Greenbelt, Maryland Wrongful Death Attorney
Attorneys Who Speak for Those That Can No Longer Speak for Themselves
When a person dies, the lives of the surviving family members are never the same. The grief and pain leave them forever scarred. These wounds are made worse with the knowledge that a loved one’s death was caused by another person’s negligence.
At Portner & Shure, P.A., our attorneys know that the healing process begins with obtaining justice for the death of your loved one. Insurance companies fear wrongful death cases due to the amount of money that the surviving family members are legally entitled to. Our attorneys work tirelessly to hold the guilty party responsible and to obtain financial compensation for the surviving family members.
For a free consultation, call us at (855) 954-4141 or contact us online.
How Wrongful Death Cases Work in Maryland
In Maryland, a wrongful death lawsuit is comprised of two separate civil claims. The victim’s estate is legally entitled to sue the at-fault party via a “survival claim.” This is a personal lawsuit that the victim could have pursued themselves had they not died. The victim’s surviving family members, e.g., wife, husband, parents, children, etc., are legally entitled to sue the at-fault party under a wrongful death claim. This claim is based on the loss the family suffered as a result of the victim’s death.
How Wrongful Deaths Occur
Wrongful death cases often occur when a person or entity commits a reckless or negligent act that results in the death of another individual.
Common causes of wrongful death include:
- Catastrophic automobile collisions
- Motorcycle collisions
- Commercial truck accident
- Industrial accidents
- Pedestrian collisions
- Severe falls
Financial Compensation in a Wrongful Death Case
The law regarding financial compensation in wrongful death is complex. Generally, Maryland law allows a victim in a personal injury case to claim economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are for losses and expenses such as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages are for the pain and suffering a victim endured as a result of their injuries.
In a survival claim, the estate can seek compensation for the victim’s non-economic damages, i.e., their pain and suffering. In a wrongful death claim, the victim’s family can seek non-economic damages for the loss of emotional support and companionship that the victim provided and economic damages for the loss of the victim’s income. Maryland law however limits, or caps, the amount of the money that can be awarded for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. This cap increases each year, and there is no cap for economic damages.
Litigating a Wrongful Death Case
A wrongful death case is generally subject to the same laws as a standard personal injury case. To win a wrongful death case, the victim’s family must prove by a preponderance of the evidence, i.e., 51%, that the opposing party acted negligently and caused the death of the victim. The facts of each case are different. To strengthen a case, evidence showing that the opposing party acted negligently will help the victim’s family meet this burden.
The legal defenses available in standard personal injury cases are also available in wrongful death cases. Insurance companies and their attorneys use these defenses to prevent a victim’s family from obtaining the compensation they deserve. The most frequently used defenses are contributory negligence and assumption of risk. In a standard personal injury case, both defenses bar a victim from recovering anything if they are successfully asserted.
To raise contributory negligence in a wrongful death case, a civil defendant must produce evidence showing that the victim acted negligently and that their negligence contributed to their death. Similarly, to raise assumption of risk a civil defendant must produce evidence showing that the victim had knowledge of a potential risk, and despite this knowledge undertook a risky action. Insurance companies and their defense attorneys carefully analyze the facts surrounding a person’s death to determine whether they can raise these defenses. Very often, they engage in extensive discovery to find some small piece of evidence to raise these defenses and shift blame onto the victim.
What Type of Advocacy Can Portner & Shure Provide?
Wrongful death cases are complex matters to litigate. The defense attorneys hired by insurance companies do everything they can to defeat a wrongful death case. They often utilize aggressive litigation tactics. The dedicated attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. know how to fight insurance companies and their attorneys. Our attorneys know who to build, prepare, and litigate a successful wrongful death case. Insurance companies and their attorneys know that we are not easily intimidated and that we believe in obtaining justice for our clients. They know that we have obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.
All personal injury representation is performed on a contingency fee basis, which means Portner & Shure, P.A. receives no fee unless we obtain a settlement or judgment on your behalf in court.
To schedule a free consultation regarding your Greenbelt wrongful death case, dial (855) 954-4141 or contact us online. Our staff is fluent in English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Vietnamese, and Korean.
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We have offices in Maryland, Virginia & Washington, D.C.
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We have recovered over $350 million on behalf of our clients.
We offer legal representation in Spanish, Korean & Chinese languages.
We have aggressive litigation tactics, skill, and passion.
When you hire Portner & Shure, you can expect more from your representation. In addition to getting an attorney, you will get a committed advocates you has your best interests at heart.