Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyers
A personal injury claim arises when an individual is harmed either emotionally or physically by the careless, reckless, negligent, or intentional act of another. Under Maryland law, an injured party may be entitled to compensation for damages related to the injury, including lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, medical expenses, and/or pain and suffering.
Accidents vary widely, and injury claims are subject to Maryland laws and statutes of limitations. Contact one of our Maryland personal injury lawyers to prevent any delays in your case. The rules in Maryland vary depending on the case, and you do not want your window of opportunity to lapse.
Personal Injuries Can Happen to Anyone
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that Americans had 39.5 million doctor’s office visits for unintentional injuries, 29.2 million emergency room visits, and unintentional deaths eclipsed 169,000 in 2017 alone. Do not ignore any injury or accident. Negligence could have caused your injuries, and you deserve to know the truth. Your family could be involved in a personal injury case, and you need to know what to do.
When Should You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
You can file a lawsuit for any of the following reasons:
Amusement Park Accidents: The park’s rides may have been faulty, or the facilities might not have been properly maintained.
Boating Accidents: Another rider may have injured you with their boat, or the pilot of your boat might not have maintained their craft properly.
Construction Accidents: If a construction site is not safe for visitors, you could be injured at the site. Construction debris or waste might also have caused your injuries as you walked by. Construction machines or tools cause injuries every day, and the negligence of the construction company may be to blame.
Defective Products/Products Liability: Companies that sell faulty products to customers must be held accountable. You may have been hurt before or after a recall was issued.
Dog Bites: Dog owners are responsible for their pets, following local leash laws and training their dogs.
Exposure to Toxic Substances: You may have been exposed to asbestos, toxic mold, lead paint, or other dangerous chemicals that will harm you or possibly kill someone in your family.
Hoverboard Accidents: Manufacturers are liable for design defects and faulty parts used on their hoverboards. You might fall off a hoverboard, and the hoverboard represents an active fire hazard for all users.
Intentional Torts: You can file a civil claim for assault, battery, false imprisonment, fraud, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Medical Malpractice: Doctor and/or hospital malpractice, emergency room errors, surgical errors, and birth injuries are all subject to personal injury claims.
Motor Vehicle Accidents: Car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bus accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents may result in a personal injury claim. The manufacturer of the vehicle may be at-fault, or another driver may have caused your accident. You may also have been a passenger in the vehicle, and you deserve compensation for your injuries.
Nursing Home Abuse: If you believe your elderly loved ones have been treated poorly, you may file a nursing home abuse claim.
Slip and Fall Accidents/Premises Liability: The owner or manager of a facility must care for the building properly. Any accidents that occur on the property may result in a personal injury claim.
Train Accidents: You may have been injured on a train, or you might have been a pedestrian injured by a train accident. The train operator and the government can be held liable for negligence in these cases.
Traumatic Brain Injury: Any major head injuries are subject to a personal injury claim regardless of where or how they occurred.
Workplace Accidents: You have the right to file a personal injury claim for workplace injuries, and you may need to file a separate Workers’ Compensation claim.
Wrongful Death: If someone was killed during an accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
What Should You Do After an Accident?
If you were injured through no fault of your own, you should try to complete the tasks below after the accident. If you need assistance, a bystander or friend can help:
- Take pictures of the scene.
- Call 911 for medical assistance or visit your doctor immediately.
- Take pictures of your injuries.
- Establish your schedule or timeline to show why you were in that location.
- Gather eyewitness testimony, along with the name and phone number of each witness.
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
How are the Merits of Your Case Proved?
Most personal injury lawsuits rely on the idea of negligence. One party or another was negligent to the point at which they caused your injury or the death of a friend or family member. Proving negligence, however, requires four steps:
- The defendant must be proven to have a duty of care toward the injured party.
- It must be proven that the defendant breached that duty of care.
- It must be shown that the breach was the cause of injury or death.
- It must be shown actual losses were suffered when the injury or death occurred.
