Are you a survivor of sexual assault or abuse that occurred years ago? The State of Maryland took a significant step toward justice for you by passing the Child Victims Act of 2023. This act empowers victims to hold their abusers accountable, regardless of the time that has passed. In collaboration with Sarah Klein from MSF, SBWD Law is dedicated to supporting survivors and ensuring their rights are protected. Contact us for a free consultation and let us stand with you.

Over $200 Million In Verdicts & Settlements On Behalf Of Our Clients

Baltimore Law Blog

Wrongful Death Vs. Manslaughter: What’s the Difference

by | Jul 21, 2023 | Wrongful Death

What to Know When Your Loved One Is Killed By Another Person

When your loved one is killed by another person, you are left with an infinite number of questions. You may hear terms like manslaughter or wrongful death used, but be unsure about what exactly they mean. While many people assume they are the same thing, they have unique meanings under Maryland law.

At Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, P.A., we represent individuals who have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence or wrongdoing. Our firm has decades of experience helping families recover the compensation they deserve after their loved one is killed in a wrongful death. Contact our office at (410) 685-2022 to request a free, no-obligation consultation. 

What Is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is a term used in civil cases to describe when a person’s death is caused by the negligent, reckless, or wrongful act of another. A person has three years in the State of Maryland to bring a wrongful death claim. 

Types of wrongful death claims may include:

  • Car accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Dangerous, defective products (product liability)
  • Workplace accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents

Maryland limits the parties who can bring a wrongful death claim. If your loved one was killed as the result of someone else’s wrongful conduct, you might be entitled to damages. The act does not have to be a crime in order for a wrongful death lawsuit to be successful.

What Is Manslaughter?

Manslaughter is a criminal term codified under the Maryland code. In general, manslaughter is the unlawful killing of another without deliberation or the intent to kill. State law (Maryland Code Section 2-207) states that a person who is found guilty of manslaughter may face up to ten years in prison or imprisonment for up to two years in a local correctional facility and a fine of up to $500. 

What Is the Difference Between Wrongful Death and Manslaughter?

The terms wrongful death and manslaughter refer to separate legal matters. Wrongful death is a civil matter, while manslaughter is criminal. However, a person could face both a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court and manslaughter charges in criminal court. 

Additionally, a person who is convicted of manslaughter will not automatically be found liable in a wrongful death case, just as a person who is found not guilty of manslaughter will not automatically be released from liability in a wrongful death suit. 

Do I Need an Attorney?

If your loved one was killed because of the wrongful act of another person, you need to consult with an attorney. Depending on the circumstances of the case, you might be entitled to damages. The person responsible for your loved one’s death may face both criminal and civil liability. However, a criminal case will not provide compensation for all of your damages. If successful, a civil case is designed to compensate you for your losses.

Contact Our Office to Learn More

Did you lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligence? Contact our office at (410) 685-2022 to request a free consultation. Let us help you get the recovery you deserve. Call now to speak with a member of our legal team.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.