money can be recovered are age, health, and future earning capability. This means that if the victim were younger with dependents, they would recover more damages than if the victim was older, in poor health, retired, or single with no dependents.

How Much Do Wrongful Death Cases Usually Settle For?

It is impossible to determine an average settlement number for a wrongful death claim, but an experienced Maryland wrongful death lawyer can project an amount of damages for your claim based on the specific facts of your case. Every wrongful death case differs, so settlements can range from thousands to millions.

Having an experienced lawyer will help the chances of success on your claim. Regan Zambri Long has been assisting clients for over 40 years, and some of Regan’s wrongful death verdicts and settlements include:

How are Proceeds Divided?

The proceeds are divided to adequately compensate each party based on their loss when it comes to the lost loved one. For example, a spouse might be able to claim lost spousal support and additional lost future wages, while a parent would not be able to claim those additional damages.

Do You Pay Taxes on a Wrongful Death Settlement?

Many plaintiffs in wrongful death cases do not consider what a settlement award might mean for their taxes. Some types of lawsuit awards are taxable by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), but wrongful death settlements are not taxable. Fortunately, the IRS only taxes “income,” and the IRS does not consider proceeds from a wrongful death award to be income. This is because the award is meant to compensate the plaintiff for losses.

What are the Different Types of Wrongful Death Claims?

Wrongful death can result from many types of accidents or negligence, but the most common types of wrongful death claims are:

  • Medical malpractice. Medical malpractice can occur in many ways, but one of the most common causes of wrongful death in the medical field is failure to diagnose. Experts at the Institute of Medicine have found that between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die each year due to preventable medical errors.
  • Dangerous or defective products. If a defective product results in the death of your family member, you have the right to sue if the manufacturer of the product knew that the danger existed.
  • Nursing home neglect. If your loved one dies in a nursing home as a result of lack of care, understaffing, or neglect, your family has a right to sue for wrongful death.
  • Car accidents. If your loved one dies in a car accident as the result of negligence, your family can sue for wrongful death.
  • Unsafe premises. If your family member dies as the result of an incident on dangerous premises, your family may have a wrongful death claim.
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How Do I Prove a Wrongful Death Claim in Maryland?

Wrongful death is a type of tort, which is a type of civil action for negligent or reckless actions brought on behalf of the deceased person.

To prove wrongful death, the plaintiff must establish the four elements of a tort claim:

Is There a Statute of Limitations for a Maryland Wrongful Death Claim?

In Maryland, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is three years from the date of death. Though there are some exceptions to the rule, the general rule is that the survivors must file the lawsuit in Maryland within 3 years.

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Wrongful Death Claim?

It depends. There is no standard for the amount of time it takes to settle a wrongful death claim. This will depend on various factors. When liability (duty, breach, and causation) is already established or is not in question, the only question left for the court or the parties to decide in negotiations is what compensation is reasonable. A simpler claim like this will resolve more quickly than one where liability must be proven.

In the best-case scenario, a wrongful death claim can settle in as little as months. However, many wrongful death cases take longer to settle, and depending on how long it takes to finish the discovery phase of the lawsuit and how busy the court’s schedule is, it can take years to resolve a wrongful death case.

Is Wrongful Death a Criminal Act in Maryland?

No, wrongful death is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal act. The defendant in a civil suit does not go to jail if they lose the case, but they may be required to pay damages to the plaintiff(s) as financial compensation for the death they wrongfully caused.

However, there can be a criminal case and a civil case involving the death simultaneously. Even if there are criminal proceedings, you can still file a civil wrongful death claim. This most commonly occurs when someone is being prosecuted criminally for manslaughter and civilly for wrongful death. A well-known example is the O.J. Simpson case. NFL star O.J. Simpson allegedly murdered his wife, and both criminal charges and civil wrongful death charges were filed against him.

Why Choose Regan Zambri Long as Your Maryland Wrongful Death Attorney?

The Maryland wrongful death lawyers at Regan Zambri Long have significant experience with wrongful death cases and have been representing survivors in wrongful death suits throughout Maryland. We have recovered millions of dollars in wrongful death claims, and we can help you navigate the tricky legal issues that come along with wrongful death lawsuits. and are passionate about assisting parents, spouses, and children who have lost loved ones. Call today to schedule a free consultation.

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Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

Call 202-960-4596

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