Ellicott City Personal Injury Lawyer
Whether you are injured in an accident or by someone’s intentional behavior, you can file a personal injury lawsuit in Ellicott City. The damages in personal injury lawsuits can be quite high, and an attorney can help you get the most compensation possible.
Personal injury lawsuits involve plaintiffs who experienced some bodily injury or harm due to the defendant. Often, these injuries are the result of accidents and negligence. However, intentional torts are also possible and sometimes are accompanied by criminal charges. Damages in personal injury lawsuits usually include economic losses and non-economic injuries. Our attorneys can help you gather evidence to prove your claims in court, including photos, witness testimony, and records related to your injuries. Your attorney should be able to help you evaluate your damages, find evidence to prove your claims, and determine the best course of action for your case.
Personal injury law tends to be broad, and numerous injuries and accidents might be grounds for a lawsuit. Our Ellicott City personal injury lawyers can help you assess your case and decide how best to take action. For a free case evaluation, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.
Potential Causes of Personal Injury Lawsuits in Ellicott City
One thing that all personal injury lawsuits have in common is that they involve some form of bodily injury or harm. The injury might be sudden and necessitate a trip to the emergency room. An injury might also be something that happens slowly over time, like becoming ill over the course of a few weeks because of exposure to toxic materials at work.
A lot of personal injury lawsuits in Ellicott City stem from accidents. Car accidents are some of the most common cause of personal injury cases, but other accidents are also possible. For example, construction accidents or accidents at work might also lead to personal injury cases.
Personal injuries might also be intentionally inflicted. While most people know that intentionally hurting someone can lead to criminal charges, they might not realize that there is more than one way to hold the defendant accountable. Not only may the defendant be criminally charged and prosecuted, but the victim can sue them civilly for damages. Criminal and civil trials are entirely separate, and the defendant does not have to be criminally charged for the victim to sue them in civil court.
Our Ellicott City personal injury lawyers have experience with a variety of personal injury cases, including but not limited to the following:
- Car accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Premises liability
- Accidents in the workplace
- Wrongful death
- Defective or damaged goods
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Ellicott City
Immediately after an accident that causes you injury in Ellicott City, call our attorneys might away. Our team can assess your case to determine if you have reason to bring a personal injury claim against an at-fault party. If you do, we can help you file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations in Ellicott City.
According to Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 5-101, personal injury victims in Maryland generally have three years to file a claim against a negligent party. For injuries arising from medical malpractice, Maryland also has a five-year statute of limitations and allows three years for delayed discovery, according to Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 5-109.
Other exceptions to the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Ellicott City might apply to your case. If you think you may be eligible for an exception to the filing deadline, speak to our Ellicott City personal injury lawyers. While exceptions to the statute of limitations are applicable in certain situations, it is best for victims to err on the side of caution and file a claim within three years of an incident.
If you do not file a lawsuit quickly enough in Ellicott City, you may lose your opportunity to hold an at-fault party accountable. In most cases, once the statute of limitations has lapsed, personal injury victims are barred from recovery in Ellicott City.
Gathering and Using Evidence in Personal Injury Cases in Ellicott City
Evidence is part of the very foundation of any lawsuit. Without evidence, there is a good chance the court would not even accept your case. Finding the evidence you need is far easier said than done, as evidence is often fleeting or scant. Our Ellicott City personal injury lawyers can help you find the strongest evidence possible and use it to your advantage.
Sometimes, you have to create your own evidence. One way to do this is to take photos after you are injured. For example, taking photos is very common after a car accident, and those photos can be used as evidence in a lawsuit. Important details that might be lost over time can be preserved in photographs. If you are unable to take photos after an accident because of your injuries, ask first responders or eyewitnesses to do so for you.
Security Camera Footage
Our Ellicott City personal injury lawyers can also obtain video footage of the accident or incident if it exists. Depending on where and how you were injured, the incident might have been caught by security cameras, dashboard cameras, or doorbell cameras in the area. This is likely if you were injured in a public area near homes or businesses with security cameras. Video evidence can be very powerful in a lawsuit and should always be investigated after an accident in Ellicott City.
Witnesses can provide important testimony if they have direct knowledge relevant to your case in Ellicott City. Some witnesses are eyewitnesses who saw you get injured by the defendant. Such witnesses are extremely important and can be very persuasive. Other witnesses might not have seen the incident unfold but might have other knowledge about the defendant that tends to show they are liable. For example, testimony from expert witnesses can help explain complicated aspects of a case and why certain actions may be considered negligent.
