Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing a loved one is devastating. That grief is compounded if your loved one's death was preventable.

A wrongful death lawsuit can hold a negligent or malicious party accountable if they caused or contributed to a loved one's death.

The wrongful death attorneys of Greenblatt & Veliev, LLC can help. Set up a free case review at our law office in Rockville, MD.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

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In the state of Maryland, the surviving spouse, parents, or children of the deceased are allowed to file a wrongful death case. If none of those parties are living, the blood relatives of the deceased person or those related to the decedent by marriage can file a wrongful death case if they were substantially dependent on the deceased.

If you wonder if you're eligible to seek compensation under Maryland's wrongful death laws, our attorneys can provide answers.

The Statute of Limitations Time Limits for Filing a Lawsuit


In the state of Maryland, there is a three-year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death or personal injury claim. Once that timeframe has passed, you won't be able to seek legal action save for rare exceptions. (See our wrongful death FAQ at the bottom of this page to learn about the exception.) It's imperative that you contact our lawyers as soon as possible to get your case moving.

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The loss of a loved one can be devastating. While legal action may not be on your mind at the moment, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help you cover funeral expenses, related medical bills, and the pain and suffering caused by untimely passing.

Do you live in Frederick or nearby? To discuss your loss with a wrongful death attorney, contact our law firm today. You can also call our Rockville personal injury office to set up a complimentary legal consultation.

(301) 251-8776

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Rockville, MD


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We're Here to Answer Your Questions We Can Offer You Support and Peace of Mind

The attorneys of Greenblatt & Veliev, LLC
The attorneys of Greenblatt & Veliev, LLC are ready to answer your questions about personal injury or wrongful death litigation. If you live in Rockville, Frederick, or even a nearby state, please do not hesitate to reach out to our personal injury office here in Rockville, MD.

Proving Wrongful Death in a Civil Lawsuit What Needs to Be Established

Proving a wrongful death means demonstrating that a defendant acted negligently and that the negligence caused someone's death. There are key elements that our Rockville wrongful death lawyers will attempt to prove:

Duty of Care

Duty of care means that another party is expected to act reasonably in order to prevent someone else from being injured. In the most basic example, this could mean a driver following basic traffic laws to avoid causing a car accident.

Breach of Duty of Care

A breach in one's duty of care means that they failed to act responsibly in order to prevent harm. In medical malpractice cases, this could mean the failure of a physician or pharmacist to note allergies or contraindications with medication before implementing treatment.


Cause and effect are key in proving wrongful death. The case must demonstrate that a person's breach of duty of care directly caused a person's death. Evidence such as medical records, accident reports, and witness testimony can help show causation.

Measurable Damages

With all of the above established, a personal injury lawyer can then outline the damages related to the loss of a loved one. The different losses a household has experienced will help determine the amount being sought in legal compensation.

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Wrongful Death vs. Survival Action What Is the Difference and Why It Matters

It's worth noting that two different claims can be brought against a negligent party following the wrongful death of a loved one: a wrongful death claim and a survival action claim. Let's compare wrongful death and survival actions so you can note the differences.

Wrongful Death

Wrongful death actions are brought against a negligent party by the surviving family members of the deceased. This allows the family of the deceased to sue for the loss of their loved one.

Damages sought in a wrongful death lawsuit cover the emotional anguish caused by the loss, the loss of companionship, and loss of support to the household.

Survival Action

Survival actions, by contrast, focus on the suffering a lost loved one experienced prior to their death. In that regard, the focus of a survival action is similar in some ways to a personal injury claim.

Damages sought in a survival action cover medical bills prior to death, property damage from the fatal incident, and the decedent's pain and suffering.

Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths

Car Accidents

When a fatal car accident occurs, our wrongful death attorneys can review the crash evidence and help prove who was at fault in the collision. We can hold negligent drivers, automakers, or even local municipalities accountable for their actions.

