People who are hurt because of another’s action or neglect have a legal remedy if their injury resulted in a significant financial loss or physical suffering. By bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party, an injured person could be awarded payments to cover their expenses as well as compensation for their emotional and physical pain.
If you were injured due to another’s misconduct, contact our Harford County, MD personal injury attorney. You should not have to bear the financial and emotional burden if you were hurt through no fault of your own. Our attorneys have over three decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured individuals. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.
When Do You Need to Contact a Harford County Personal Injury Attorney?
When a person is hurt, they often ask themselves if they need to contact a personal injury attorney. In some cases, such as a rear-end collision, the answer seems simple. However, people are injured in a wide variety of ways throughout Harford County. There are several questions you should ask yourself if you suffered an unexpected injury.
Types of Personal Injury Claims Filed in Harford County, MD
Our law office has filed personal claims on behalf of people injured in a variety of ways. The following are some common examples of situations and conduct that result in personal injury lawsuits.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Accidents are an unfortunate consequence of motorized travel. Everyday collisions occur between cars, trucks, or motorcycles. Often, people walk away from crashes without a scratch. However, some unlucky individuals suffer life-altering injuries or are killed. When another driver’s negligent conduct is the direct cause of an injury, they should be held responsible for damages inflicted.
People trust their doctors and other medical professionals to make decisions and take actions that are in the best interests of their health. Sometimes errors occur that have catastrophic medical consequences. A patient who suffers harm due to the carelessness or recklessness of a healthcare provider has the right to seek compensation through a medical malpractice claim.
Slip and Fall
A common cause of injury is merely falling – people slip or lose their footing. Often this is nothing more than an accident or a misstep. However, when an unforeseen hazard increases the risk of a fall, such as a spill in the aisle of a grocery store, the management or an employee’s failure to address the problem could give rise to a personal injury lawsuit.
We expect the products we purchase to not only work, but to also be safe to use. When a product is poorly manufactured, has a design defect, or lacks sufficient instructions or warning labels, the risk of injury increases. If you are ever hurt because a product malfunctioned, call our Harford County personal injury attorney.
Maryland has strict liability laws regarding the management and liability of pet owners. When a person suffers a bite or is otherwise hurt by another person’s animal, the owner is typically held responsible for any injuries.
Should I See a Doctor After Being Injured in Harford County?
The type of medical treatment you require will depend on the severity of your injury. If it is necessary to receive ongoing medical treatments or additional surgeries, your medical expenses will increase exponentially. You should recover for any treatment you received, along with any treatment that will be required in the future. An insurance settlement offer might appear to be a financial windfall, but it probably is insufficient to cover all your medical costs. When an injury is severe enough to warrant medical care or physical therapy, you need to discuss your options with a knowledge Maryland personal injury attorney before agreeing to a settlement offer.
Determining Fault in Harford County Personal Injury Claims
One of the most critical factors in any personal injury claim is establishing that another party was at fault. Once fault is legally recognized, it is possible to obtain compensation through a court order or through a settlement negotiation.
Determining fault depends on the circumstances surrounding your injury. Our seasoned attorneys thoroughly review all reports, medical records, witness statements, and physical evidence to help establish who or what was the direct cause of your injury.
In some cases, establishing fault is easy. For example, when a pedestrian is hit by a car whose driver ignored a red light. However, most cases do not provide such a clear set of facts. Often determining who was at fault is made more challenging due to conflicting testimony, an unclear chain of events, or layers of potentially negligent conduct. In the previous example, the pedestrian may not have been paying attention, the traffic light could have malfunctioned, or the driver could have been affected by a negligently prescribed medication. It is essential to have our experienced Harford County personal injury attorney carefully investigating the causes of your injury.
Establishing Negligence in Personal Injury Claims
In most personal injury lawsuits, the injured party must demonstrate that negligent conduct occurred. Our seasoned lawyers will have to prove four elements to show negligence.
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the injured person
- The defendant’s conduct or inaction was a breach of the duty of care
- The breach of duty was the cause of the injury
- The injury or harm resulted in quantifiable damages
Personal Injury Lawsuits and the Effect of the “Contributory Negligence” Doctrine
Maryland is one of the handful of states that follows the harsh “contributory negligence” doctrine. This doctrine imposes a hurdle to all personal injury claims. “Contributory negligence” means that if a person contributed to their injury, they are prohibited from being awarded compensation from any defendant.
Using the example above, a pedestrian is struck by a car while crossing the street. Let’s assume that the light was red but the pedestrian was engaged on their phone and not paying attention to their surroundings. It is possible a jury could find that, despite being hit, the pedestrian would have seen the oncoming car was not slowing down if they were focused on the intersection. Therefore, when assigning fault, the jury could hold that the driver was 95% at fault and the pedestrian was 5% due to their lack of attention. That finding would be enough to prohibit the injured person from collecting any compensation for the harm they sustained.
While this doctrine may seem unfair, it is vital to have an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney at your side. We will try to prepare for any allegations the defense might make to imply you contributed to your injury.
Damages for Lost Wages After Injuries in Harford County, MD
It is not uncommon for people who suffer a severe injury to miss work. Unfortunately, not everyone has unlimited sick time or insurance that covers lost income. You deserve to be compensated for the money you lost. Additionally, if your injury is permanent or requires months or years of physical rehabilitation, you should recover based on your lost earning capacity. Part of our job is to calculate what you would have made had you not been hurt.
Recovering Damages for Non-economic Damages and Pain and Suffering in Harford County
Physically recovering from a severe injury takes time and an emotional toll. In Harford County, you can recover for your financial losses and your pain and suffering. If you are feeling depressed or anxious because of your injury, you are entitled to be compensated for your emotional distress.
Non-economic damages often make up a large portion of a personal injury settlement. Because they are challenging to calculate, you will want our experienced Harford County lawyers working on your behalf. You can recover for the physical pain you are suffering, for the mental stress associated with your injury, and for how your injury has negatively impacted your enjoyment of life.
Time Limits and Statutes of Limitations on Personal Injury Lawsuits in Harford County, MD
There is a legal deadline to file a personal injury claim in Harford County. Maryland’s statute of limitations requires that a lawsuit arising from an injury must be filed within three years of the incident. Even though you have the time, you should not delay in retaining legal representation. The longer you wait to begin building a personal injury case, the lower your chances of success become. In instances where someone hesitates to pursue legal action, vital evidence could be lost.
If your injury was the result of medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is slightly different. When an injury is caused by the negligent conduct of a medical professional, you have five years from the incident or three years from the date of discovery, whichever is shorter, to file a lawsuit. This is because, in some cases, a victim of medical malpractice might not be readily aware of a medical mistake.
Call Our Harford County, MD Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you suffer an injury due to another’s negligence, you need the representation of our Harford County, Maryland personal injury attorney. Our committed attorneys want to provide you with professional and resolute representation. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.