Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers
The Maryland personal injury lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton are available to help anyone involved in an accident that resulted in injuries or death. Some clients have been injured due to the negligence of a municipal body, business, or government entity. These injuries could occur in public, on the road, or in a controlled setting.
Although most injuries occur unexpectedly, there are times when someone should have known that an accident could happen. There are also several legal issues that could arise during these cases. We need to prove that our clients were not responsible for their accidents, and we can develop a case that proves negligence or even ill intent on the part of those who caused the accident.
Individuals involved in an accident should reach out to us for help when someone is suffering or has been killed because of an accident that they did not cause. We are prepared to collect evidence today, help our clients understand the legal process, and provide support when needed.
Reasons for Personal Injuries
Personal injuries occur for many reasons. Accident reports are produced every year to show how often accidents occur, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported nearly 170,000 unintentional deaths in 2017 alone. Visits to a physician occur by the millions every year, and there are almost as many emergency room visits.
Some people do not seek medical treatment, and they suffer from a lifetime of pain and discomfort through no fault of their own. There are those who also suffer from lethal conditions. Personal injuries can be treated if the victim goes to the doctor or receives the coverage that they need, but many people simply do not believe they need to go to the doctor. They would rather do anything than miss work. They might even believe they are, in some way, disabled.
Personal injuries can occur due to a lapse of judgement, poor management of a facility, or lack of attention. We work with victims to help them receive the compensation they deserve. At the same time, we hope that our website can help Maryland citizens avoid future accidents and/or injuries.
When is a Personal Injury Lawsuit Warranted?
A personal injury lawsuit is warranted when it is obvious that the injury or death did not occur through any fault of the victim. A personal injury lawsuit can be used to collect non-economic damages, punitive damages, and repayment for the burden of medical expenses. At the same time, a personal injury lawsuit may be warranted when a minor accident caused a burden for which a family was not prepared. A recent study showed that almost 40 percent of Americans cannot afford a $400 emergency room bill. Therefore, it stands to reason that a $1,000 medical bill is more than enough to send a family into a financial tailspin.
We are prepared to represent anyone who has been traumatized by an accident that they did not cause. Those involved in an accident should contact a personal injury lawyer to learn how to proceed. Because every case is different, we must carefully review the case before moving forward. We also recommend that our clients consider filing a wrongful death suit when the injuries sustained in the accident would have qualified for a personal injury case if the victim had not died. These cases are similar, and we will explain to the family how to recover damages when they are bereaved.
What Accidents are Appropriate for a Personal Injury Claim?
Although accidents can occur at any time, we understand that most of our clients are prepared for common accidents that may have happened to someone they knew in the past. A friend or family member may have accepted their injuries as a part of life, but these cases are often much more complex than a simple instance of bad luck. Sadly, this leaves clients susceptible to other accidents for which they could receive compensation. We do not want our clients to miss out on the compensation that will help them recover, and we recommend that these accidents be investigated by a personal injury lawyer.
The following details common accidents that could be challenging to handle. Most people who are involved in these accidents do not know what to do next, but we can provide our clients with advice that will make it easier for them to receive the compensation they need. Lawsuits do not happen overnight. We ask that clients work with us during the initial consultation and explain how any of the following accidents occurred.
Amusement park injuries: These accidents can occur on rides or because of a slip and fall. Someone could be knocked over by another guest in the park or a guest could be injured when part of a ride goes wrong. Even the simplest accident involving a lack of lighting should be investigated if injuries occurred.
Boating accidents: These can occur when another boat is not piloted properly, or the boat could knock down a dock or crash into another boat. These accidents are frightening because people who are on the water could drown or be struck by another boat that is passing through. A boating accident could also involve property damage due to the loss of the dock, pier, or boat.
Car accidents: Even when motorists drive safely, accidents still occur. Car accidents can cause serious injuries, such as broken bones, internal bleeding, head injuries, and whiplash. A car accident lawyer will investigate the accident, help the victim file a claim, and support them through this difficult time. Speak to a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident to avoid any case delays.
Construction accidents: These should be treated differently than other accidents because people who work on construction sites are covered by Workers’ Compensation in most cases, which pays for medical bills and lost wages. Construction accidents can also impact those who are passing by the construction site. The construction company could be liable for any falling debris and malfunctioning tools. This may include a crane that falls over and injures someone who is not on the worksite. Accidents might also involve manufacturers who provide faulty or defective tools/products.
Defective products: This can be the cause of an injury or death at any time, and it is important that clients consult us when they believe a faulty product has harmed them. Complaining to the manufacturer will not produce the results that our clients want. The manufacturer can claim that they are not liable, and many people will give up. Companies that knowingly hide recalls or faulty products should be held liable for damages that are incurred when their products harm innocent people.
