Lawyers Fighting for Wrongful Death Victims in Baltimore & Washington D.C.

Wrongful Death

A wrongful death is one caused by another person’s careless or negligent actions. When someone’s passing can be classified as a wrongful death, the deceased’s primary or secondary beneficiaries have the right to file a wrongful death action and a survival action. Doing so allows the plaintiffs to seek compensation for the losses the deceased incurred prior to their death, any conscious pain and suffering the deceased experienced, and the tangible and intangible losses family members and dependents have experienced firsthand.

What are Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases?

  • Medical malpractice
  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Defective products
  • Dangerous premises
  • Construction accidents
  • Nursing home negligence
  • Motorcycle accidents

What Kind of Medical Malpractice Could Result in Wrongful Death?

Deaths caused by the negligence of a trusted healthcare provider are especially devastating. You were failed by a doctor who you expected to provide a professional level of care. The lawyers of Schochor, Federico and Staton provide vigorous representation to beneficiaries suffering due to the actions of doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and all other parties who play a role in providing healthcare. Our law firm maintains a special focus on helping clients with medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuits, including those involving:

  • Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis
  • Cancer
  • Emergency room negligence
  • Surgical errors
  • Anesthesia errors

We also handle wrongful death lawsuits related to birth injuries, medication errors, bacterial infections, and neglect or abuse.

Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis

Medical conditions that are not correctly diagnosed in a timely manner have the ability to spiral out of control and cause irreparable harm to an individual’s health. When a failure to diagnose or an incorrect diagnosis results in the death of someone close to you, you have the right to seek compensation from the professionals who failed to recognize and prescribe treatment appropriate to their condition.

One of our firm’s attorneys can work with you if a loved one died because a healthcare provider failed to diagnose and treat their:

  • Cancer
  • Brain injury
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Gastrointestinal disorder
  • Gynecological condition
  • Cardiac disease
  • Psychiatric disorder
  • Infection
  • Bacterial meningitis
  • Internal bleeding
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Diabetes

Cancer-related Deaths

The failure to catch cancer early on can cause a once-treatable condition to progress into more serious stages where successful treatment is impossible. Survivors may have grounds for a lawsuit if their loved one passed away because a healthcare professional did not diagnose cancer in a timely manner. Our attorneys can review your claim and determine whether you should proceed with legal action.

Emergency Room Negligence

Negligence often starts in the emergency room. When doctors, nurses, and technicians do not take appropriate actions, a condition can go undiagnosed or untreated. ER negligence includes:

  • Failure to order necessary tests
  • Failure to properly interpret tests and studies
  • Medication errors
  • Failure to monitor a patient’s progress
  • Nursing negligence
  • Delayed treatment or failure to treat
  • Lack of communication among a healthcare team
  • Misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose a medical condition
  • Lab errors
  • Paperwork errors
  • Inadequate training
  • Staffing issues
  • Failure to admit/premature discharge

Surgical Errors

Surgical errors are some of the most common causes for medical malpractice lawsuits. When a surgical error or complications from a surgery result in death, primary or secondary beneficiaries of the deceased can and should pursue legal action. Our team can help if you lost a loved one because of:

  • A prolonged surgery
  • Improper administration of anesthesia
  • An allergic reaction to medication used
  • Improper surgical technique
  • Damage to other internal organs
  • Infections caused by poor intra-operative and/or post-operative care
  • Blood clots
  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Anesthesia Errors

Schochor, Federico and Staton partner Jim Cardea discusses the case of an operation that goes terribly wrong when doctors perform back surgery on a 15 year old girl and unintentionally lacerate her kidney, resulting in the girl’s death. Another breach in technique results in the untimely death of an innocent patient. Click to hear details of the case.

Let the Attorneys and Medical Investigators at Schochor, Federico and Staton Help You

Schochor, Federico and Staton specifically focuses our wrongful death practice on claims involving medical malpractice. While the pain of losing a loved one due to someone else’s misconduct cannot be undone, we can help your family receive closure by holding negligent parties responsible for their actions. Since our founding in 1984, our attorneys have developed a tried and true system of helping clients pursue full and fair compensation. Over the course of our 30+ year history, we have recovered more than $1 billion in settlements and verdicts.

Contact us online or call us today at 410-234-1000 to speak with one of our attorneys about your case. You pay nothing unless we make a recovery on your behalf.


At Schochor, Federico and Staton, we understand the devastation you feel over the wrongful death of a loved one. While our lawyers do everything possible to ensure you receive compensation for the negligence of healthcare providers, we understand that families need to learn more about wrongful death and grieve on their own. We hope you find the resources below useful.


Schochor, Federico and Staton is your source for knowledgeable answers to questions about wrongful death lawsuits. While our attorneys are easily accessible should you wish to speak to someone in person or over the phone, we have compiled answers to some of the questions we frequently receive below.

What is wrongful death?

In the legal realm, wrongful death occurs when someone dies due to another person’s negligence. In terms of medical malpractice, it means a healthcare provider made an egregious error that led to the patient’s death. Wrongful death actions are filed by surviving dependents, usually a spouse, children, or another person who was harmed financially and emotionally by their loved one’s passing.

What is a survival action?

A survival action is a claim filed by a personal representative — a party designated to protect the rights of the deceased — to seek damages for pain and suffering the victim endured, as well any economic expenses sustained prior to the victim’s death. Damages are measured based on harm done to the deceased, and some states place a cap on the amount of money recoverable in a survival action.

How much can I recover in a wrongful death lawsuit?

The amount of damages that can be received depends on state law and how many claimants there are. For example, the cap for non-economic damages in Maryland for claims arising in 2011 is $695,000.00 for one claimant or $868,750.00 for two or more claimants. It increases $15,000 each year, so the cap in 2016 is $770,000 for one claimant and $962,500 for two or more.

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

In Maryland, wrongful death claims can be filed by “primary beneficiaries”, such as:

  • Parents
  • Children
  • Husbands
  • Wives

In the absence of primary beneficiaries, extended relatives—called secondary beneficiaries—have the right to file a wrongful death claim or survival action. The only requirement is that the secondary beneficiaries were financially dependent on the deceased.

In the District of Columbia, relatives who were receiving financial support from the decedent can file a wrongful death claim.

Who can I sue in a wrongful death lawsuit?

Many different parties can be held responsible in wrongful death lawsuits. Some of the most common plaintiffs in a wrongful death suit involving medical malpractice are:

  • Doctors
  • Surgeons
  • Urologists
  • Physician assistants
  • Nurses
  • Psychiatrists
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Hospitals
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Radiologists
  • Cardiologists
  • Pathologists
  • Gastroenterologists

What is the difference between a primary beneficiary and a secondary beneficiary?

Primary beneficiaries are family members closest to the deceased—spouses, children and parents. Secondary beneficiaries are extended family members who relied on the victim for financial support. Secondary beneficiaries may only file a lawsuit if there are no primary beneficiaries.

Our attorneys are here to help

At Schochor, Federico and Staton, our lawyers have decades of professional success inside and outside of the courtroom. We’ve won a plethora of prestigious awards from organizations such as Martindale-Hubbell, Best Lawyers, and Super Lawyers. Our team lectures locally and nationally to healthcare providers and legal professionals about medical malpractice. We’ve also spearheaded large class action claims against negligent doctors.

If you lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, please contact our firm today at 410-234-1000. We have offices in Baltimore, MD and Washington D.C.

Have a question you don’t see answered here? Feel free to get in touch with us.
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