Hillcrest Heights, MD Personal Injury Lawyer

Getting injured can create serious problems for your future. You may end up with a large amount of medical debt due to long hospital stays, your injuries may have lingering side effects, which could be permanent, and you may need to make other life adjustments like changing jobs or moving to a place where you can manage your condition. All of this can be incredibly frustrating for accident victims.

If you were hurt in or around Hillcrest Heights, we can help. Our attorneys have lots of experience representing injured plaintiffs, which we can put to work helping you with your situation.

Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s personal injury attorneys offer free case reviews if you call us at (410) 694-7291.

What Do You Need to Prove to Win a Hillcrest Heights, MD Personal Injury Case?

You need to prove the defendant was negligent to win a personal injury lawsuit. To do that, you need to establish four “elements” in your case, called “duty,” “breach,” “causation,” and “injury.”


A “duty” is simply an obligation one party has to another. For most of us, the duty we have to our fellow human beings is the duty of care. Essentially, this means that we have to act in a way that is not likely to hurt others. Another way of saying this is to act in a way that a reasonable person would, given the circumstances.


Breach means that someone did not uphold their duty. For example, Driving home after a couple of drinks is a breach of the duty of care because drunk driving is not something a reasonable person would do.


You also need to prove the defendant factually caused your injuries and that such cause was related closely enough to your injuries. In law, this is called the “proximate cause.” Essentially, a proximate cause has to be close in time and relation to the accident that caused your injuries. Determining the proximate cause of an injury is often fought over a great deal in personal injury lawsuits, so our personal injury lawyers will work hard to determine the exact cause of your injuries and prove that the defendant is liable for them.


Of course, you must also prove in every personal injury lawsuit that you were indeed injured. This is not usually hard to do. Things like medical records, witness and personal testimony, photos, and potentially even your physical condition at the time of trial can help to prove that you actually sustained your injuries.

It is important to remember that “injury” includes more than just harm to your person. For example, if you were in a car accident and your vehicle was completely destroyed, that is also considered an injury.

Calculating Damages in a Hillcrest Heights, MD Personal Injury Lawsuit

When you file your personal injury lawsuit, you have to determine what amount you are asking for in damages. Your damages are based on the unique circumstances you face after an injury. There is no set way to calculate damages, but some methods are frequently used by lawyers in Hillcrest Heights and across the country.

The Multiplier Method

The multiplier method simply takes things like medical bills and other expenses and multiplies them by a given factor to compensate you for more intangible things like physical pain or mental distress. This method is most often used when the plaintiff is expected to be dealing with the effects of their injuries for the rest of their life.

The “Per Diem” Method

Another method of calculating damages is something called the “per diem” or “daily” method. The idea is that the injuries from your accident take a toll on you for each day you have to deal with them. That difficulty and frustration brought upon you by your injuries can have a value attributed to it. Our lawyers determine a daily value and then add it up based on each day you are expected to be dealing with your injuries. For example, for an expected year of suffering, you would multiply the per diem amount by 365 days.

The per diem method is most often used when the plaintiff is expected to make a full recovery from their injuries since any situation where the plaintiff would be dealing with their injuries forever would result in an infinite amount of damages.

Should I Settle My Hillcrest Heights, MD Personal Injury Case?

When plaintiffs file personal injury lawsuits, most of the time, they envision a jury trial where the defendant is found liable for their injuries and pays damages. Indeed, many lawsuits do take that route. However, the vast majority of legal issues are resolved outside of the trial space. One way that this is done is through a settlement. A settlement is an agreement with the other side of the case to resolve the issue outside of trial.

While plaintiffs can offer to settle a case, usually, the defendant comes forth with an offer. A typical settlement will likely include an offer of financial compensation in exchange for “dropping charges.” Settlements also may include an admission of liability by one party or another or admittance that either you or the defendant did a certain thing. Additionally, many settlements also have stipulations that the details of the legal proceedings are kept private between the parties.

Settlements can be beneficial because they provide a certain outcome for both parties, whereas a trial will always have an unpredictable result until the jury renders a verdict. Additionally, relief from a settlement can sometimes arrive quicker than damages at trial, so an offer may be worth seriously considering if it meets your needs.

The decision to settle or go to trial is an important one. Our lawyers will offer all of the advice and guidance we can offer but remember that you always have the right to a trial, and the decision to settle or not is ultimately up to the client.

Call Our Hillcrest Heights, MD Personal Injury Lawyers Today

For a free review of your case with our personal injury lawyers, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.