Sometimes, certain records play a role in your case in Ellicott City. For example, if you were injured at work, certain business records might shed light on the situation and can be used as evidence. Additionally, your medical records are very important in personal injury cases and can be used to establish the severity of your injuries. Be sure to visit the hospital immediately after sustaining injuries in Ellicott City and maintain any subsequent appointments with medical professionals.
Burden of Proof in Personal Injury Claims in Ellicott City
In order to meet the burden of proof in personal injury claims in Ellicott City, our attorneys must ensure that four elements are present. Though the burden of proof for civil cases is lower than that of criminal cases, failure to meet it might result in an unfavorable end to a personal injury case in Ellicott City.
In Ellicott City and throughout Maryland, the burden of proof standard for civil injury cases is a preponderance of the evidence standard. Essentially, our attorneys are tasked with proving that it is more likely than not that a negligent party caused your injuries. The following are the four elements that must be present in a personal injury case in Ellicott City to meet the burden of proof:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff
- The defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff
- The defendant caused the plaintiff’s injuries
- The victim suffered real damages as a result of a defendant’s actions
In many situations, a person owes a duty of care to another. For example, drivers on the road owe each other a duty of care to heed traffic laws. Product manufacturers owe a duty of care to customers to properly test products and inform customers of their potential dangers. Doctors clearly have a duty of care to their patients, to act responsibly and according to the current standard of care for medical professionals.
A breach in the duty of care is where negligence lies. A speeding driver that causes an accident and an irresponsible landlord that does not shovel snow resulting in a slip and fall accident are both in breach of the duty of care they owe to a victim. If that breach leads to injuries, and our attorneys can demonstrate that you suffered real damages as a result, your personal injury claim in Ellicott City may be successful.
Available Damages in Ellicott City Personal Injury Lawsuits
The term “damages” is a legal term that refers to injuries, losses, expenses, and overall negative consequences experienced by plaintiffs. If your lawsuit is successful, you may be awarded compensation to cover your damages. In personal injury lawsuits in Ellicott City, the amount of compensation you get depends on the extent of your damages. Depending on the case, victims may be able to recover economic, non-economic, and possibly punitive damages against a negligent party. Our Ellicott City personal injury lawyers have experience assessing various damages and can determine the extent of yours.
Economic damages are related to money. Medical bills, the value of destroyed property, lost income, and other examples of money lost or spent because of your injuries may be counted among your economic damages. Some plaintiffs have numerous economic damages, and keeping track of them can be difficult. You should report all your expenses to our Ellicott City personal injury lawyers, and they can help you determine which expenses should be considered part of your damages.
Our lawyers can help you keep track of your medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses, so that you can recover the economic-c damages you deserve against an at-fault party. There is no cap on economic damages in personal injury claims in Ellicott City.
Non-economic damages are based on negative personal experiences rather than money or costs. In fact, many non-economic damages do not involve any financial costs to the plaintiff. For example, your physical pain and emotional suffering or trauma should be compensated for even though these experiences did not come with a price tag. Other potential non-economic damages might include damage to your reputation, depending on the situation, and humiliation.
There are limits to non-economic damages for certain personal injury claims in Ellicott City. These caps increase annually and depend on the date of losses for victims in Ellicott City. To learn the possible limit on non-economic damages for your case, speak with our Ellicott City personal injury lawyers for clarification.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you might be able to recover punitive damages in a personal injury lawsuit in Ellicott City. Punitive damages are reserved for instances of gross negligence, which is why they are unavailable in most cases. These damages are not meant to compensate victims for their losses but to punish defendants for their egregiously reckless behavior.
Suppose you were the victim of a drunk driving accident, medical malpractice accident, or defective product accident. In that case, you may have a greater chance of recovering punitive damages in Ellicott City. To learn whether or not punitive damages are available in your personal injury claim against a negligent party, ask our experienced attorneys today.
Call Our Ellicott City Personal Injury Lawyers About Your Case Today
Being injured at the hands of another, whether on purpose or by accident, can be a painful and traumatic ordeal. Our Ellicott City personal injury lawyers can help you fight for justice and fair compensation for everything you have endured. For a free case review, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.