Charles County Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are injured in a serious accident, you could be facing an uncertain future. Recovering from a severe injury is difficult and laden with many unexpected challenges. A devastating injury could place you and your family under significant emotional strain, from the physical rehabilitation to the mounting medical bills and loss of income.
When someone else was the cause of your harm, they should be held accountable. A personal injury lawyer can guide you through the process of filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit to get the compensation you need. Without a lawyer, you will be required to represent yourself and handle any legal questions and deadlines on your own. it is best to work with an experienced injury attorney who can manage your case and fight for you, especially if you have severe injuries and need to focus on recovery.
The Charles County personal injury lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras are committed to fighting for your best interests. With decades of experience, our attorneys will work for you and your family while you work to heal. We firmly believe that when you are injured through another’s negligence, you should be compensated. For a free case review, call (410) 694-7291.
Holding Someone Liable for Your Injury in Charles County
Personal injury law encompasses a wide variety of cases, accidents, and injuries. When a person suffers physical harm because of the negligence of another person or entity, they are entitled to seek monetary compensation through the Maryland courts.
Our Charles County personal injury lawyer has assisted individuals hurt in numerous ways. Motor vehicle accidents are an unfortunate reality, and many people suffer devastating injuries when another person fails to operate their car, truck, or motorcycle safely. When people think of personal injury attorneys, many picture a classic “slip and fall” accident. While these types of accidents have been played for comedic effect in films and television, they often lead to severe fractures or catastrophic head injuries. If you have been injured in an accident and believe another person or entity is to blame, contact our office to review the facts of your situation.
Elements of a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Charles County, Maryland
Even if you were hurt in what appears to have been an accident, someone’s conduct could still be to blame. Very few personal injury claims arise from a situation where one person intentionally meant to harm another. More often than not, the accident was caused by negligence or carelessness. In a personal injury lawsuit, negligence is a critical component. To hold a defendant liable for your injury, you must establish four elements.
First, you need to show that the defendant owed you a duty of care. Whether a duty existed and what that duty of care was will depend on the facts of your case. For example, a motorist owes all other drivers a duty to safely operate their vehicle. A homeowner owes their guests a duty of care that they do not owe intruders. the duty of care is determined by the relationship between the parties and the contact between them.
Once a duty of care has been established, you must demonstrate that the defendant breached their duty. Once again, this will be highly dependent on the circumstances of your case. For instance, a driver could breach their duty of care if they ignore traffic lights or speed down a small street. However, not all breaches of duty are as obvious, and, in some cases, the breach of duty is vigorously contested.
After proving a breach of duty occurred, a plaintiff must show that the breach caused the injury. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, this could be straightforward, or it could be a difficult challenge. Typically, our Charles County personal injury attorney will gather evidence from the scene, witness testimony, medical records, and other documentation to try to prove that the defendant’s actions caused your injury.
Finally, once you have established a duty, a breach, and causation, you must show actual damages. This means that the injury resulted in quantifiable harm – such as a hospital bill or the fees associated with an ambulance ride.
Examples of Personal Injuries in Charles County, Maryland
Many different types of injury cases fall under the category of “personal injury” cases. the name “personal injury” merely means that the injury was to the person (i.e., your body) as compared to an “injury” to property or reputation.
The following are some common examples of types of personal injury cases:
Car accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury cases. While damage to your vehicle might be one of the first things you think of, the injuries to your body can lead to substantial compensation. Hospital bills, lost wages, and more are all the result of injury and can be the basis of an injury lawsuit.
Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents are another of the most common types of personal injury cases. When you fall because of an unsafe condition on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against them for your injuries. This could help cover broken bones, bruising, concussions, and other injuries.
In some cases, negligent medical care is an accident. Other times, it stems from an error in judgment or a serious mistake on the part of the doctor treating you. In either case, the injuries you face and the other consequences of the negligent care – such as increased hospital costs – can be the basis for a personal injury lawsuit.
Product Injury Cases
People are often injured by dangerous medication, hygiene products, appliances, and more. These injuries can be caused by a dangerous design and lack of warnings that lead to traumatic injury. They can also be caused by problems in the manufacturing process, such as substitutions or negligent assembly, that lead to the product injuring users later. Any of these product injury cases can lead to personal injury cases if you were hurt while using a defective or dangerous product.
Is Someone Else to Blame for My Personal Injury?
