Maryland Wrongful Death Attorney Seeks Relief for Bereaved Family Members
Gaithersburg firm takes on matters involving fatal negligence
If a loved one died because of someone else's negligence or intentional act, surviving family members must act if they seek a measure of legal relief to compensate for their loss. Located in Gaithersburg, the Law Office of Christopher J. Smith, LLC represents clients in wrongful death and survival claims. We handle cases in Maryland and Washington, D.C., focusing on claims that stem from fatal vehicle crashes, falls and workplace accidents. Though nothing can make up for the loss that you've suffered, we are determined to secure a result that helps clients deal with the emotional and financial harm caused by careless people and businesses.
Dedicated lawyer handles cases stemming from vehicle crashes and workplace accidents
Our firm advises residents of Maryland and Washington D.C. on wrongful death matters arising from fatal incidents such as:
- Vehicle crashes — Busy drivers in the Beltway area create a risk whether you're on a major highway or local street. Motorists who are distracted, driving while drunk or operating their vehicle in a reckless manner are particularly lethal.
- Falls — Someone who hits their head or loses a great deal of blood after a serious fall might not survive. In situations where someone has died due to a fall on someone else's property, our firm investigates to determine if improper railings, unsafe floors or other examples of negligence support a wrongful death claim.
- Workplace accidents — Construction workers and employees in other industries face potentially deadly risks. If a family member died in an accident on the job, you might be entitled to damages from a negligent third party in addition to the death benefits provided through the deceased's workers' compensation coverage.
Under Maryland law, you must file a wrongful death action within three years of the fatal incident. Even if you are not sure that someone else's negligence was responsible for your loved one's passing, we can review the circumstances and determine whether a potential claim exists.
Knowledgeable litigator handles wrongful death and survival actions
Proving liability in a legal action arising from fatal negligence is similar to what's required in a personal injury claim. A plaintiff must show that the defendant violated their duty of care and that the breach was the proximate case of the victim's death. There are two types of actions associated with these cases. Wrongful death actions refer to claims brought by family members seeking compensation for the loss they've suffered. These plaintiffs can collect economic damages to address income that the decedent would have earned through their lifetime, as well as noneconomic harm, including the loss of companionship resulting from the fatality. Survival claims are brought on behalf of the estate and seek reimbursement for funeral costs and medical bills that accrued before the victim passed away.
Who may file a Maryland wrongful death claim?
Usually, spouses, children and parents of a decedent file Maryland wrongful death and survival claims. If none of these primary beneficiaries exist, a secondary beneficiary such as a sibling or cousin may bring a survival claim on behalf of the victim's estate. However, it is less likely that a secondary beneficiary will be entitled to wrongful death damages under the statute given that these parties typically don't live in the same household as the victim or rely on them for support.
Contact a Maryland lawyer to arrange a free consultation about a wrongful death claim
The Law Office of Christopher J. Smith, LLC in Gaithersburg advises clients in the Beltway area regarding wrongful death actions after instances of fatal negligence. To make an appointment to discuss your legal options, please call 301-760-7460 or contact us online.