Experienced Injury Attorneys with a Legacy of Results
Wrongful Death

Baltimore Wrongful Death Lawyers

Protecting Families’ Right to Compensation After the Loss of a Loved One

Those who have recently lost a loved one to an unexpected accident know no words can fully capture the pain and hardship that follow. You may feel like your life has been turned upside down. You may also experience difficult emotions like anger and resentment. Though our lawyers know nothing can make up for what you have lost, we are here to help you however we can.

A wrongful death claim can hold wrongdoers accountable and recover compensation to provide a safety net as you move forward. We firmly believe anyone in your situation should have the support, financial and otherwise, necessary as they search for balance. Reach out to our team to learn whether you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim and how we can help you.

Call Ashcraft & Gerel’s Baltimore office at (410) 983-6833 for a free and confidential consultation. Our compassionate wrongful death attorneys are waiting to speak with you.

Defining a Wrongful Death in Maryland

Whether you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim depends on the role of third-party negligence in your loved one’s death. Our state has stricter laws than most others, requiring a plaintiff to prove they hold no fault in an accident as part of their case for compensation. Known as contributory negligence, this rule can make it harder to file a case and receive a fair settlement or verdict.

We can help investigate your loved one’s accident to find proof of another party’s fault. Our skilled investigators know where to look for evidence that could prove essential to your claim. While our goal is to negotiate a fair settlement for you, we are not afraid to take your case to court if necessary.

What a Wrongful Death Case Looks Like

With proof the fault for an accident lays with another party, a wrongful death case can help family members of the deceased recover compensation for all the losses and challenges they are now facing. However, there are rules that govern who can file and what you can request in such a case.

Eligibility to File

A wrongful death claim cannot be brought by just anyone who knew the deceased. In Maryland, you must be a primary beneficiary, or a:

  • spouse,
  • parent, or
  • child

of the deceased or you will not be given the initial right to sue. Primary beneficiaries, as the closest family members to the decedent, suffer the most direct harms and losses and are therefore eligible for compensation before others with less direct ties.

In some cases, there is no primary beneficiary willing or able to file. The right to bring a wrongful death claim then passes to secondary beneficiaries: those who are related, by blood or marriage, and are dependent on the deceased for material or other support.

Damages You Can Request

A family member who files a wrongful death case has the right to compensation for economic and non-economic damages related to the loss of their loved one. While the line items may vary on a case-by-case basis, you could be able to ask for:

  • Lost wages
  • Lost benefits (insurance, retirement, and more)
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of company, companionship, and protection
  • Loss of marital, parental, and/or filial care
  • Loss of guidance, advice, attention, counsel, et cetera

Though there is a limit on the non-economic damages you can receive in such a case, it’s important to work with a lawyer to maximize your claim. The loss of a loved one sends ripples that affect you and your family in a multitude of ways. Each of them deserves acknowledgment and restitution from any negligent party that caused their death.

What You Should Know About Survival Actions in Maryland

While there are other damages and expenses associated with a wrongful death, some of them are only recoverable through a survival action. This claim must be filed separately from a wrongful death suit but is usually handled at the same time. Pursuing compensation through both avenues gives you a chance to recover more, though success looks different between the two.

A survival action assumes the deceased would have had the right to file a claim against the negligent party who hurt them had they lived. This right “survives” their death, but rather than passing to heirs or beneficiaries, it must be exercised by their estate. In most cases, a beneficiary will end up filing the claim as a representative of the estate, but because they do not stand to benefit directly, there are fewer rules regarding who can file this type of action.

With its focus on the deceased, a survival action allows for the recovery of damages associated with the accident but visited on the victim rather than their family members. These losses may have happened either between the injury and death or shortly after. They include:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Funeral and burial expenses

Compensation in a survival action is routed toward the estate of the deceased to cover these and other relevant costs. Our attorneys can help you understand how this might affect you as an heir.

The Caring Support Your Family Needs

At Ashcraft & Gerel, we are dedicated to helping our clients find justice after their lives are forever changed by negligence. With more than 65 years in business, we’ve seen just how much our assistance can do for those going through difficult times. This inspires us to keep fighting for people like you.

Bringing a wrongful death claim can help you secure your future after losing a family member. It can also force a wrongdoer to own up to their negligence and face its consequences. While no legal remedy can hope to replace what you have lost, many families find pursuing justice helps them work through their grief. If you are considering filing a case, or just want to explore the possibility, we invite you to speak with one of our attorneys today.

Call us at (410) 983-6833 for your free and confidential consultation if you’re considering a wrongful death suit. We’ve been serving clients in Baltimore and beyond since 1953.

Client Testimonials

Our Clients Come First. Always.
  • “You must have been sent by GOD because without your help who knows how this would have turned out for me.”

    - Donald W.
  • “I felt very comfortable and appreciated how she made me feel.”

    - Charles B.
  • “I am very satisfied with the results and I highly recommend this firm.”

    - A Former Client


And Counting
  • Pharmaceutical Negligence $46 Million
  • Brain Injury Due to Defective Medical Device $16 Million
  • Injuries Caused by Mining Disaster $11 Million
  • Injuries to Foster Child From Abuse - Gov’t Agency $10 Million
  • Injuries Due to Negligent Operation of Train $6.1 Million
  • Child Injured at Birth - Umbilical Cord Compression $5.4 Million
  • Injured by Defective Helmet & Negligent Track Employees $3.5 Million
  • Child Injured at Birth – Deprived of Oxygen $2.9 Million
  • Injured Forklift Operator $2.5 Million
  • Burns from Flammable Bathrobe $2 Million

Why Choose Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP?

The Right Firm Makes a Difference
  • Compassionate Representation

    Our legal team understands what you are going through and is committed to defending your rights against powerful businesses and insurance carriers.

  • Committed to the Community

    Our advocacy extends beyond the courtroom through our extensive involvement in the community and support for positive change within our industry.

  • Fearless Advocacy When You Need It

    Our experienced legal team is not afraid to go to trial in order to maximize the recovery that our clients desperately need and rightfully deserve.

  • Respected within the Legal Field

    Our esteemed attorneys are highly regarded within the legal community and even command respect from adjustors and defense counsel.

  • At the Forefront of Major Litigation

    Our legal team has spearheaded litigation on behalf of injured clients in many high-profile cases, including major disasters, explosions and sexual abuse cases.

  • A Long Legacy of Successful Results

    Since its founding in 1953, Ashcraft & Gerel has obtained more than a billion dollars in successful verdicts and settlements for injured clients.