Death is an inevitable phenomenon for human beings, but that does not make it any less painful. When you lose your loved one because of another individual’s negligence or intentional act, the pain seemingly multiplies. Wrongful death can be even more devastating than losing someone to natural causes.
Dealing with the untimely death of a family member or a loved one can be very devastating. Losing someone because of the mistake of an individual or group causes distress emotionally and financially.
Maryland civil laws allow grieving family members to get compensation and justice by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. These lawsuits could be very emotional for relatives of the deceased. A Maryland attorney would be willing to help plaintiffs during their lawsuit, giving them time to heal.
In this article, we would be addressing some issues concerning wrongful death. We’ll cover the worth of a wrongful death lawsuit, applicable laws, and how settlements for wrongful death are calculated.
Wrongful Death Statutes in Maryland
The Maryland legislature created the wrongful death statute to compensate surviving family members for losing their loved ones due to a wrongful act. The statute exists because, after an individual’s death, the family members and loved ones are left to suffer the painful loss.
Family members of the deceased suffer heartache, missed memories, loss of income, companionship, and protection when their loved one dies. Because of this, the wrongful death statute is a way to bring relief to the aching family.
There are two claims that a family can pursue after the wrongful death of their loved one. The first one is the wrongful death action, which is the family’s compensation because of their harm and losses. The second is the survival action, compensation for the harm and injuries the deceased suffer before their death.
How Much Money Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Worth?
It is not easy to place value on human life. However, the court would try to get an amount reasonable to compensate the deceased’s family. Determining how much individuals get depends on:
- The circumstances surrounding the death of the victim
- The amount of evidence that you and your attorney can provide to prove the case
- The extent of damages the wrongful death caused
While the court considers the above factors, each wrongful death claim varies from case to case. Below, we listed the average value of wrongful death actions according to age and gender in Maryland:
- If the deceased was an adult man, the family might get about $4.1 million (avg. $1.4 million)
- If the deceased was an adult woman, the family might get about $3.1 million (avg. $1.4 million)
- The claim is worth about $1.3 million if the deceased was an adult over the age of 65
- If the deceased was a minor male, their family might get a compensation of $4.3 million (avg. $2 million)
- If the deceased was a minor female, the family gets $3.4 million (avg. $1.5 million)
Generally speaking, we can say that a wrongful death claim can be worth between $500,000 and over $1 million.
How Do You Calculate a Wrongful Death Claim?
In calculating a wrongful death settlement, the court or the jury would calculate all the damages related to the case. These damages are in three parts: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
A breakdown of the damages or losses that family members or relatives can get compensation for in a wrongful death claim include:
- Pain and suffering (for the deceased and the surviving family members)
- Medical bills and expenses spent on treating the deceased
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost wages of the deceased
- Property damages
- Loss of companionship
The amounts assigned to each of these damages are usually not an estimation. The court makes use of evidence such as medical reports, police reports, etc. Economists and expert witnesses have the responsibility of assigning dollar values to each damage.
In addition to the above damages, other factors that could influence a wrongful death settlement includes:
- The age of the deceased
- State of health of the deceased before the wrongful act
- The deceased’s earning capacity before the incident
- Age and circumstances of the deceased person’s dependents
After the addition and calculation of all these damages and expenses, the defendant (the guilty party) ’s insurance provider would pay this amount to the deceased’s family.
Get Justice with Pinder Plotkin LLC!
Pinder Plotkin LLC is a law firm that consists of experienced personal injury attorneys in Maryland. We are hardworking attorneys that ensure our clients get the compensation and justice they deserve.
Our attorneys understand how heartbreaking it is to lose a family member or loved one. Thus, we are ready to walk with you through the process of filing your claim and getting your compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.