In many injury cases, the question of who is to blame will be one of the first questions you deal with. At a personal level, you may feel responsible for what happened. Many injury victims blame themselves when, in reality, someone else is legally responsible for your injuries. Our Charles County injury attorneys can help you figure out who that responsible party might be.
In car accident cases, the question of who is at fault is pretty clear: one of the drivers. However, other parties you might not expect could also share blame. This is common in cases of auto defects where the manufacturer might actually be liable. In cases involving truck accidents, the company that owned the truck could actually be liable if they failed to properly maintain and repair the vehicle. In these cases, the truck driver could also be a victim of the trucking company’s negligence.
In many product injury cases, determining whom to sue is important. Some people may try to blame the store that sold them the product, but cases involving manufacturing or design defects are typically better filed against the product manufacturer.
In many cases of slip and fall or injuries on someone else’s property, victims are especially quick to blame themselves at first. You may think that your slipping is somehow your fault, but the property owner is often liable. If there were spills, uncleared snow or ice, or other dangers that led to your injuries, that is likely the property owner’s fault.
In cases of injury at a store or commercial property, the owner of the property could be the one to blame. However, it is possible that the store or the tenant of the commercial property is instead to blame.
There are many other types of accidents you could have been injured in. An experienced Charles County personal injury lawyer can help you determine who is at fault in your case.
Damages Available in a Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawsuit
As stated above, the final element in demonstrating negligence is proving that you suffered actual damages. In the legal sense, damages are quite extensive.
Nearly every injury will have some medical costs associated with it. If you had to pay a deductible or co-pay, purchase medication or were charged for a diagnostic test, the cost is recoverable through a personal injury lawsuit. Additionally, any major medical expenses, such as surgeries or extended hospital stays, could also be compensated. Medical expenses do not end when your case is filed. You could be awarded compensation for future medical treatments and therapy.
Medical expenses fall under a category known as economic damages. These types of damages are not limited to your healthcare costs. If you were unable to work, you are entitled to seek both past and future lost wages. Any financial loss arising from your injury could be calculated into your economic damages.
An injured person is also allowed to recover for their pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is included in a broad category of damages, commonly called non-economic damages. You are entitled to seek monetary compensation for anxiety, humiliation, loss of sleep, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and the loss of your enjoyment of life. Our Charles County personal injury attorney will thoroughly review your situation to quantify your pain and suffering appropriately.
What is Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
“Pain and suffering” is a phrase commonly used in reference to damages for a personal injury lawsuit. As mentioned, pain and suffering damages fall under the category of “non-economic” damages because they reimburse non-monetary harms. the physical pain that you face as well as the mental suffering of an injury are serious issues, and they can be compensated even though there is no clear price tag.
What Counts as Pain and Suffering?
“Pain and suffering” refers to much more than just the physical pain and mental suffering of an injury. Pain and suffering damages can include other harms as well:
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Fear of another injury or accident
- PTSD-like symptoms (anxiety, flashbacks, etc.)
- Lost enjoyment in activities you usually enjoy
- Lost enjoyment in life, generally
- Fear and anxiety about your chances of recovery
Any of these individual harms might seem like it could not possibly be worth much money. Put together with the other facets of pain and suffering, pain and suffering damages can often be a large portion of the damages you can claim in your injury case.
Caps on Pain and Suffering Damages
Damages paid for economic harms – like medical bills and lost wages – can be claimed in full regardless of how much they cost. Pain and suffering damages in Maryland are capped at a certain level. Every October 1, the limit goes up by $15,000. the caps for the surrounding few years are as follows:
- Cases after Oct. 1, 2019: $875,000
- Cases after Oct. 1, 2020: $890,000
- Cases after Oct. 1, 2021: $905,000
- Cases after Oct. 1, 2022: $920,000
- Cases after Oct. 1, 2023: $935,000
- Cases after Oct. 1, 2024: $950,000
- Cases after Oct. 1, 2025: $965,000
Just because the cap is as high as it is does not mean you will necessarily get that much in pain and suffering damages in your specific case. Talk to a Charles County personal injury attorney about calculating pain and suffering damages in your case and for help understanding any caps or limits on your case.
Call Our Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Case Review
If you are seriously injured, you will be facing many hurdles. On top of the mounting medical bills, you could be unable to work. If your injury was caused by another’s carelessness, you should not have to bear the full financial cost. Contact our Charles County personal injury attorney to review your rights and legal options. Call the Maryland personal injury lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free case evaluation.