Dog bites: These are something that people often brush off. Dog owners, however, should be held to a high standard when managing their pets. Someone who is walking an aggressive dog must always keep hold of that dog. The dog should not be allowed to leave home unsupervised, and injured parties should be compensated for severe injuries that occur during a dog attack.
Exposure to toxic substances: These injures should be managed under Workers’ Compensation when the exposure occurred at work. We ask our clients to contact us for assistance when they believe they have been exposed to chemicals as a part of their job and they have not been covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance. If someone is unknowingly exposed to toxic chemicals in their home, they can hold the contractor or subcontractor liable for the work that was done. For example, a family could be exposed to asbestos when an HVAC contractor breaks open an enclosure that was created to prevent asbestos from spreading.
Hoverboard accidents: These incidents have only recently become a concern. Someone who is riding a hoverboard could fall when the device stops working or the hoverboard could catch fire because its power source has overheated.
Tort claims: Intentional torts can be filed any time malicious intent is involved. For example, someone who causes a boating accident maliciously could be subject to an intentional tort. We also use these torts to file claims against people who have falsely imprisoned or abused our clients. Although the term tort sounds complicated, it simply means that the injuries were not accidental. Therefore, we must investigate the case to learn all the facts. An accident will be handled as an accident, and anything that is not accidental will be met with an intentional tort.
Medical malpractice: These lawsuits can take on many forms, and we will work with our clients to understand how medical malpractice should be handled. We ask our clients to bring all cases to our attention so that we can understand how the malpractice occurred. Doctors, nurses, and medical assistants can all be held accountable no matter how they delivered care to our clients, and even nursing homes or home care aids can be held liable for malpractice.
Motor vehicle accidents: These can include any combination of vehicles and situations. We work with clients who have been injured by other drivers, pedestrians who have been struck by vehicles, and anyone who has been involved in a large truck accident. Although motor vehicle accidents can be handled by insurance companies, these companies do not always help their customers. We also work with clients who have been victims of contributory negligence. Someone who has been denied compensation because they contributed to an accident should reach out to us immediately. We can investigate the crash to prove that our clients deserve compensation and were involved in the accident through no fault of their own.
Nursing home abuse: This can occur when nursing home staff mistreat patients in a variety of ways. Because these nursing homes provide abusers with silence and privacy, abuse can take on many forms, including medical errors, physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, or even financial abuse. If someone believes that their elderly loved one is the victim of nursing home, contact our firm as soon as possible. Family members may only notice subtle signs of abuse, but we should be made aware of these cases so that we can investigate immediately.
Slip and falls: These accidents occur when the owner or manager of a facility does not care for the building properly. Any accidents that occur on the property may result in a personal injury claim. Premises liability involves any property where the owner has not taken proper care to protect those using the facility. A wet floor is not always avoidable, but a facility that is not managed properly could be held liable for injuries. For example, a restaurant with an upper deck or patio might have a broken railing. If the manager knew about this damage, that area should have been closed to customers until the repairs were completed. Any negligence on part of the owner or manager will be used to prove that compensation is due for the victim’s injuries.
Train accidents/derailments: These accidents could injure drivers, passengers, and bystanders, and cause damage to buildings or harm the passengers inside. Because of the unique nature of train transit in America, the federal government, the train company, and even the local government could be held liable for failing to take basic safety precautions. We will determine where the fault lies so that we can obtain the proper compensation.
Traumatic brain injuries: These involve any major head trauma that could have been caused by any of the accidents listed above.
Workplace incidents: These accidents are handled under Workers’ Compensation, and we will ensure our clients have been covered properly, are allowed to report their injuries, and the insurance company has acted in good faith.
How Should Clients Manage Accident Scenes?
Accident scenes can be traumatic for anyone involved. We ask our clients to take steps to help with the recovery of information and their own protection during these sensitive times. The following tips can make it easier for accident victims to recover from the accident and collect evidence:
- Take pictures or videos of the accident scene. Drivers and passengers should take pictures and videos of the scene to show that their story about the accident lines up with the facts. Without this information, it can be difficult to prove who was at fault.
- Call 911. A police officer will write a report and offer any additional information about obtaining a police report. Be sure to obtain their badge number, name, and the police report number.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Someone who is uninjured should still be checked out by a paramedic and go to the doctor. Anyone who is asked to go to the hospital by an EMT should do so as a precaution. There is no way to pinpoint internal injuries without the help of a doctor and imaging equipment.
- Talk to eyewitnesses. Eyewitnesses can corroborate the story of the accident when the victim does not have all the information they need.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer. Reaching out to us will help start the investigation and begin the process of obtaining compensation for injuries, property damage, or even death.
What Proof is Needed in a Personal Injury Case?
In a personal injury case, there are several things that will show the responsible party caused the accident or injury, they were not acting in good faith, and their actions are the cause of the individual’s pain and suffering. Each of the following factors must be established before a case can be settled or taken to court:
- Is there a duty of care extending from the guilty party to the injured victim? This means that the person who caused the accident or the injury knew that they should have taken the appropriate steps to care for those on their property. If we cannot establish that there was a duty of care, the courts will not allow us to proceed.
