Calverton, MD Personal Injury Lawyer
Severe injuries are, unfortunately, all too common. Car crashes, nasty falls, workplace accidents, and more happen every day, and, as a result, many victims find themselves badly injured. These injuries, in addition to being incredibly expensive to treat, can be extremely frustrating to recover from. In some cases, victims may never fully recover and could be prevented from doing basic tasks or things they love for the rest of their lives.
Serious injuries demand serious consequences for those who cause them. That is where our lawyers come in. We have the drive, professionalism, and skills to handle personal injury cases and get you the financial compensation you deserve and need.
For a free review of your case from our personal injury attorneys, reach out to Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.
Proving Negligence in a Calverton, MD Personal Injury Lawsuit
In order to win a personal injury case, you need to prove that the defendant was negligent. In law, negligence means that the defendant acted carelessly and, as a result, someone else – you – got injured. There are four things, called “elements,” that you need to prove in order to establish that the defendant was negligent. These are duty, breach, causation, and injury.
A “duty” is essentially an obligation someone owes to someone else. For example, drivers on the road have a duty to drive safely so as not to hurt other drivers in an accident.
Duties people have to one another can come from two different sources. First, duties can come from laws being in place. For example, motorists have a duty to follow speed limits because there are laws in place that require them to do so. Second, duties can arise from what is called a “reasonable person” standard. The idea is that individuals must act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances of any given situation. What exactly the duty is might be left to argument in the case. For example, many medical malpractice cases come down to the decision about what the standard of care calls for a doctor to do or avoid doing.
“Breach” refers to a failure to uphold a duty to another person. Speeding while driving, failing to clean up a wet floor in a supermarket, and a doctor failing to recognize a symptom and diagnose something correctly are all examples of a breach of duty.
Causation is one of the most important elements in any negligence claim. To establish causation, you need to show that the defendant caused your injuries. More specifically, you need to prove that the defendant is the “proximate cause” of your injuries. A proximate cause is a cause that is closely related to your injuries. For example, it is technically a cause of every car accident that a salesperson sold the driver in question their vehicle. However, it is silly to sue the salesperson in this instance because that is too far removed from the accident. Any potential liability would be “cut off” by the driver doing something careless on the road and causing an accident.
Injury simply means that you need to prove that you were injured. This can be done through photographs, witness testimony, medical records, or indeed even your physical condition at trial. You need to prove that you were injured because otherwise, there is no reason to file a lawsuit.
Damages in Calverton, MD Personal Injury Lawsuits
The goal of a personal injury lawsuit is to get financial compensation and justice because someone else injured you through their negligence. The court does this by awarding damages to the plaintiff. Damages are often categorized in personal injury cases. One way of doing that is to classify them as economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are often the most straightforward to ask for and also are frequently what plaintiffs think of first. This category encompasses things like medical bills, which can be quite large depending on your injuries. As a rule, if it has a pay stub, invoice, bill, or other documentation denoting its value, it will likely fall under economic damages.
You can also get economic damages for lost opportunities to earn income. If you have to take months off work to recover, you can get damages based on the income you would have earned during that time. Additionally, if you have to take a less lucrative job because of your injuries, you can get damages based on the difference in pay. Finally, if you can no longer work due to your injuries, you can get economic damages based on what you would be expected to earn for the rest of your career had you not been injured.
Non-economic damages, by contrast, are not based on tangible things. Instead, these damages are awarded for nebulous intangibles like physical pain and mental distress. So, while you may be able to get economic damages for pain management medication for your injuries, you would get non-economic damages for the actual pain you are getting medicated for.
You have to establish what your non-economic damages are worth in your case, and you can discuss that with our lawyers as we calculate these damages.
Punitive damages are a special kind of damages that are not based on what happened to you but on what the defendant did. The idea is to punish defendants who have acted especially badly. You have to ask for punitive damages in your initial filings, and an award of them is not guaranteed, so you should speak with our personal injury lawyers about this possibility.
Speak to a Calverton, MD Personal Injury Lawyer Right Away
Rice, Murtha & Psoras has personal injury lawyers ready to take your calls at (410) 694-7291 and discuss your case.