Did your loved one suffer fatal injuries in a car accident in Edgewood? Are you feeling devastated and wondering how you can make the liable party pay for the emotional and financial havoc they’ve wreaked on your family?
If so, an Edgewood fatal car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow could help you get the justice and compensation you need to move forward. We can explain more about how you could hold the at-fault party accountable during a free initial consultation.
What Causes Fatal Car Accidents in Edgewood?
When you lose a loved one to a fatal car accident in Edgewood, your attorney will need to examine how your family member’s accident occurred to establish liability.
With that in mind, deadly car accidents can happen for many reasons. Some common causes include:
- Negligent driving
- Defective auto parts
- Inclement weather
- Dangerous road conditions
Negligent driving practices come in many forms, including:
- Failure to obey a traffic signal
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Drunk and drugged driving
- Aggressive driving
For legal consultation with a fatal car accident attorney in Edgewood, call (410)777-8960
Liability for Edgewood Fatal Car Accidents
When negligent drivers cause fatal car accidents, the state’s prosecuting attorney, a victim’s family, and the decedent’s personal representative can all hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law. The driver could face traffic infractions, criminal charges, and, of course, your civil claim.
However, your car accident attorney will investigate your loved one’s crash to determine whether other parties could also face liability. For example, if a rideshare driver smashed into your family member’s vehicle while transporting a passenger, you could also pursue damages from the rideshare company. Or suppose a defective car part led to the other driver killing your loved one? If so, a parts manufacturer or distributor might share fault for the fatal crash.
Therefore, your lawyer’s in-depth investigation into the cause of the collision will determine who you pursue for damages following your loved one’s death. Then, you can name this individual or entity in your insurance and wrongful death claims.
Edgewood Fatal Car Accident Attorney (410)777-8960
Proving Fault in Your Fatal Car Accident Claim
The state’s prosecuting attorney might bring criminal charges against the at-fault driver to secure a guilty verdict. However, they must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to convict a defendant.
However, the burden of proof is much less in civil court. Instead, your attorney only needs to prove liability based on a preponderance of the evidence. This standard means the evidence presented will clearly need to show the judge and jury how the defendant is more than likely responsible for causing your loved one’s fatal injuries.
Some evidence our attorneys often use to prove liability in an Edgewood fatal car accident claim include:
- Cellphone records
- Blood alcohol test results
- Accident reconstructionist reports
- Injury reconstructionist reports
- Safety logs
- Inspection reports
- Maintenance records
- Witness testimony
- Expert witnesses
- Photos of your injuries
- Photos of the accident scene
- Video of the accident
- Dashcam footage
- Bodycam footage
- Police reports
Maryland Wrongful Death Laws You Need to Know
When you lose a loved one in a fatal car accident, your case depends on Maryland’s wrongful death law. Here are some laws you must be aware of as you move forward with your insurance and civil claims.
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Under the law, you only have up to three years to get your claim filed before the statute of limitations expires. However, wrongful death claims in Maryland can become particularly complicated—especially when it comes to the statute of limitations.
The clock on the statute of limitations typically starts on the day your loved one died. However, depending on the details of your case, that starting date could change.
Your attorney can give you a better idea of how long you have to file your wrongful death claim. However, do not risk the statute of limitations barring your ability to hold the liable party accountable.
The Right to File a Wrongful Death Claim
As with most states, only specific parties have the right to file a wrongful death claim under Maryland law. The statute states that the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, and parents have the standing to file a claim.
However, suppose the decedent does not have any of these family members. In that case, anyone who depends financially on the decedent and is related to them by blood or marriage could file the claim.
If you are unsure whether you have the right to file a wrongful death claim for a fatal car accident in Edgewood, reach out to your attorney to discuss your options.
Survival Actions vs. Wrongful Death in a Fatal Car Accident
Your wrongful death claim would not include any losses that your loved one sustained in the car accident. However, if you are also the personal representative of your loved one’s estate, you could file a survival action to recover any medical bills they incurred, pain and suffering they experienced, and funeral and burial expenses. Our team can help you understand other differences between the two and if you qualify to bring both to court.
Caps on Noneconomic Damages
Maryland law also caps the compensation you can recover for noneconomic damages in an Edgewood wrongful death claim. For example, a wrongful death claim involving a single beneficiary has a noneconomic damages limit of $905,000 in 2022.
Every October, the cap on noneconomic damages increases by $15,000. If the decedent had multiple beneficiaries, the cap on noneconomic damages is 150% of the cap for single beneficiaries at the time of the wrongful death claim.
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Contact a Fatal Car Accident Lawyer in Edgewood for Help Today
As you can see, filing a wrongful death claim following a loved one’s fatal car accident in Edgewood involves many factors. However, the team at the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow can help you manage this process and allow you to grieve your family member’s death while we handle the legal details.
Our firm is proud to offer no-cost, risk-free consultations to families dealing with fatal car accidents in Edgewood and surrounding areas. So, call our office today or fill out our online form to take advantage of this opportunity.