Anytime someone gets in a vehicle – whether it be a car, truck or motorcycle – there is a risk of being involved in a Maryland auto accident. While any accident poses a risk of serious injury to those involved, motorcycle accidents result in a disproportionate amount of fatalities due to the lack of protection motorcycles offer riders.
According to the most recent government statistics, there are approximately 1,450 Maryland motorcycle accidents each year. In 2017, there were 85 people killed in Maryland motorcycle accidents. While this may not seem like a high number, consider the fact that there are only about 123,000 motorcycles registered in the State of Maryland compared to almost 2 million cars and trucks.
When someone is killed in a Maryland motorcycle accident, their surviving family members may be able to pursue a claim for financial compensation through a Maryland wrongful death lawsuit. Under Maryland Code Section 3-904, a wrongful death claim is primarily for the benefit of a surviving spouse, child or parent. These are considered “primary beneficiaries.” If, however, there are no primary beneficiaries, a claim may be brought by “any person related to the deceased person by blood or marriage who was substantially dependent upon the deceased.”
Establishing liability in a Maryland wrongful death case is done by showing that the defendant breached a duty of care that was owed to the accident victim. Additionally, the plaintiff must be able to show that the defendant’s actions were the cause of their loved one’s death.
Damages in a Maryland Wrongful Death Case
In some cases, the damages available to a wrongful death plaintiff are limited to “pecuniary losses,” which are those that can be definitively ascertained and assigned a value. For example, funeral costs and medical expenses are considered pecuniary losses. However, when the plaintiff loses a spouse or minor child, or if the plaintiff is a minor child who lost a parent, the plaintiff will not be limited to pecuniary losses. In this situation, a plaintiff may recover amounts for “mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, comfort, protection, marital care, parental care, filial care, attention, advice, counsel, training, guidance, or education.” Unmarried children who are either under 21 years old or substantially reliant upon a deceased parent may also be eligible for these damages.
Plaintiffs who lost an adult child or adult plaintiffs who lost a parent are also not limited to pecuniary losses and may recover amounts for most of the categories listed above.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Maryland Motorcycle Accident?
If you have recently lost a family member in a Maryland motorcycle accident, contact the dedicated Maryland personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we have decades of collective experience helping clients recover for the loss of their loved ones. We offer free consultations to all prospective clients, and provide an honest assessment of your case and discuss how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule your free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
The Recent Increase in Baltimore Scooter Accidents, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published February 7, 2019.
Settlement Offers in Maryland Motorcycle Accident Cases, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published January 21, 2019.