If you’ve tragically lost a loved one or close relative in a truck accident in Maryland, you could file a wrongful death claim. While no sum will ever replace someone you love, your family is entitled to hold the defendant responsible for your loved one’s death and recover compensation for the expenses and losses you’ve experienced.
Wrongful Death Claims Under Maryland Law
Maryland has legislation under Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code § 3-904 that defines wrongful death actions. The law addresses several questions you might have regarding filing this type of case.
Who Can File?
The law defines primary beneficiaries.
Secondary beneficiaries are also listed. A secondary beneficiary is considered only if no primary beneficiary is available.
- Any relative of the deceased by blood or marriage who was financially or otherwise substantially dependent
For legal consultation, call (410)777-8960
Types of Recoverable Damages in a Fatal Truck Accident Case
Maryland code addresses which losses or damages you can claim. Under Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code § 11-109, you can find details about the types of damages that may be recoverable. Your family can seek damages for economic losses and noneconomic losses as allowed under Maryland law.
Your family may seek compensation for economic losses including:
- Medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Property damage
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of society
- Mental anguish
- Loss of marital care
- Loss of parental care
- Filial care
Note that Maryland law limits non-economic losses to be available only to specific individuals.
- Minor child
- Parent of a minor child
- An unmarried child up to age 21 in which the lost parent contributed more than 50% of their economic support in the twelve months preceding the loss
Truck Accident Cases Differ from Other Auto Accident Cases
A legal case involving a commercial truck can be quite different from other auto accident cases.
Trucks are much larger and heavier than most other vehicles, making them extremely dangerous to passenger vehicles. Victims of truck accidents may sustain severe or fatal injuries.
Further, the truck involved in the accident may be subject to federal laws and regulations. For example, to prevent driving while fatigued, truck drivers must follow hours of service rules that limit time spent operating the truck. Truckers who violate these rules may be liable if they cause an accident.
Other regulations that may be applicable in your case include:
- Inspection rules
- Truck maintenance rules
- Driver qualification, licensing, and hiring rules
Truck carriers may be vicariously liable if their driver caused your loved one’s accident, though some carriers directly contribute to serious accidents by hiring unqualified drivers, encouraging drivers to violate hours of service rules, or failing to maintain their fleet.
Choosing an attorney well-versed in trucking regulations and familiar with truck accident cases can help your wrongful death claim. Your lawyer will know the different parties involved with your accident and be able to file a claim against the responsible parties.
Large transportation and insurance companies often have lawyers who work hard to reduce claims or may even blame the victim for the accident. An attorney can stand up to these tactics and fight for the family’s recovery.
Where Can I Get Advice for My Wrongful Death Truck Accident Claim?
When you are ready to file your wrongful death claim or need advice on what to do next, call the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow. Our attorneys empathize with your loss and will diligently exercise your right to hold the defendant accountable. Call us today, as Maryland has time limits on filing wrongful death claims.
We can examine your case and help you understand the process it will take to resolve the suit. Our law firm takes cases on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront costs to get started. We only collect attorney fees if you recover compensation. Let us fight to hold the responsible parties accountable and get your family the compensation it needs to cover your losses. Call us today.