- Was the duty of care breached? There are times when the duty of care was not breached because the responsible party did everything in their power to prevent an accident or injury. However, there are other times when that duty of care was clearly breached due to negligence or carelessness.
- Did the breach cause the accident or injury? We will work with our clients to prove that they should be compensated based on the breach of care. In certain cases, the duty of care is a legal construct that has been created to protect patients or hold companies that manufacture products accountable. In other cases, we will show that acting responsibly was not part of the guilty party’s decision-making process.
How Does Contributory Negligence Make Litigation Difficult?
Contributory negligence is a practice that is used by only a few states to determine liability in accident and injury claims. This practice makes it difficult for the injured to claim the appropriate compensation, and contributory negligence can be twisted to call the case into question. Any case that involves an accident or injury could be turned on the injured party. This means that someone who caused a boating accident or harmed someone on a pier could try to show that the injured victim caused the accident.
We recommend that our clients do not speak to another lawyer or insurance company before the case closes. We will speak with everyone involved in the case, and work to prove that the injured victim had nothing to do with the accident. Talking to a defendant’s lawyer or their insurance company could jeopardize the case because it allows the other party to twist anything that was said in their favor. We also ask that our clients do not reach out to anyone involved in the accident because of frustration or anger. Complaining or harassing someone is not appropriate, and this behavior could come out in a trial or settlement negotiation.
How can I Recover Damages?
When we aim to recover damages for our clients, we are working on multiple levels. We understand that the accident or injury could have been jarring and terrible for everyone involved. We, however, must abide by the rules set forth by the state of Maryland. When we sue on our client’s behalf, we will use our experience in the industry to request:
- Economic damages: These damages provide compensation for medical bills, future medical bills, lost wages, and lost earning capacity. Someone who has been injured has likely missed work, lost their job, or cannot obtain gainful employment again. These people may also need lifelong medical care because of the extent of their injuries. We simply want to reclaim what that person would have reasonably earned if they had not been injured.
- Non-economic damages: These damages include compensation for things such as pain and suffering, a loss of sleep, flashbacks caused by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and a loss of companionship. Owing to the trauma involved, marriages could break up, friendships could end, and a lifetime network of support could be lost because of an accident or injury. The cap for non-economic damages in Maryland is currently $875,000.
- Punitive damages: These damages are awarded by the state or a jury during a personal injury case when the accident is so egregious that the state feels the need to punish the defendant. These damages are not designed to represent the financial windfall that may come from economic damages.
When we take on cases, we ask to see all the medical bills and evaluations for the case. We are calculating both current and future medical care, and that number will be used as part of the suit. We will calculate damages in a way that makes sense to the court, and we will not ask for anything more than the cap set by the state. We will also petition the court for punitive damages in all cases. Reckless people who cause accidents, injuries, and even deaths should be punished by the state, and punitive damages will serve as restitution for their actions.
Intentional Harm versus Negligence
There is a difference between intentional harm and negligence. We ask that clients make us aware of what happened during their consultation so that we can proceed accordingly. In many cases, there may be a criminal element that could arise as part of our work. We do not file criminal charges or prosecute such cases, but we may uncover criminal wrongdoing that is a vital component of the case.
For example, someone who ran one of our clients off the road with their vehicle may have done so maliciously. The guilty party should have punitive damages levied against them as part of our lawsuit. At the same time, that person should be charged with a crime separate from our case. When this is the case, we file intentional torts due to the malicious nature of the incident.
When we file a lawsuit for negligence, we are simply showing that negligent or careless behavior caused the accident. This is an important distinction because we are no longer trying to show that malicious behavior caused an accident, injury, or death. We merely want to show that the responsible party neglected their duty of care for the injured victim. Although some of our clients are rightly upset that someone has not been charged with a crime, they should be aware that we are trying to choose the right path for the case. If local authorities want to press charges against a defendant, that is a separate matter.
Can Personal Injury Claims Expire?
Personal injury claims expire after three years. Therefore, anyone who is ready to file a personal injury claim must come to us as soon as possible for help with the claim. Because we have three years from the date of the injury, we must proceed in a timely manner. However, there are few instances in which the statute of limitations can be extended. We do not want families or grieving loved ones to be in a position in which their claims could be invalidated. We also recommend that injured parties reach out to us as soon as possible so that we can begin investigating the case. Because of the nature of certain injuries or deaths, it could take a long time to come to a resolution.
Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Maximum Compensation for Injured Clients
If you were involved in an accident, reach out to the Maryland personal injury lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Our skilled legal team will walk you through every step of the claims process and ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve. We will not stop fighting for you until justice has been served. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online for a free consultation. We will review your case carefully and explain all your legal options.
Our offices are conveniently located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, where we represent victims throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.