Maryland Wrongful Death Questions & Answers

Q: My husband was the sole earner in our family but he was killed in a car crash. Will a wrongful death settlement cover

3 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 26, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
Future earnings are just one type of damage you can claim. However, how much you can recover will depend on the insurance coverages available as well as the defendant’s assets. Call a lawyer to discuss thecaim.

Q: How can a court decide what an academically promising college student's future earnings would be after he's killed in a

2 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 11, 2018
Thomas Neary's answer
Hello - first, I am sorry for your loss!

There are many factors that go into an estimated future income when someone dies before they reach the workforce. In most cases, the attorney on the side of the deceased will hire experts in the area and gather evidence to support an estimate that is based on academic performance, goals and things like socioeconomic background to project how much the deceased would have made in their work lifetime. A jury then has the ultimate say over how...

Q: My father was recently killed in a car accident that wasn't his fault. I'm his estranged biological son. Can I still

3 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 26, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
Yes, and his estate has a claim it can pursue as well. Consult a lawyer in the state where your father lived at the time of his death, or alternatively, in the state where the accident happened, and proceed from there.

Q: What kind of taxes would we need to pay on any settlement we'd get?

1 Answer | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on Oct 19, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
Ordinarily, lump sum amounts recovered for compensatory damages awarded in wrongful death claims are not taxable. If the recovery is not related to compensation for personal injuries, but for economic losses like lost wages, and the dollar amount is separately stated in the recovery, then those amounts remain subject to tax. However, in most cases, the recovery is a single lump sum covering pain and suffering and other types of damages, economic as well as non-economic, so the amount is...

Q: So if we file a wrongful death claim, does the person go to prison, or is it just money we get?

1 Answer | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on Sep 21, 2018
John Mesirow's answer
Just money. A wrongful death claim is civil, not criminal.

Q: We are trying to figure out - is wrongful death always a criminal lawsuit?

4 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on Sep 7, 2018
John Mesirow's answer
Wrongful death is a civil claim. Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss the merits of the claim.

Q: I switched lawyers during the case -- is the first one entitled to any of the settlement?

2 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 23, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
By statute, a discharged lawyer is entitled to reasonable compensation for the time expended, plus any out-of-pocket costs advanced in connection with the representation. Ordinarily, your new counsel works out the compensation with your old counsel. This can be however your new counsel is willing to handle the issue. For instance, under the statute, the new lawyer keeps the full contingent fee, while the old counsel must present a bill for time expended multiplied by their reasonable hourly...

Q: Thanks for your time,, Question: standard % charged to plaintiff in wrongful death suit associated with medical issues?

1 Answer | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 22, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
Depends in part on how strong the case is- but medical malpractice cases (particularly involving death) are typically a lot of work even if the case looks like a strong one. Some attorneys charge 33 1/3%. Plus, unless there is a very early settlement, expenses (particularly for expert witness fees) can be substantial. Feel free to shop around and negotiate.

Q: How do we get the court appointed executor to file a claim on behalf of our step father?

2 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 10, 2018
Thomas Neary's answer
This is a question where details would be important. I suggest that you talk with an attorney who handles wrongful death cases. Many offer free consultations.

Sorry for your loss.

Q: Does a death have to occur by accident in order to bring a wrongful death claim?

1 Answer | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 5, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
No- the death could be caused purposefully. But if it was caused during the course of employment, by medical professionals, or by government employees, the case would have different procedures/standards.

Q: Is it possible to file simultaneous PI and wrongful death lawsuits for a car accident that caused a death?

2 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on Jul 13, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
Yes. But depending on how many claimants there are who qualify to be part of the wrongful death action, the person(s) pursuing the separate negligence claim may be better off filing separately.

Q: Can you bring a wrongful death lawsuit for a stay-at-home parent who did not earn an income?

1 Answer | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on Jun 29, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
Yes. Loss of companionship, emotional support, comfort, etc., are all compensable losses.

Q: Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Maryland?

2 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on Jun 15, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
Any person within the class of persons permitted to file under the wrongful death statute. Basically, those persons are: the wife, husband, parent, and child of the deceased person. If there are none of those, then any person related by blood or marriage who was substantially dependent upon the deceased. If an eligible person files suit, they must notify and serve all others entitled to make a claim and allow them to join the suit and share in the recovery. No court may permit a recovery...

Q: What are survivors entitled to in Maryland wrongful death cases?

1 Answer | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on Jun 1, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
Loss of consortium, companionship and support, including financial support and lost future lifetime earnings of the deceased, plus loss of services of the deceased.

Q: Can a stay-at-home mom without an income file a wrongful death lawsuit?

2 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on May 18, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
If you are within the statutory degree of familial relationship to the person who died in an incident that was wrongfully/negligently caused by another, then you can sue. Even if any other person statutorily allowed to sue files a claim, all other living persons within the statutory class of relatives are required to be notified and given an opportunity to be included in the action and share in the proceeds of the claim. How much money you earn or don’t earn has nothing to do with your right...

Q: Can you start the process of bringing a wrongful death lawsuit before the person has passed away?

3 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on May 3, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
You can’t file a wrongful death action, but you should retain counsel immediately to begin gathering and securing all the evidence and proof you will need. Claims like this need immediate attention to identify witnesses, lock in statements, preserve video evidence if any, etc.

Q: It is possible to bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of an unborn fetus in Maryland?

2 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on Apr 20, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
You mean, the fetus is/will be the child of the person (the father?) who suffered the wrongful death? I would wait until the child is born, then file the suit on the child's behalf. If you mean the unborn fetus was the one who wrongfully died, then there would be other issues, and in Maryland, the law requires the fetus to have lived outside the womb for some period of time --even a few breaths-- in order to be able to bring an estate survivor's action on its behalf. The parents may have a...

Q: In a wrongful death case with multiple heirs, should each heir hire her own attorney?

2 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on Apr 16, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
It is each heir's option, but if all can agree to the percentage share of any recovery, then it would be more efficient for one lawyer to handle the entire claim, and may reduce costs and fees for all. However, if those entitled by statute to participate cannot agree or get along, then disputes may prevent one lawyer from acting for all.

Q: Can a college be liable if a non-student is murdered on campus?

1 Answer | Asked in Wrongful Death for Maryland on
Answered on Mar 30, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
Yes, if the death was proximately caused by a negligent act or omission of the college, and the non-student was not illegally on the property. You provide no factual basis to make a determination.

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