Howard County Personal Injury Lawyer
A severe injury could adversely affect your life in many ways. You might find yourself facing overwhelming medical bills and a substantial reduction in income.
Often, injuries have long-term effects that impact you, your ability to enjoy life, and your family’s well-being. If someone else was the cause of your injury, they should be held accountable for your pain and misfortune. Our firm has years of experience helping clients get justice for their injuries in numerous types of personal injury cases and can help you get the compensation you deserve. We can also help you gather the evidence you need to prove your case.
For a free case review with our personal injury attorneys, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (443) 251-3497.
Types of Personal Injury Cases in Howard County, MD
Our office has represented people injured in a wide variety of ways. Some of the types of personal injury claims our experienced lawyers have filed include the following:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, and ATVs are common throughout Howard County and the state of Maryland. Often, a motorist is driving recklessly or carelessly, resulting in a crash that hurts other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians.
While we put our faith in our medical professionals to alleviate our pain and suffering, that is not always the case. Sometimes medical errors or carelessness result in severely adverse medical consequences.
Slip and Fall
If a property or sidewalk is not maintained properly, it could present an unreasonable hazard. If you suffered an injury due to a sudden fall, the property owner or manager could be held accountable for your damages.
Not only do you have a reasonable expectation that a product should function the way it was intended to, but you also expect the product is safe to use. When an injury occurs because a product was poorly manufactured or had a design defect, it might be possible to hold the maker or designer of the product responsible.
Depending on a property’s purpose or use, a property owner owes anyone on the premises a reasonable expectation of safety. When known hazards are not addressed or if the property is allowed to fall into disrepair, the owner could be held liable for any injuries that result from their neglect.
Fault and Negligence in Howard County Personal Injury Claims
Determining fault depends on the circumstances of your situation and the facts surrounding your injury. Our attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case, including accident or police reports, your medical records, eyewitness testimony, and expert analysis to figure out what party, or parties, were responsible for your injury.
After fault has been established, a successful personal injury claim requires demonstrating negligence. Our team will have to show four elements:
Duty of Care
Our attorney must prove that the defendant owed you an obligation not to create an unreasonable risk of harm. This duty has limitations, and a court will consider factors such as the reasonable foreseeability of harm.
Breach of Duty
Once a duty is established, we must show that the defendant’s conduct constituted a breach of that duty. That means that the behavior or conduct severely deviated from what a reasonably prudent person would do under the same circumstances. For instance, driving at an excessive speed during a heavy thunderstorm could be a breach of the duty to operate a vehicle safely.
For a personal injury lawsuit to prevail, you must demonstrate that the defendant’s conduct caused the injury. To establish this, we must show that the conduct was the “cause in fact” and the “proximate cause.” This means that the defendant’s actions directly caused the injury and was a foreseeable possibility. Factors such as reasonableness, foreseeability, and direct causation contribute to establishing proximate or legal causes.
If you were not injured, or if your injury was not severe enough to result in actual damages or harm, you cannot file a personal injury claim. the reason for personal injury lawsuits is to be compensated for economic or non-economic damages resulting from the harm — for example, lost wages, medical costs, or pain and suffering.
Contributory Negligence and Its Effect on Howard County Personal Injury Lawsuits
When filing a personal injury claim in Howard County, you must contend with the legal doctrine of “contributory negligence.” Under this doctrine, if an injured party contributed to the cause of their injury, they are unable to collect any compensation. For example, you are injured in a four-car collision and file a personal injury claim against the three other drivers involved in the accident. After hearing the testimony and seeing the evidence, the jury held that the other drivers were collectively 98% at fault. However, they found that your behavior contributed 2% to the crash. Therefore, you are prohibited from collecting any compensation. By carefully reviewing all of the evidence and facts surrounding your case, we will try to counter any allegations made by the defense to shift the blame.