More on Car Accident Cases

Truck Accidents

Big rigs, semis, and 18-wheelers pose many hazards to commuters. If you've lost a loved one in a large truck accident, our wrongful death lawyers can hold the truck driver or their trucking company accountable for causing the fatal collision.

More on Truck Accident Cases

Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to injury than other motorists on the road. For wrongful death cases involving motorcycle crashes, our attorneys will work with skilled accident investigators to identify the cause of the crash as well as who should be held liable.

More on Motorcycle Accident Cases

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice refers to mistakes by doctors, surgeons, or other medical personnel. When surgical errors or misdiagnoses lead to the loss of a loved one, our attorneys can help you pursue a wrongful death claim to hold the doctor or medical facility accountable.

More on Medical Malpractice Cases

Slip and Fall Accidents

Falls from high places can result in severe personal injuries and even fatal injuries. Our wrongful death lawyers can look at the available evidence to determine if the business establishment or property owner should be held liable for the fatal accident.

More on Slip and Fall Cases

Additional Causes of Wrongful Death


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Speak With Our Wrongful Death Attorneys Request a Free Initial Consultation

During a free consultation with our wrongful death lawyers, we'll review the circumstances of the fatal accident and help you understand what steps you should take next. While the current situation may feel overwhelming, you can count on our lawyers to listen patiently and provide compassionate insight. Contact Greenblatt & Veliev, LLC in Rockville today. We're happy to help our neighbors in Frederick and surrounding areas.

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Wrongful Death FAQ

Should I file a wrongful death lawsuit or a survival action?

Generally, your relationship to the deceased person will determine if you should file a wrongful death claim or a survival action. Family members and financial dependents will often file a wrongful death claim while an executor for the deceased's estate may instead file a survival action.

When you discuss your case with our wrongful death attorneys, we'll help you determine the proper course of legal action to take.

Are there exceptions to the three-year statute of limitations?

Yes. You can file a wrongful death case after the three-year statute of limitations has passed if a loved one died as a result of an occupational disease.

The term "occupational disease" refers to a condition that develops as a result of toxic exposure at the workplace while a person was employed. An example is mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure at a work site.

In cases of wrongful death due to occupational disease, the following statute of limitations applies:

  • Within 10 years from the date of death, or
  • Within 3 years that the occupational disease was identified, whichever comes first

Is there a cap on damages in wrongful death lawsuits?

Yes. Maryland does have a cap on non-economic damages in wrongful death cases. As of 2023, the cap on non-economic damages in wrongful death claims is $935,000 for a single beneficiary. The cap increases annually by $15,000 on October 1st.

The presence of multiple beneficiaries and the circumstances of a wrongful death can affect non-economic monetary awards. Our Rockville wrongful death lawyers can discuss these matters in more detail as the litigation process unfolds.

Why are punitive damages rarely awarded?

While it may seem like punitive damages would be common in wrongful death claims, they are still quite rare. Before juries can award punitive damages, the state of Maryland requires proof of actual malice, rather than just gross negligence.

Proving malice in the death of a loved one can be quite difficult. When reviewing your case, our wrongful death lawyers can help parse the difference between negligence and malice and help provide perspective on what kinds of damages are worth pursuing during the wrongful death lawsuit.

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"Excellent in their knowledge and honesty throughout whole process. They really make you feel like family while working in your best interest. Great staff all around. Hands down best experience I have ever had with dealing with the aftermath of an accident. Their integrity and professionalism is outstanding! Thanks again for all y’all hard work and fighting for my case to get the results needed." Johnnie Horner
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Greenblatt & Veliev, LLC

Greenblatt & Veliev, LLC provides dedicated legal representation to clients in Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia. Our attorneys have more than 65 years of combined experience in personal injury cases, and use this knowledge to serve you. Our professional affiliations and memberships include:

  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • The Bar Association of D.C.
  • America’s Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys

Contact our offices for a free consultation online, or by calling: (301) 251-8776

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