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Proving Wrongful Death Claims in Calvert County, Maryland

If a person in Calvert County, Maryland, dies because of an accident, members of their family can file a wrongful death case seeking compensation. MD Courts & Jud. Procedure Code, § 3-904. Wrongful death cases are legally complex, and it is definitely important to have the legal guidance and litigation skills of experienced, proven, and top-tier Maryland wrongful death attorneys. Wrongful death claims are definitely NOT do-it-yourself. If a loved one has died in an accident, call us here at the Law Office of Robert Castro. Our number is (301) 870-1200. We provide wrongful death legal services for all the cities and communities of Southern Maryland. Our legal offices are in Waldorf, Maryland.

Proving Wrongful Death in Maryland

Like other cases and claims related to accidents in Maryland, wrongful death must be proven in a civil case. Civil cases are non-criminal cases in which the parties are private citizens or legal entities (like corporations), and no one involved is at risk of going to jail.

Most wrongful death civil cases are based on accidents. Those are cases where none of the at-fault parties intended that the accident occur and/or intended that anyone die. There are also wrongful death actions filed based on criminal behavior where a human being is killed. Those cases are distinct from the accident-type of wrongful death cases because there WAS an intent to cause serious bodily injury, up to and including death.

In Maryland, to prove wrongful death, several legal elements must be proven in the case. For accident-type cases, the legal elements are the elements of negligence: duty, breach, causation and death. For example, wrongful death actions often arise from Maryland auto accidents.

The “duty” element is generally “easy” to establish because every driver in Maryland has a duty to drive safely and carefully and also has a duty to obey traffic laws. Likewise, the “breach” element is often “easy” to prove. If the at fault driver was not being careful or was violating traffic laws by speeding, driving recklessly or driving while under the influence, then the breach element is proven.

In criminal-conduct-type wrongful death cases, these two elements are not necessary to prove. Rather, all that must be proven is that the at-fault party had the intent — shortly before or at the time of the death — to engage in conduct that was likely to cause great bodily harm and/or kill a person.

Next, causation must be proven. With accident-type cases, this involves two things: proving that the breach of duty caused the accident and also caused the injury. With criminal conduct-type cases, it is only necessary to show that the criminal conduct led directly to the death. Causation is often phrased in “but for” terms: the accident and death would not have occurred “but for” the actions of the at fault party.

Contact Waldorf, MD Personal Injury Attorney Robert Castro Today

This article has been provided by the Law Office of Robert Castro. For more information or questions, contact our office to speak to an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer at (301) 870-1200. We are Waldorf, MD, Personal Injury lawyers. Our address is 2670 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD 20601.

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