Compensation You Could Recover in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Howard County
If you have suffered a personal injury on account of another person, you are likely entitled to recover a wide range of compensation for your injuries. The legal term for your losses is known as “damages.” The amount of damages you can recover will depend on the circumstances of your case and the types of compensation being sought. The following are the most common forms of damages awarded in Howard County personal injury lawsuits:
You will be eligible to recover any medical costs you paid as a result of your injuries. These costs include both immediate medical attention at the scene and later treatment at a hospital or doctor’s office. This also includes bills for emergency care, surgery, hospital stays, and other medical treatment that you received as a result of your injury. It may also include additional costs such as physical therapy, chiropractic care, and prescription medications. You are entitled to recover past medical bills if you have already paid them, as well as compensation for future medical treatments your injuries might require.
If you were unable to work because of your injuries, you may be able to collect lost wages from the party responsible for your injuries. The amount of lost wages that you can recover will depend on how long you were unable to work. Compensation for lost wages can include past and future lost earnings, especially if your injuries prevent you from doing the kind of work you did before being injured. Severe injuries can impact your overall earning potential for the rest of your life, which you should be compensated for.
You can also claim compensation for property that was damaged or destroyed in your accident. This includes costs for replacing or repairing damaged property such as cars, furniture, clothing, and appliances. The damages must be reasonable and necessary to restore your property back to its condition prior to the accident or completely replace it. Be sure to save any repair estimates and receipts you received so these damages can be proven later.
Pain and Suffering
In most cases, pain and suffering is the most difficult element of a personal injury claim to quantify. Pain and suffering damages compensate you for the physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress that comes with being injured and having to deal with all of the associated medical bills and other costs. Pain and suffering can include other non-economic damages that you should be compensated for, including fear, anxiety, and worry about your condition or treatment options. Pain and suffering can also include physical symptoms like headaches and nausea that result from stress, depression, or other psychological conditions.
If you are married, and your injuries have affected your marriage, you can claim loss of consortium as part of your pain and suffering damages. Also, embarrassment, humiliation, and loss of enjoyment can be pursued if your injuries now prevent you from engaging in the regular activities you enjoyed before your personal injury.
Out-of-pocket expenses are those expenses you have paid directly related to your injury that you did not receive reimbursement for from any other source. Common out-of-pocket expenses include transportation costs to visit doctors and lawyers, like gas and hotel stays, as well as childcare costs if you need to arrange for someone to watch your child while you attend to your injuries.
Evidence Used to Prove a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Howard County
To recover the damages listed above, you will need to submit evidence. Evidence of a personal injury and the damages it has caused will likely come from many different sources. The type of evidence that might be available to prove your case will depend on the type of incident you were injured in. The following are the most common forms of evidence used in Howard County personal injury lawsuits:
Medical records are an important piece of evidence in personal injury cases. They can show the extent of the injuries and their treatment, which is helpful for showing damages. Medical records include X-rays, CT scans, and MRI results, as well as prescriptions, doctor notes, and hospital bills.
Medical records can also be used by insurance companies and defense attorneys to show that someone did not seek medical treatment until much later after the accident or take their injuries seriously during their recovery. Your medical records will also be used as evidence of your financial losses. Without your medical records, it will be difficult to get an accurate estimate of the value of your case. Thus, it is critical to get medical treatment immediately after getting injured and to attend every appointment called for in your treatment plan.
A police report is a written document that gives details about an accident or crime. Police reports typically include witness statements and any photos taken at the scene. The police report may also include details about who was likely liable for causing the accident or injuries and what kind of care was given to victims before they were transported to a hospital for treatment. Police reports are usually available for anyone who requests them through public record requests online or by making an official request through the law enforcement agency that investigated your case. Our team can help you determine which agency investigated your accident if you are unsure and request a copy of your report.
Witness statements are important pieces of evidence in personal injury lawsuits because they can help prove that someone’s actions caused an accident or incident leading to a personal injury claim. If you are injured, be sure to get contact information from any witnesses willing to provide it. Our firm can use that information to arrange for your witness to testify on your behalf at trial and prepare them for cross-examination questioning by opposing counsel. Even if a witness is not available to testify at trial, they can be questioned under oath before trial during what is known as a “deposition,” which could help settle the case before it goes to court.
Our Howard County Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (443) 251-3497 today to schedule a free consultation with our dedicated personal injury attorneys.