Salisbury Wrongful Death Lawyers
Serving Ocean City, Easton & Maryland for More than 25 Years
Personal injury law is designed to provide victims and their family members compensation for the losses they suffer as a result of the negligence of another. The loss of a family member, in and of itself, is painful and tragic. Although there is nothing that will truly heal that pain, holding the responsible party accountable may provide grieving family members with a sense of closure. Our compassionate and competent litigation team can work tirelessly on behalf of your family to obtain the financial compensation you are owed and to right the wrong that harmed your family.
Wrongful death cases are defended vigorously by large insurance companies. If you wish to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, you should obtain the assistance of an equally aggressive and zealous lawyer. The wrongful death attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. have successfully represented victims and their families throughout the Eastern Shore of Maryland for more than 25 years.
To speak with a member of our firm about your wrongful death lawsuit, call Portner & Shure, P.A. at (855) 954-4141 for a free consultation.
Wrongful Death Law in Maryland
In Maryland there are three parties within every wrongful death case:
- At-fault person/entity being sued
- Victim’s family
- Victim’s estate (which is typically formed by the victim’s family members)
A wrongful death action includes two separate and distinct claims:
- Survival action: In Maryland, a survival action is brought by the victim’s estate against the at-fault party. Fundamentally, a survival action is designed to recover damages that the victim could have recovered, but for the death. This claim seeks compensation based on the damages the victim endured prior to their death. In a survival action, the victim’s estate can claim medical damages and pain and suffering damages. This may include claims for inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, and loss of consortium. Punitive damages are also recoverable in a survival action.
- Wrongful death claim: A wrongful death claim is distinctive and is brought for the benefit of the victim’s surviving family members. Those family members that can bring suit under the wrongful death statute are the decedent’s child, spouse, or parent. In a wrongful death claim in Maryland, damages are measured by the harm those individuals sustained based on the victim’s death. This may include claims for the loss of companionship, consortium, income, and support that the victim provided.
Wrongful Death Causes of Action
Wrongful death cases arise out of the negligent, malicious, or reckless acts of another individual or entity. Unfortunately, such malicious and negligent behavior often results in car accidents. This includes fatal truck accidents and fatal motorcycle accidents. However, wrongful death claims do not arise solely in the context of motor vehicle accidents.
Other causes include:
- Fires and explosions at industrial/construction sites
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect
- Industrial accidents
- Dangerous property conditions
- Work-related accidents
This list is not exhaustive. Anytime someone is fatally injured due to the negligence of another, surviving family members may be able to obtain financial compensation.
Damages in Wrongful Death Cases in Maryland
Maryland statute imposes a cap, or a maximum amount of recovery, in wrongful death cases. This limits the amount of money that can be sought based on non-economic (pain and suffering) damages. However, there is no cap as to medical expenses, funeral expenses, and loss of income. The specific cap increases every year.
Maryland law also imposes time restrictions on bringing a wrongful death action. The statute of limitations in Maryland for a wrongful death action requires that such be commenced within three years of the death of the injured person.
Litigation & Defenses
Because wrongful death claims involve high stakes, insurance companies defend them with vigor. The insurance company asserts a few common defenses in wrongful death cases. These defenses can be problematic in a survival action, in particular, because the insurance company will try and place some of the blame for the accident on the victim.
For example, insurance companies oftentimes argue that the victim was contributorily negligent. Contributory negligence in Maryland is a common law defense that prevents a victim from obtaining a recovery if evidence is put forth showing that the victim acted negligently and that the victim’s negligence contributed to their own injuries. If the other side can prove that the victim did anything, at all, to cause their injuries, they will be barred from recovering.
Next, it is typical that the opposing side will argue that the victim assumed the risk. The defense of assumption of the risk prohibits a victim from recovering if the at-fault party presents sufficient evidence to prove that the victim had knowledge of the risk, appreciated the risk, and (despite knowing of the risk) continued forward.
How Portner & Shure Can Help with Your Wrongful Death Claim
Holding these negligent and malicious actors responsible is not only important for your loved one but also for your community. This type of behavior should not harm others. This loss should not be perpetuated within your local community.
The attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. understand that your family needs to prioritize healing rather than focus on a lawsuit. We have successfully advocated on behalf of injured victims and their families for more than 25 years. Our reputation for excellence is best illustrated within our countless five-star reviews written by our prior clients. In addition, managing partner Jonathan Portner is a member of the Multimillion Dollar Advocates Forum.
At Portner & Shure, P.A., we provide all personal injury representation on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not collect any attorneys’ fees unless we obtain a settlement or judgment on your behalf.
Request a free initial consultation with one of our Salisbury wrongful death attorneys today. Call (855) 954-4141 or contact us online.
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We have offices in Maryland, Virginia & Washington, D.C.
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We have recovered over $300 million on behalf of our clients.
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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.