Fatal Accidents

What You Need to Know About Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

There are no easy answers at a time like this, but to help you think about what is right for you and your family, the attorneys at Hartel, DeSantis & Howie, LLP have compiled a list of answers to frequently asked questions about fatal accidents. We hope you find them to be of help:

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To learn more about how Hartel, DeSantis & Howie, LLP can help you get the compensation you deserve when you lose a loved one in a fatal accident, please contact us online or call us at (443) 749-5111. Consultations are free, and all cases are taken on contingency.


Q. What is a wrongful death?
A. In Maryland, a claim of wrongful death may be made in the event of the accidental death of a family member, no matter what the cause. Fatal accidents may include car accidents, other motor vehicle accidents, accidents resulting from the use of a defective product (products liability), slip-and-fall or other premises liability accidents or as the result of nursing home negligence or medical malpractice.

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Q. Who can file a claim for a fatal accident?
A. A claim for a wrongful death caused by a fatal accident can be filed by the beneficiaries of the deceased. This usually means the surviving spouse or the children – those who were financially dependent – or the parents. If there are no primary beneficiaries, siblings or others related by either blood or marriage may be able to file for compensation.

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Q. Can we also sue for punitive damages?
A. No – in the state of Maryland, punitive damages cannot be awarded as part of a wrongful death claim.

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Q. Why do we need an attorney?
A. A fatal accident lawyer is your advocate. It is his or her job to make sure that your best interests are protected. Experienced personal injury attorneys understand the law and know how to value your case. They work with others who ensure that every potential avenue of liability is investigated. In short, they are there to make sure that you get full and fair compensation to cover expenses and help you obtain justice through financial security.

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