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Proving Wrongful Death in Maryland

By Dianne Freed on October 16, 2017

Losing a loved one is extremely painful and difficult to accept—especially when that loss is directly attributable to another person’s negligence. Under Maryland law, a “wrongful death” is caused by a wrongful act, negligence, omission, or default of another. A wrongful death claim or lawsuit is brought by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate.

Although money cannot adequately compensate surviving family members for the loss of a loved one, it is the only means of doing so under the law. The Maryland wrongful death lawyers at Alpert Schreyer can take the necessary legal actions to streamline a wrongful death claim and pursue full monetary recovery on behalf of the deceased’s estate.

Complexities of Maryland Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful death cases are usually more complex than other types of personal injury cases. To begin with, a wrongful death claim is typically brought by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate and is filed against the person or entity who caused the deceased’s death. A wrongful death claim may be brought on behalf of the wife, husband, child, or children of the deceased.

If there is no wife, husband, or child, the estate may bring a wrongful death action for the benefit of parents or siblings who may have been dependent upon the deceased’s income for support.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death Accidents

Common causes of wrongful death accidents in Maryland include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Slips and falls
  • Negligent supervision
  • Medical malpractice
  • Defective or malfunctioning products
  • Defective or malfunctioning medical devices
  • Defective drugs
  • Criminal acts

Proving a Maryland Wrongful Death Action

Wrongful death cases can be difficult to prove because juries are usually far less interested in awarding money to an estate (and the deceased’s survivors), than in awarding money to a living person who sustained the actual injuries in an accident.

Wrongful death cases in Maryland are governed by the law of negligence. More specifically, the wrongful death claimant—usually the personal representative of the deceased’s estate—must demonstrate that the deceased was owed a duty of care and that the defendant breached this duty, resulting in the deceased’s death.

One of the biggest difficulties in proving a wrongful death case is that the accident victim is obviously deceased and, therefore is not available to testify at a deposition or trial. The following types of evidence help to prove wrongful death:

  • Testimony of eyewitnesses to the accident
  • Testimony of family members, coworkers, or friends of the deceased
  • Expert testimony of an accident reconstruction expert who can prove that the subject accident resulted in the deceased’s death
  • Expert testimony of doctors, caregivers, and other medical providers who cared for the deceased
  • Documentary evidence of funeral expenses and other costs associated with the deceased’s death

Contact a Maryland Wrongful Death Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Consultation

If a family member has died as a result of someone else’s negligence, and a personal representative has been appointed, the estate may be able to bring a wrongful death action. By helping to prove the necessary legal elements, the compassionate Maryland wrongful death attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC, can help you prevail in a wrongful death action and recover monetary compensation.

To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Maryland wrongful death law firm, please call us at (844) 632-7274 or contact us online today.

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