For example, a pedestrian may have been killed when crossing the street. The driver who struck the pedestrian must be shown to have been negligent because they did not use caution a normal person would use when someone is crossing the street. If the pedestrian is injured, it is quite clear that the accident caused those injuries. We can also show that the injured party lost wages, was forced to pay off exorbitant medical bills, or was left disabled. We establish all four facets of a case before settling or going to court.
What is Contributory Negligence?
The most common response to a personal injury lawsuit is that the plaintiff was partly to blame for their injuries. Maryland is one of only five jurisdictions that apply contributory negligence. This rule makes it possible for a defendant to walk away without penalty if the plaintiff is proven to be even one percent liable for their injuries. Overcoming this problem is not impossible, but you must work with a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in Maryland tort law.
Personal Injury Damages
Personal injury claimants often face significant economic losses because of their injuries. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, the injured party may be able to recover damages enough to cover all these losses, including the following:
- All medical expenses incurred because of the accident: You can present your current medical bills, along with a doctor’s statement, that outlines your future treatments and an estimated cost.
- Lost wages: You were likely out of work because of the accident, and you cannot get that money back unless you file a personal injury claim.
- Future earning potential: If you had a promising career before a debilitating accident, you cannot earn as much money as you would have if the accident never occurred.
- Non-economic damages: You may claim pain and suffering as part of your personal injury lawsuit. Maryland notes that pain and suffering includes loss of companionship, friendship, or consortium; physical disability; and disfigurement or limb amputation.
Like many states, Maryland law imposes a cap on non-economic damages that can be awarded in personal injury cases. The exact figures for these caps vary depending on the type of case and are subject to change annually. As of October 1, 2019, the limit on all claims for a single incident is $875,000. Our Maryland personal injury lawyers can help determine the full amount of non-economic damages for which you may be entitled.
What are Intentional Torts?
Personal injury cases that arise when a person is harmed by the intentional act of another are governed by rules separate from those of negligence cases. In these cases, the injured party may be entitled to punitive damages, in addition to compensatory damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant for their harmful actions and to deter them from repeating the behavior in the future. Punitive damages can be several times greater than the amount of compensatory damages, and except for medical malpractice cases, there is no cap on the amount of punitive damages juries can award.
In order to win punitive damages, you must prove that there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted deliberately and with malice.
Actual malice is difficult to prove because Maryland law gives the jury sole discretion whether to award punitive damages. You must, in other words, convince the jury that defendant acted with actual malice. Because of these factors, you must work with one of our lawyers who understands personal injury law.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Maryland?
When a friend or loved one has been killed in an accident of any kind, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed. However, Maryland allows a handful of people to file a wrongful death lawsuit. You can file the suit under the following circumstances:
- You are the spouse, parent, or child of the deceased.
- If the deceased did not leave a living spouse, parent, or child, you may file the lawsuit if it is shown that you are related by blood or marriage.
- You must also prove that you were substantially dependent on the deceased.
Wrongful death lawsuits also have a cap on damages. As of October 1, 2019, the cap on wrongful death claims with two or more dependents is $1,312,500.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Maryland?
Generally, personal injury claims must be filed no more than three years after the injury occurred. You have one year to file a claim against a government agency, and you have two years to file a Workers’ Compensation claim against your employer. Exceptions apply to your case if you did not know that a workplace hazard was present.
For example, you may have discovered that your employer was exposing you to harmful chemicals 10 years after the first instance. You have three years from the time you discovered the problem to file your suit. If you were under 18 when the injury occurred, your three-year statute of limitations does not start until you turn 18. You should consult with one of our personal injury attorneys as soon as you know you have a problem.
Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Fight for Maximum Settlements and Verdicts
From the time our practice was established in 1987, our Maryland personal injury lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton have successfully obtained more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients. We know how to obtain the best results in personal injury cases in a manner that is timely, efficient, and causes the least amount of stress for our clients. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, allowing us to represent victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.