Maryland’s Wrongful Death Statute provides for a wrongful death action when someone’s careless or intentional actions cause the death of another person. A spouse, child, or parent may bring a wrongful death claim in Maryland seeking compensation for damages.

As with other tort claims, the party seeking compensation for damages has the initial burden of proof. Proving a party is liable for damages caused by a wrongful death requires you to prove:

  • The party who caused your loved one’s death has a legal duty of care to your family member
  • The party breached the duty of care owed to your loved one
  • The breach of duty proximately and directly caused your loved one’s death
  • You sustained damages because of your family member’s death

Once you prove your case, your family can receive compensation for reasonable funeral and burial expenses. Other damages for wrongful death include lost wages and future earnings, mental anguish, and loss of marital care, companionship, and comfort. 

If you paid medical expenses for your loved one after their injury but before their death, you can receive reimbursement for those funds.

Evidence Used To Prove a Wrongful Death Claim in Baltimore, MD

The types of evidence used to prove a wrongful death claim can include:

  • Eyewitness statements
  • Police reports and accident reports
  • Medical records
  • Physical evidence
  • Opinions and testimony from expert witnesses
  • Video of the accident

You might be asked whether you want an autopsy for your loved one. Sometimes, autopsies are conducted as a matter of law or protocol. However, the autopsy could be optional.

If you are filing a wrongful death claim, a complete autopsy could provide evidence to help you prove your case. Some things to consider about an autopsy after a loved one’s untimely death include:

You Might Be Responsible for the Cost of the Autopsy

If the state orders the autopsy, the state pays for the cost of the autopsy. However, in an accidental death, the state might not require an autopsy.

If you believe someone negligently caused your family member’s death, you might want to consider an independent autopsy, even if you are responsible for the payment. The autopsy could provide evidence to help you prove your wrongful death claim.

Contact a Baltimore wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney has resources that could help you obtain the autopsy if necessary.

Time Is Not on Your Side

You should have the autopsy performed as soon as possible. The longer you wait to perform an autopsy, the less reliable the information gathered. Performing the autopsy soon after the death preserves the medical and scientific information to be used as evidence to support your case.

You Can Have an Open Casket Funeral After an Autopsy

Family members may be concerned about an open-casket funeral after an autopsy. However, medical examiners treat your family member with respect and care. They will do their best to maintain the body so that you can hold a funeral of your choice. 

You can proceed with a funeral while preserving evidence that might be needed to hold the party who caused your loved one’s death accountable for their actions.

It Could Take Time To Receive the Death Certificate

It is important to understand there could be a delay in receiving the death certificate if an autopsy is pending. It could take weeks or months to complete an autopsy report, especially if a toxicology test is required. During that time, the death certificate is pending because a final cause of death has not been determined.

Therefore, the autopsy could prevent you from taking some steps regarding your loved one’s estate and assets. Talk with a wrongful death lawyer about your options if you are unsure whether to proceed with the autopsy.

How Can a Baltimore Wrongful Death Lawyer Help You After Losing a Loved One?

The days and weeks following a loved one’s death can be overwhelming. In addition to the funeral, estate proceedings, and grief, you may also need to decide whether to proceed with a wrongful death claim. If another party was involved in your loved one’s death, a Baltimore wrongful death attorney can help.

An attorney analyzes your case to explain your legal options. Suppose you choose to pursue a wrongful death claim. In that case, your attorney handles all legal matters, including investigating your claim, gathering evidence, filing insurance claims, negotiating settlements, and filing lawsuits.

Contact a lawyer for a free consultation so you can turn over the legal matter and focus on your family after a loved one’s death. 

Contact the Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer Law Firm of WGK Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help

For more information contact the Baltimore personal injury law firm of WGK Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation.

WGK Personal Injury Lawyers
14 W Madison St, Baltimore, MD 21201, United States
(410) 837-2144

WGK Personal Injury Lawyers – Dundalk Office
7329 Holabird Ave Suite 3, Dundalk, MD 21222
By appointment only
(410) 970-3080