Silver Spring, Maryland Wrongful Death Attorney
Did You Lose a Loved One in a Terrible Accident?
The death of a family member is an awful event. Nothing can replace the love, companionship, and support that a loved one provided. Fortunately, Maryland law provides a wrongful death victim’s family a tool to seek justice that can ease some of the grief.
If you recently lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, you should retain the services of an experienced Silver Spring, Maryland wrongful death lawyer. Wrongful death claims are complex cases to litigate and are fiercely defended by insurance companies. The award-winning attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. can fight to obtain you the justice and compensation you deserve.
For a free consultation, call us at (855) 954-4141 or contact us online. Our staff speaks English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Vietnamese, and Korean.
Maryland Wrongful Death Law
When a person dies due to another person’s negligence, the surviving family members can bring two legal claims: a wrongful death claim and a survival action. The victim’s estate can bring a survival claim against the person or entity that caused the victim’s death. The victim’s estate is opened and managed by their surviving family members. Had the victim not died, a survival claim is essentially the victim’s own personal injury claim. Because the victim died, their personal injury claim is converted to a survival action and is brought by the victim’s estate. In a survival action, the victim’s estate can seek compensation for the pain and suffering the victim suffered before their death, along with medical and funeral expenses.
A wrongful death claim is brought directly by the victim’s family. This claim is separate from a survival action. In a wrongful death claim, the victim’s family can claim damages for the loss of the companionship, consortium, income, and support that the victim provided.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death claims are the result of another person’s negligence.
Common causes of wrongful death include:
- Automobile collisions
- Truck collisions
- Motorcycle collisions
- Bicycle collisions
- Pedestrian collisions
- Animal attacks
- Medical malpractice
- Industrial accidents
Damages & Caps in Wrongful Death Claims
In personal injury claims, Maryland law allows personal injury victims to seek compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include a victim’s medical bills and lost wages while noneconomic damages represent the pain and suffering the victim suffered due to their injuries. In wrongful death cases, Maryland State law imposes statutory caps for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. The cap increases each year. There is no cap for economic damages.
Litigation & Defenses in Wrongful Death Cases
To obtain financial compensation in a personal injury case, a victim has to win. To win, a victim must prove all the elements of their claim by a preponderance of the evidence, i.e., 51%.
Several legal defenses can be raised in personal injury cases under Maryland law. These defenses can also be raised in a wrongful death case. Insurance companies use these defenses to disclaim responsibility and to defend wrongful death claims.
One of the most frequently used defenses is contributory negligence. This defense defeats a personal injury claim, including a wrongful death claim. If a civil defendant provides proof that a victim acted negligently, and their negligence contributed to their injuries, a victim is barred from recovering. Another available defense is assumption of risk. This defense also defeats personal injury and wrongful death claims. If a civil defendant provides proof that a victim knew of a risk, understood the risk, and despite having knowledge of the risk undertook the action, they are then barred from recovering.
Why Hire Portner & Shure, P.A.?
Wrongful death cases are legally and factually complicated cases to litigate. Insurance companies hire aggressive defense attorneys to defend these cases. These defense attorneys use every legal argument to defend wrongful death cases. Prosecuting a wrongful death case is a difficult and uphill battle. Accordingly, representation by an experienced Silver Spring, Maryland wrongful death lawyer is greatly recommended.
The attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. have been litigating complex wrongful death cases for more than 25 years. Our attorneys know how to build and prosecute successful wrongful death cases. Insurance companies and their defense attorney know of our reputation and our capabilities. All wrongful death representation is performed on a contingency fee basis, so we receive no fee unless you obtain a settlement or judgment in court.
To schedule a free consultation regarding your Silver Spring wrongful death case, call us at (855) 954-4141 or contact us online.
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