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Silver Spring Wrongful Death Attorneys

The loss of a loved one is never easy. The aftermath can be incredibly challenging emotionally, mentally, and financially. Personal injury law allows the survivors of someone killed by another person’s negligent acts to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for the loss of his or her loved one. The skilled wrongful death attorneys of DuBoff & Associates, Chartered can help.

Let us handle the legal aspects of your claim while you devote time to honoring and mourning your family member. Our compassionate attorneys will fight hard to ensure that the liable party pays you for all the losses incurred due to the loss of your loved one.

What Exactly is Wrongful Death?

In the state of Maryland, wrongful death is defined as death that results from an accidental injury caused by the negligent act of a legally liable person or entity. State laws in Maryland and the laws of Washington, D.C. allow the heirs of a person killed through an act of negligence to receive compensation from the negligent party.

Similar to a personal injury claim, many types of events can give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit, including:

  • An act of negligence, such as a car accident or slip and fall
  • Medical malpractice
  • A malicious and intentional act, such as a crime.

Compensation need not necessarily be for financial losses. Wrongful death suits can yield damages for lost wages, medical bills, funeral costs, loss of companionship, and loss of consortium.

The Wrongful Death Statute and Survival Actions

There are two laws in Maryland that detail how wrongful death claims and cases proceed:

  • The wrongful death statute specifies how survivors are to be compensated for the death of a loved one injured through negligent means.
  • The survival statute specifies how surviving family members are to be compensated for damages and expenses incurred up to the moment of the victim’s death as a result of an injury caused by a negligent act.

Although both actions are triggered by a person’s wrongful death, the process is quite different for both.

Wrongful Death Claims

In order to file a wrongful death claim, a family member must have proper “standing” to bring such a lawsuit. In Maryland, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit only if you are the surviving spouse, child, or parent of the deceased. (If your loved one was unmarried, without children, and had no surviving parents, other family members may file if they were financially dependent upon the victim.) A successful wrongful death claim provides compensation to the surviving family members for their losses resulting from the decedent’s death.

If you are the beneficiary of a wrongful death claim, you must prove the following:

  • As per state law, you are the legal beneficiary
  • The responsible party’s negligence resulted in the victim’s death
  • You suffered damages due to the victim’s death.

While these damages are often due to economic losses such as medical bills and loss of financial support, you may also be able to seek compensation for loss of companionship, emotional anguish, and the loss of support provided by your loved one to the household. The Silver Spring wrongful death attorneys at DuBoff & Associates, Chartered can help you determine what losses you can seek.

Survival Actions

The effect of this type of action is similar to a personal injury lawsuit. In this case, the victim died instead of merely suffering injuries. The personal representative of the estate of the victim, who can be appointed by their will or by a probate court, acts on their behalf to file the lawsuit. Survival actions are filed to recover compensation for a variety of losses, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Wages lost from the time of injury until death
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Funeral costs

Under Maryland’s survival law, there is no cause of action if the death is instantaneous, other than for medical bills, lost wages before death, or funeral expenses. Our Silver Spring wrongful death attorneys can explain what you may be entitled to in a survival action.

How Much is a Wrongful Death Claim Worth?

Like personal injury claims, the amount you may receive in a wrongful death claim will depend on the damages suffered. While some are comparatively easy to value, such as medical expenses and lost wages, non-economic losses like pain and suffering are more challenging to quantify.

As of 2022, the cap on non-economic damages in Maryland wrongful death lawsuits is $905,000 if there is a single beneficiary. If there are two or more beneficiaries, the total is $1,357,500. The combined limit for a wrongful death claim and survivorship action is $2,262,500.

The cap on non-economic damages for wrongful death cases based on medical malpractice is $860,000 for a single beneficiary. For two or more, the amount of 125% of whatever cap is in place. This amount goes up every year, so we will advise you of any caps that may apply to your compensation claim.

What is the Deadline for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Maryland?

In Maryland, the statute of limitations for wrongful death actions is three years. After that, the claim will be time-barred unless your loved one died from an occupational disease, or illness they contracted in the course of their employment. In that case, you must file your claim within:

  • 10 years of the person’s death OR;
  • Three years of the date the disease was confirmed as the cause of death, whichever is sooner.

If you have questions about how the statute of limitations may apply to your case, we would be happy to answer them.

How Maryland’s Contributory Negligence Law Can Affect Your Claim

Maryland has a “pure” contributory negligence law on its books. Very few states still do. This law states that if the victim of a personal injury claim can be found to be even one percent responsible for the accident in question, the entire claim can be dismissed. This is one of the many reasons that if you suspect you might have a valid personal injury or wrongful death claim, you should retain legal counsel as soon as possible.

Why Hire DuBoff & Associates, Chartered?

Emotions often run high with regard to wrongful death cases. This is one of the many reasons why you should work with a Maryland law firm that understands what you’ve lost and is committed to helping you get the financial compensation your family needs.

The knowledgeable attorneys at DuBoff & Associates, Chartered also have experience in working with clients facing other emotionally charged legal issues such as medical malpractice and nursing home abuse. We can assign an accurate value to your claim, deal with insurers and other parties on your behalf, and guide you through this challenging time in a supportive manner.

Wrongful Death Cases are Serious Matters

DuBoff & Associates, Chartered has handled wrongful death claims for clients in Washington, D.C. and every part of Maryland, including Bethesda, Bowie, Rockville, Germantown, Easton, Laurel, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County. Contact us online or at 866.210.6720 to arrange a consultation.

Home and hospital visits are available to our seriously injured clients who are unable to make it to our office and we offer evening and weekend appointments when necessary. We are pleased to offer free initial consultations in personal injury cases and offer contingency fee arrangements when appropriate.



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