If you are injured in a serious accident, you could be facing an uncertain future. Recovering from a severe injury is difficult and laden with many unexpected challenges. A devastating injury could place you and your family under significant emotional strain, from the physical rehabilitation to the mounting medical bills and loss of income. When someone else was the cause of your harm, they should be held accountable.
The Charles County personal injury lawyers and staff at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice are committed to fighting for your best interests. With decades of experience, our attorneys will work for you and your family while you work to heal. We firmly believe that when you are injured through another’s negligence, you should be compensated. To schedule a free consultation to review your case and legal options, call (410) 694-7291.
Elements of a Personal Injury Claim in Charles County, Maryland
Personal injury law encompasses a wide variety of cases, accidents, and injuries. When a person suffers physical harm because of the negligence of another person or entity, they are entitled to seek monetary compensation through the Maryland courts.
Our Charles County personal injury lawyer has assisted individuals hurt in numerous ways. Motor vehicle accidents are an unfortunate reality, and many people suffer devastating injuries when another person fails to operate their car, truck, or motorcycle safely. When people think of personal injury attorneys, many picture a classic “slip and fall” accident. While these types of accidents have been played for comedic effect in films and television, they often lead to severe fractures or catastrophic head injuries. If you have been injured in an accident and believe another person or entity is to blame, contact our office to review the facts of your situation.
Holding Someone Liable for Your Injury in Charles County
Even if you were hurt in what appears to have been an accident, someone’s conduct could still be to blame. Very few personal injury claims arise from a situation where one person intentionally meant to harm another. More often than not, the accident was caused by negligence or carelessness. In a personal injury lawsuit, negligence is a critical component. To hold a defendant liable for your injury, you must establish four elements.
First, you need to show that the defendant owed you a duty of care. Whether a duty existed and what that duty of care was will depend on the facts of your case. For example, a motorist owes all other drivers a duty to safely operate their vehicle. A homeowner owes their guests a duty of care that they do not owe intruders. The duty of care is determined by the relationship between the parties and the contact between them.
Once a duty of care has been established, you must demonstrate that the defendant breached their duty. Once again, this will be highly dependent on the circumstances of your case. For instance, a driver could breach their duty of care if they ignore traffic lights or speed down a small street. However, not all breaches of duty are as obvious, and, in some cases, the breach of duty is vigorously contested.
After proving a breach of duty occurred, a plaintiff must show that the breach caused the injury. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, this could be straightforward, or it could be a difficult challenge. Typically, our Charles County personal injury attorney will gather evidence from the scene, witness testimony, medical records, and other documentation to try to prove that the defendant’s actions caused your injury.
Finally, once you have established a duty, a breach, and causation, you must show actual damages. This means that the injury resulted in quantifiable harm – such as a hospital bill or the fees associated with an ambulance ride.
Damages Available in a Charles County Personal Injury Lawsuit
As stated above, the final element in demonstrating negligence is proving that you suffered actual damages. In the legal sense, damages are quite extensive.
Nearly every injury will have some medical costs associated with it. If you had to pay a deductible or co-pay, purchase medication or were charged for a diagnostic test, the cost is recoverable through a personal injury lawsuit. Additionally, any major medical expenses, such as surgeries or extended hospital stays, could also be compensated. Medical expenses do not end when your case is filed. You could be awarded compensation for future medical treatments and therapy.
Medical expenses fall under a category known as economic damages. These types of damages are not limited to your healthcare costs. If you were unable to work, you are entitled to seek both past and future lost wages. Any financial loss arising from your injury could be calculated into your economic damages.
An injured person is also allowed to recover for their pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is included in a broad category of damages, commonly called non-economic damages. You are entitled to seek monetary compensation for anxiety, humiliation, loss of sleep, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and the loss of your enjoyment of life. Our Charles County personal injury attorney will thoroughly review your situation to quantify your pain and suffering appropriately.
Call Our Charles County Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you are seriously injured, you will be facing many hurdles. On top of the mounting medical bills, you could be unable to work. If your injury was caused by another’s carelessness, you should not have to bear the full financial cost. Contact our Charles County personal injury attorney to review your rights and legal options. Call the Maryland personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation and review your options.