Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyers
A personal injury claim arises when one 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 pain and suffering. Personal injury lawsuits may involve:
- Amusement park accidents
- Boating accidents
- Construction accidents
- Defective products/product liability
- Dog bites
- Exposure to toxic substances including asbestos, toxic mold, lead pain, and dangerous chemicals
- Hoverboard accidents
- Intentional torts including assault, battery, false imprisonment, fraud, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress
- Medical malpractice, hospital malpractice, emergency room errors, surgical errors, birth injuries
- Motor vehicle accidents including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bus accidents, bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Slip and fall accidents/premises liability
- Train accidents
- Traumatic brain injury
- Workplace accidents
- Wrongful death
Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim
At the heart of most personal injury lawsuits lies the theory of negligence. Proving negligence requires the establishment of four key factors. First, that the defendant had a duty of care towards the injured party. Second, that there was a breech in that duty of care. Third, that the breech was the direct cause of the injuries and finally, that there were actual losses suffered. For example, if a pedestrian crossing the road within a crosswalk is struck and killed by a driver running a red light, the driver can be found liable on the grounds that he or she was negligent, or rather, that he or she failed to exercise a degree of caution which a reasonable person would exercise under the same circumstances (i.e. stopping at the red light.)
By far the most common defense to a personal injury lawsuit is the claim that the plaintiff was partly to blame for their injury. Maryland is one of only five jurisdictions that apply the draconian standard known as contributory negligence. This all or nothing rule can bar a plaintiff from recovering damages if he or she was even one percent at fault for the accident, even if the defendant was 99% at fault. Overcoming this defense is not impossible, but requires the skill of an experienced personal injury lawyer with an in-depth knowledge of 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 sufficient to cover all of these losses, including current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of future earning capacity. Non-economic damages may also be awarded for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, physical impairment, and disfigurement/loss of a limb. Like many states, Maryland law contains 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. Our Maryland personal injury lawyers can help determine the full amount of non-economic damages you may be entitled to receive.
Personal injury cases that arise when a person is harmed by the intentional act of another are governed by separate rules than 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 with the exception of medical malpractice cases, there is no cap on the amount of punitive damages juries can award.
However, juries must be presented with clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted deliberately, with an evil or wrongful motive – in other words, that they acted with actual malice. Actual malice can be difficult to prove, and because Maryland law gives the jury sole discretion to award or deny punitive damages, it is critical to have your case skillfully presented by a qualified Maryland personal injury lawyer with experience in successfully handling these types of cases.
Statute of Limitations in Maryland
Generally, personal injury claims must be filed within three years of the date the injury occurred. There are however, numerous exceptions that may shorten that time to one year, or extend it by up to twelve years. It is always best to consult a reputable Maryland personal injury lawyer as early as possible to be sure that deadlines are not missed. Additionally, by beginning to build your case early, your attorney will have a better opportunity to gather and preserve key pieces of evidence that may get lost over time.
Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Fight for Maximum Settlements and Verdicts
From the time our practice was established in 1987, the Maryland personal injury lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton have successfully obtained more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients. We know what it takes to obtain the best results in Maryland personal injury cases in a manner that is timely, efficient, and causes the least amount of stress for our clients. There is never any charge for our services or expenses until your case is won, and your initial consultation is always free. Call 800-547-4LAW (4529) today to discuss your case with one of our dedicated and knowledgeable Baltimore personal injury lawyers, or contact us online. We are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Maryland, and we represent injured victims and their families throughout Baltimore City and Baltimore County, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery 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, Towson, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Glen Burnie, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.