Injuries while you are out running errands or shopping at a favorite store could cause no more than an inconvenience, but in many cases, the injuries could be severe enough that they send you to the hospital. When a store’s serious negligence causes you intensive injuries or long-term injuries, you could be entitled to substantial compensation. However, to get the damages you need, you might have to sue the store in court. Our Baltimore premises liability injury lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras explain.
How to Sue a Store After an Injury in Maryland
To sue a store for injuries, you will have to file paperwork with the courts naming the at-fault party, describing how the accident was their fault, detailing the injuries that you suffered, and listing the damages you are entitled to. To make sure that your case is properly filed, it is best to work with a Baltimore personal injury lawyer.
When you file a lawsuit, you will usually have to pay filing fees based on the documents you submit. In most cases, these are affordable amounts used to pay for court operations. In some cases, you can file to have these fees postponed so you can pay them out of the winnings in your case.
The format of the documents will be based on local court procedures, but they usually follow a standard format. An attorney can prepare these documents for your case.
Each “complaint” filed with the court will have to contain information that meets the four elements of an injury lawsuit:
- The defendant owed you a duty
- The defendant breached that duty
- The breach of duty caused your injuries
- You suffered damages the court can compensate you for.
For example, a Baltimore supermarket slip and fall case will usually state how the grocery store workers failed to clean up a spill, and, because it wasn’t marked with a “Caution” sign, you slipped and fell, suffering hospital bills and other damages.
After filing with the court, you will also need to follow the proper procedural rules under state and local law to notify the store of the lawsuit and serve them with the proper paperwork.
Should I Sue a Store or Shop After an Injury on their Property in Maryland?
In many cases, a lawsuit is what you will need to fully vindicate your rights and seek justice after an accident. In some cases, an insurance company for a store is willing to pay full damages for the harms you suffered, but this usually only happens in low-value cases that involved only minor injuries. If the case involved serious hospitalizations, time off work, lost wages, and pain and suffering, anything short of a lawsuit might fall short of covering your damages.
Lawsuits for slip and falls in Baltimore or slip and fall injuries in grocery stores and other injuries in stores throughout Maryland can often result in serious broken bone injuries, brain injuries, and other injuries that require intensive medical care or surgery. When these accidents happen, stores will often try to avoid liability by challenging claims or paying low-dollar settlements to end cases quickly.
If you accept any money from the store, it might qualify as a settlement that prevents you from going back to court and seeking additional money. If their insurance company or risk management department contacts you with a check, it might not be enough to pay for your bills and might end the case early.
Your Maryland personal injury lawyer will make efforts to renegotiate any offers, working toward a fair settlement that covers your damages. However, in order to show we are serious and to get all of the evidence we need, it will often be in your best interests to file a lawsuit and work through the court system while negotiating on the side. If negotiations break down, we can always fight the case at trial.
How Much is an Injury Lawsuit Against a Store Worth if I File it in Maryland?
In some cases, you might have options about where to file your case. Many stores are run and operated in state by in-state residents, so they need to be sued in the State of Maryland. This primarily covers family-owned businesses and local stores. For large chain stores (e.g., Walmart), national big-box stores, and international chains (e.g., Target), you might have options to sue them in the state where they are headquartered or somewhere else in the country.
In some cases, suing the store in another state might allow you to use different rules. For instance, Maryland has very strict rules that allow stores and other defendants to dodge liability if the victim did something negligent to contribute to their own injuries. Even if the injuries are 99% their fault and 1% your fault, that would end your case under Maryland law. However, the laws of other states might allow you to get proportional damages for the percentage of fault the defendant store caused.
As far as calculating damages is concerned, your case might vary slightly from state to state, but it could even vary from county to county. These variations are sometimes based on how friendly jurors tend to be in that area and how much cases tend to go for based on local trends, and they are not always reliable for determining the best place to file.
In general, you are usually entitled to claim damages for the full value of the medical care you faced, the wages you lost, and the pain and suffering you faced, along with any property damage you suffered in the accident. Talk to a lawyer about how to calculate these damages.
Keep in mind that the law will often prevent you from “forum shopping,” and you might be required to file your case in Maryland in the county where the accident occurred.
Call Our Baltimore, Maryland Store Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If you were injured in an accident at a store or shop in Maryland, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today. Our Baltimore store injury lawyers represent injured victims and fight to get them compensation for their injuries through lawsuits and settlement negotiations. For a free legal consultation on your potential injury case, call us today at (410) 694-7291.