Who is lawfully entitled to file a wrongful death claim in Maryland?

Serving Maryland, Washington D.C. & Virginia

Start Your Free Consultation
wrongful death woman sitting alone sad

Losing a loved one at the hands of another is unfathomable. Unfortunately, individuals or entities (corporations) may act negligently which results in the death of another. When this occurs, there are strict laws that deem who is eligible to bring these claims on behalf of the decedent. A “wrongful death” occurs when another person intentionally or accidentally causes the death of another person, who, had they acted differently, would still be alive. Essentially, eligible parties file on behalf of the decedent because if they had survived they would have been entitled to pursue a personal injury lawsuit for their illness or injuries caused by another person’s negligent actions. Wrongful death claims are emotionally overwhelming and extremely complex. If you have lost a loved one due to another person’s wrongful act, contact a compassionate Prince George’s County Wrongful Death Lawyer who can help you seek justice on behalf of your departed loved one.

Who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim in Maryland?

In Maryland, the only party who is lawfully entitled to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of a decedent are a spouse, a child, or a parent. If the decedent did not leave these parties behind, any blood or by marriage relative who was dependent on the decedent is legally entitled to file a claim. In some states, the only party who is eligible to bring a wrongful death claim is the executor or personal representative. The decedents will appoints this person. Maryland does not recognize personal representatives eligible to file this type of claim on behalf of a decedent.

How long do eligible parties have to pursue legal action?

In Maryland, those who are entitled have three years from the date of the decedent’s death to file a wrongful death claim. However, the statute of limitations does have exceptions when it comes to those who died from being exposed to toxic substances or diseases due to their occupation and workplace. If this is the case, eligible parties have three years from the date the illness was discovered as the cause of the person’s cause of death. It is critical for eligible parties to file within this time frame in order to recover financial compensation for the decedent’s damages. Eligible parties will be required to fulfill the burden of proof, which means they prove that the actions of another person directly caused the death of the decedent. If they are successful in proving this, they may be awarded economic and non-economic damages for the decedent’s damages and losses.

In the unfortunate event you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s wrongful actions, contact one of our knowledgeable and determined team members. We are ready to do everything in our power to help you hold negligent parties responsible for their unacceptable wrongful actions that caused the death of your loved one.




woman injured doctor nurse putting neck brace contributory negligence comparative negligence

What is the difference between contributory negligence and comparative negligence?

Read this blog to learn about the differences between contributory and comparative negligence in personal injury cases.

Read More
property premises liability invitee licensee

What is the difference between an invitee and a licensee in a premises liability case?

This blog explores the difference between an invitee and a licensee in premises liability claims. Please read on to learn more.

Read More
burn injuries

How are burn injuries classified?

This blog explores the different types of burn injuries a person may sustain. Read on to learn more about the different classifications.

Read More