Hillcrest Heights Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are dangerous and scary experiences. Unfortunately, many of them happen every day across the country. Victims of these collisions and other accidents can receive severe injuries that need expensive medical care. In many cases, these injuries are life-altering and will stick with the victims forever. It is not unusual for victims of car accidents injured in this way to have a strong desire to see justice done on their behalf.

To that end, we can help you out. Our attorneys have the know-how, drive, and professionalism to effectively represent you in court and get you the justice you deserve after a car accident.

For a totally free case analysis by our car accident attorneys, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.

How Can I Get Compensated in a Hillcrest Heights Car Accident Case?

Of course, your goal when you file a claim is to get financial compensation in the form of damages. This is how courts try to get plaintiffs “back on their feet” and in a position similar to where they were before the accident. Most cases will divide damages into categories in order to better explain what the plaintiff is asking for to the judge and jury.

Compensatory Damages

A large portion of what plaintiffs request in damages is known as “compensatory damages.” These damages are meant to put the plaintiff back in the financial and physical state they were in before the car accident happened. They derive from the accident’s effects on the plaintiff.

The most common item compensatory damages are based on is medical bills. Almost every car accident plaintiff will have medical expenses of some sort, ranging from a “routine” examination to intensive surgery and long-term care. Such treatment can get quite expensive, but you can get financial compensation for it in the form of damages.

You can also get compensatory damages for lost opportunities to earn income. For example, suppose you need to take several months away from work in order to recover from injuries and, during that time, you are not earning income. You can ask the court to award you damages based on that lost income. Alternatively, you can also obtain damages because of a difference in income if you need to switch to a less lucrative job because your injuries prevent you from doing your old one. Finally, if the injuries you sustained are severe to the point that you are no longer able to work, you can be compensated based on your expected future income for the rest of your career prior to getting injured.

The other part of compensatory damages involves less immediately tangible things. Commonly known as “non-economic damages,” this area can include items like physical pain, mental anguish, and other effects of an accident that do not necessarily have a receipt denoting their worth.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are different than compensatory damages. Punitive damages are based on what the defendant did, not necessarily your condition. The standard to be awarded punitive damages is set by Phillip Morris v. Angeletti. You must show that the defendant acted maliciously or was otherwise more than merely negligent. This can be tricky to prove in court, so you should talk with us about the prospect of seeking punitive damages early on in the legal process.

What Do I Need to Win a Car Accident Case in Hillcrest Heights?

In court, you must prove that the defendant was “negligent” to win your case. In law, the term “negligent” means that the defendant did something careless and, as a result, you got hurt. There are four things you have to prove to show that the defendant was negligent: duty, breach, causation, and injury.


A legal “duty” is an obligation a person or entity has to other people. In general, people have a duty to act in a way that is not likely to hurt others. As an example, drivers must drive safely and follow all rules of the road.


“Breach” refers to a failure to uphold a duty. In the area of car accident lawsuits, this could refer to a lot of different things. For drivers, it can mean driving drunk, ignoring other traffic laws, or doing other dangerous things a reasonable person would not do. For motor vehicle companies or repair shops, it can mean a poorly designed vehicle or a botched repair job, respectively.


Causation is frequently contested in court. The idea is that you can only be held liable for your injuries to a party that actually caused them. Moreover, it is not enough to prove that a party was a cause of your crash but was the main cause. For example, suppose the defendant has their vehicle worked on, and the brakes now do not stop the car as quickly as they should. The same defendant then gets drunk and speeds down a highway at 100 miles an hour. They then see your vehicle and hit the brakes but hit you anyway because the car is moving too fast. The driver’s negligent conduct cuts off any liability for defective brakes because the cause of that accident is the driver being drunk and speeding, not a botched repair job.


Proving the injury element simply means that you have to show the court that you were injured. This can be evidenced in a couple of different ways. Eyewitness testimony, medical records, and even your physical condition at trial can be used to show the court the extent of your injuries.

Chat with Our Hillcrest Heights, MD Car Accident Attorneys About Your Claim

Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s car accident lawyers are here to help you with your case when you call us at (410) 694-7291.