Who Can Bring A Wrongful Death Claim In Maryland?

In Maryland, a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought by the surviving beneficiaries of the deceased. There are two categories of beneficiaries under Maryland law:

  • Primary beneficiaries are the decedent's surviving spouse, children and parents.
  • Secondary beneficiaries are the decedent's surviving siblings, nieces, nephews and cousins.

In terms of eligibility to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, claims from primary beneficiaries (spouses, children and parents) are given precedence over claims from secondary beneficiaries (siblings, nieces, nephews and cousins).

That means a secondary beneficiary may bring a wrongful death claim only if there are no surviving primary beneficiaries, or if the surviving primary beneficiaries choose not to pursue a wrongful death claim.

If you have questions about these matters, contact us in Upper Marlboro today to arrange a free consultation with a wrongful death attorney. Kenneth G. Macleay Law Firm represents clients in Prince George's County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore and all of southern Maryland.

Two Types Of Wrongful Death Claims

There are two types of wrongful death claims in Maryland:

  • A wrongful death action is brought on behalf of the decedent's surviving spouse, children and parents. The purpose of a wrongful death action is to compensate the family for various losses, including loss of companionship, lost wages and loss of support at home (for example, loss of child care that the deceased person would have provided).
  • A survival action is brought on behalf of the decedent's estate. The purpose of a survival action is to compensate the estate for economic damages resulting from the person's death. Examples of economic damages include medical expenses, funeral expenses, burial expenses and property damage costs. A survival action may also seek compensation for the deceased person's pain and suffering.

The beneficiaries of the deceased may file both types of actions: a wrongful death action and a survival action.

Schedule A Free Consultation With A Wrongful Death Lawyer

To speak with a compassionate, fearless legal advocate about your case, contact Kenneth G. Macleay Law Firm at 240-545-5557 and schedule a free consultation. We represent grieving families throughout southern Maryland.