Personal injury accidents often result in devastating and long-lasting consequences. Unfortunately, in the worst cases, the injury can result in the death of a loved one. In such instances, the family members of the deceased victim can bring a claim for wrongful death against the party who is responsible for the loss of their loved one. The personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have over twenty years of experience representing plaintiffs in wrongful death cases in and near Baltimore. We treat each client with the care and compassion they deserve and have helped numerous clients seek the compensation they deserve for the death of their family member.Hold a Careless Wrongdoer Responsible for an Unnecessary Death
According to the Maryland Wrongful Death Statute, a deceased victim’s surviving family members can bring a lawsuit on their own behalf seeking compensation for their loved one’s death. The claim seeks to provide the surviving family members with compensation for the loss of the deceased victim’s love, companionship, and financial support that the family would have continued to receive if the victim had not died. The statute provides that only certain family members, or beneficiaries, can recover damages, including a surviving spouse, child, or parent of the victim. In some instances, a secondary beneficiary can recover if there are no immediate beneficiaries alive at the time of the death, but only in certain circumstances.
To recover damages for the death of a loved one, the plaintiff must show that the defendant acted negligently. A negligence claim includes four elements. To establish the first element, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the deceased victim a duty of care, which requires each of us to act with the same ordinary care and skill that a reasonably prudent person would use in similar circumstances. The second element requires the plaintiff to prove that the defendant failed to meet this standard of care, and the third element requires the plaintiff to show that the defendant’s breach of the standard of care was the direct cause of the decedent’s death.Recover Damages for the Loss of Your Loved One
The final element of negligence requires the plaintiff to show that as a result of the defendant’s breach the plaintiff suffered damages. This is one of the most widely contested elements of a wrongful death claim. In Maryland, there is no statutory cap on the amount of economic damages that a beneficiary can be awarded in a wrongful death suit. This includes damages for loss of future support that the plaintiff would have continued to receive but for the victim’s death.Lawyers Helping Maryland Families Seek Justice
Losing a loved one as the result of someone’s carelessness is a devastating and life altering event. Although no amount of money can ever truly compensate you and your family for the loss of your family member, it can help you obtain the compensation you need to cover medical, funeral, and other expenses and get back on your feet. Our lawyers have guided many Maryland and Washington, D.C., families through wrongful death claims arising from car accidents, medical malpractice, and other events. We are prepared to help you and your family establish the compensation to which you are owed. We offer a free, no obligation consultation, so there is no harm in meeting with us to determine your rights. Call Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers at (410) 654-3600 or toll free at (800) 654-1949, or contact us online to get started now.
The term “Loss of Consortium” is a legal concept that recognizes the loss of love, support and companionship that can result when a close family member dies unexpectedly, such as in a traffic collision, botched medical procedure or other personal injury accident. In cases involving serious injury or wrongful death, the victim’s spouse, child or other close relative may choose to file a loss of consortium claim as a result of the negligent actions of another party.
In Maryland, and most other jurisdictions throughout the country, loss of consortium also applies to the loss of affection and conjugal fellowship. This includes impairment or total loss of sexual relations (Deems v. Western Maryland Ry., 247 Md. 95, 100 ). Unlike claims for economic loss, loss of consortium claims are not easily quantifiable (as is the loss of income or financial support from a deceased loved one); instead, the monetary value in a loss of consortium claim is typically determined by a jury, which must find the loss is a result of some type of negligence or wrongful action.
Loss of consortium claims in Maryland most often arise when the victim, typically a spouse, has been injured to the extent that he or she cannot fully participate in the marriage. It is important to note that damage claims for loss of consortium are not valid if the stated injuries predate the couple’s marriage. Furthermore, while some states allow for loss of consortium claims for couples in common law marriages or civil unions (assuming that the plaintiffs can prove that a stable and significant relationship existed prior to the claimed injuries), Maryland provides no such allowance.
In the State of Maryland, a claim for loss of consortium accompanies the related personal injury or wrongful death claim; they are brought together in the same lawsuit. As such, termination of the personal injury claim will also result in the termination of the loss of consortium claim, under Maryland law.
Because damages are left for a jury to decide, filing a claim for loss of consortium can sometimes be complex and occasionally risky. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, our skilled attorneys are able to walk you through the legal process and answer your questions about the law. We understand the devastating effects that a serious injury accident can have on the victim and his or her family. Please feel free to contact us to review your case. The initial no-obligation consultation is provided free of charge.