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What is the process for filing a wrongful death lawsuit for vehicular homicide in Maryland?

The untimely death of a loved one can be devastating, particularly when it is the result of another's negligence or recklessness. In these cases, it is important for surviving family members to understand their rights and the available legal remedies. One such remedy is a wrongful death lawsuit, which allows a victim's family to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and recover damages in a civil court. In this post, we will explore the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit for vehicular homicide in Maryland and the types of damages that may be recoverable.

What is Vehicular Homicide in Maryland?

Vehicular homicide is a criminal offense in Maryland, and is defined as causing the death of another person while driving in a grossly negligent manner. This may include conduct such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or engaging in reckless driving that disregards the risk to others. However, it is important to note that a driver can be held liable for vehicular homicide even if their actions only rise to the level of simple negligence, where they should have been aware of the risk but were not.

What are Wrongful Death Claims and Survival Actions?

In Maryland, a victim's surviving family members have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver responsible for their loved one's death. The purpose of such a lawsuit is to recover damages for the losses suffered by the family as a result of the death, including both economic and non-economic damages. Additionally, a survival action can be brought independently of a wrongful death claim to recover damages that the deceased suffered prior to their death.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

According to Maryland law, immediate family members, such as spouses, children, and parents of the deceased, have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If there are no surviving spouses, children, or parents, other individuals related by blood or marriage may file a claim if they can demonstrate that they were substantially dependent on the deceased. Additionally, a personal representative of the deceased's estate may bring a survival action to recover damages suffered by the deceased before their death.

What damages can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit for vehicular homicide?

In a wrongful death lawsuit for vehicular homicide, surviving family members may be able to recover pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages. Economic damages may include funeral and burial expenses, lost financial support, and lost inheritance. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, may encompass the emotional toll of losing a loved one, including loss of companionship, love, and emotional support.

Losing a loved one to vehicular homicide is a devastating event, and it is important for surviving family members to understand their rights and the available legal remedies. If your family member was the victim of vehicular homicide in Maryland, it is crucial to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and recover the compensation you deserve.

If you require legal assistance with criminal law in Maryland, you may schedule a complimentary initial consultation with the Bauhof Legal team. Every criminal case is unique and individual, and this website is not intended to offer legal counsel. Please feel free to reach out to us at or give us a call at +1 (410) 876 4500.


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