Maryland Wrongful Death Attorneys
Fighting to hold negligent parties responsible through compassionate, aggressive representation
While the death of any loved one is always a difficult experience for any family, the sudden death of a healthy and active family member in a preventable accident is something that most of us cannot even begin to fathom. Whether death was caused by an automobile, truck or motorcycle accident, a workplace accident, a violent assault, or medical malpractice, the resulting emotional anguish is often compounded by sudden financial devastation. In addition, family needs arise when a child loses their parent, or a spouse loses their partner.
When a family loses a loved one as the result of the negligence of another party, the experienced Maryland wrongful death attorneys at the law firm of Karp, Wigodsky, Norwind Kudel & Gold, P.A. are prepared to help recover the compensation needed to rebuild lives, by pursuing those responsible and holding them accountable.
What is wrongful death?
Wrongful death lawsuits are similar to personal injury lawsuits. Both types of lawsuits are based on the same general principle of negligence, each holding a defendant to the same legal standard. A plaintiff in either type of suit must prove:
- That a duty of care was owed to a person who was injured or killed;
- That the defendant breached that duty of care;
- That the defendant’s breach directly caused injury or death; and
- That the plaintiff suffered damages as the result of the injury or death directly caused by the defendant’s breach.
Thus, while both types of actions can arise from, for example, the same automobile accident, the major distinction arises from that final element—the damages caused by the accident. A plaintiff’s damages in a personal injury suit may incorporate the medical expenses and income loss incurred by the injuries sustained in that accident, while damages in a wrongful death lawsuit would stem from the plaintiff’s loss of their loved one in that same accident.
Who can file a claim after a loved one dies, and what can they recover?
Plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit are almost always close family members of the deceased, such as a spouse, parent, or child. However, anyone who was sufficiently financially or emotionally dependent upon the deceased to have suffered damages—such as an adult sibling—can seek to recover those damages. Also, when the deceased has no immediate beneficiaries, secondary beneficiaries may pursue a wrongful death action as well.
Recovery in a wrongful death lawsuit is calculated based upon the damages suffered by the plaintiff, and can include:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral costs
- Loss of companionship or parental guidance
- Loss of services, such as childcare or housekeeping
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Lost financial support, including insurance or pension benefits
When it can be shown that the defendant caused a wrongful death through intentional or grossly negligent conduct, they can sometimes be ordered to pay additional punitive damages as well.
More than 150 years of combined experience providing compassionate representation for Maryland families who have lost a loved one.
Making important decisions amid the profound emotional turmoil caused by a devastating loss can be difficult. Sometimes insurance companies try to take advantage of a family by pushing them to accept a settlement offer. At the law offices of Karp, Wigodsky, Norwind, Kudel & Gold, P.A., our dedicated Maryland wrongful death attorneys know insurance companies are simply trying to minimize costs with a low-ball settlement, and we are prepared to aggressively pursue the maximum compensation to which families are entitled. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, don’t deal with these matters alone. Contact us online or call us today at (800) 229-7026 so we can help your family get through the process. The initial consultation is free, and we have five offices serving Maryland, Virginia and the Washington D.C. area.