Ocean City, MD Personal Injury Lawyer
Ocean City, MD is a popular beach destination in Maryland. Many people come here on vacation where they might rent houses or hotels. Unfortunately for many people, their vacations could end early if they face injuries or are involved in accidents.
Accidents resulting in serious personal injury might mean being rushed to the hospital where you could face expensive medical bills. If your injuries are severe enough, you may have trouble returning to work, and you could face serious pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident in Ocean City, Maryland, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today. Our Ocean City, MD personal injury attorneys represent injury victims and their families, and we work to get you the compensation you need from the responsible parties. For a free legal consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (410) 694-7291.
Common Types of Injury Cases in OCMD
Injuries can happen from various types of accidents and mistakes. While some accidents are pure accidents with no one to blame, some injuries only occur because of a mistake or error in judgment that someone made. These claims are usually called “negligence” claims, and they are built on four foundational elements:
You must prove that the at-fault party owed you some legal duty based on your relationship with them.
You must show that the at-fault party breached that legal duty, but you do not need to prove that this was intentional.
You must prove that the breach of duty actually led to your injuries.
You must prove to the court that you suffered harm that they can order compensation for.
The duty and how it is breached often change based on the specific type of case at hand. the following are all common examples of types of personal injury cases you might be able to sue for in Maryland:
Slip and Fall and Premises Injury Cases
When you are on someone else’s property, your safety depends on how well they take care of their property. If there are hidden dangers like broken glass or slippery puddles around the property, you could be seriously injured.
Other injuries from dangerous property could involve collapsing handrails, staircases, and balconies; electrocution hazards; drowning hazards; fire hazards; dog bites; and other hidden risks.
If you are a guest at a rental property, the property owner might be responsible for even small dangers. Otherwise, a property owner is typically responsible for any hidden dangers they failed to clean up or warn you about.
Car Accident Cases
Ocean City has a lot of pedestrian traffic and a lot of vehicle traffic. If you were injured while walking across the street or you were involved in a car accident in Maryland, you may be able to sue under Maryland law.
Claiming damages through car insurance often results in limited areas of damages, so you should talk to an attorney before filing your claim that way. If the accident involved a drunk driver or someone who was texting while driving, they could be seriously negligent in causing the crash, and you may be entitled to substantial compensation.
When you think of Ocean City, Maryland, you think about boating and beached. Some of the most deadly accidents in Ocean City are boating accidents that can injure or kill. Most boat owners carry an insurance policy to cover any injuries or deaths that occur while on the water. Seeking compensation for your injuries may be difficult as the boat insurance companies will deny many claims based on various defenses.
Dangerous Product Injuries
Going to the beach often means using various types of toys, games, and other amenities. If you or your child is injured because of a severe design flaw, dangerous manufacturing defect, or inherent danger in the design of the product, you could be entitled to file a product injury case against the manufacturer.
This could include drowning or choking injuries involving toys as well as puncture wounds or cuts from collapsing beach chairs or other dangerous items.
Most beaches in Ocean City, MD have lifeguards. A lifeguard’s job description is right there in the name, and if you or a loved one was injured because of the negligent supervision provided by a lifeguard on a monitored beach, you might be entitled to sue for the injuries.
Lifeguards are not expected to save everyone from every injury, but if they failed to uphold their duty to help keep others safe or they voluntarily attempted a rescue and then made mistakes, you could be entitled to damages for the injuries their errors caused.
If a loved one is killed before their time, you may be entitled to damages for their loss. These damages can result in substantial compensation for the lost wages, lost companionship, lost spousal duties, lost counsel, burial expenses, funeral costs, and other damages associated with the death of a family member. These kinds of accidents can happen in many ways, and our Ocean City personal injury lawyers may be able to help with your wrongful death claim.
Other Negligence Cases
Negligent acts or omissions can occur in many strange and unexpected cases. From being hit by a flying umbrella to getting pushed over when someone runs by you, everyday situations can lead to surprising injuries. If you were injured in any other way that we have not listed here, our attorneys may be able to help you get compensation from the parties that might be responsible for your injuries. Talk to an attorney before leaving behind your chance at seeking justice.
How Long You Have to Sue for Injuries in Ocean City, MD
If you were injured in an accident anywhere in Maryland, the law gives you 3 years to file your case. Under the Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code § 5-101, this 3-year clock begins to run on the date of the injury in most cases. From there, you must get your case filed in the proper court before 3 years have elapsed.
While the law does give you 3 whole years, it is usually in your best interests to file your case well ahead of this deadline. If there are problems with your filing or you failed to include other people or parties that you should have included in the case, you may need to re-file your claim or file to join additional parties to the case. If these filings take place after the 3-year deadline, the filings will typically be thrown out.
If your initial case is filed too late, the whole case can be thrown out. the defendant can always point to the statute of limitations as a reason to request that the court dismiss the case against them. the court can also throw out a late-filed case on its own if the judge realizes that it is past the statute of limitations.
Exceptions and Extensions for the Statute of Limitations in Ocean City, MD
In some cases, you can get extra time to file your case. Some of these exceptions apply in the very niche or unique situations, while others apply across the board to certain people.
Extensions for Minors
Extensions are often available for minors. the legal understanding is that minors are not as able to appreciate what happened to them and understand the legal and financial impact of a serious injury case. As such, the law gives them additional time in many cases.
Specifically, in the realm of sexual abuse cases for minors, the victim has until they turn 18 to file, and then they typically get an additional 20 years to file. However, sexual abuse cases filed against institutions like churches or schools might need to be filed within 7 years of when the victim turns 18 to include those entities in the suit.
Under § 5-201 of the same Code section, minors also get an automatic extension. This gives them until they turn 18 and can be expected to have a better understanding of their case before the statute of limitations begins to run. From there, the 3-year clock starts running, so injured minors typically have until they turn 21 to file their injury claims in Ocean City.
Extensions for Disabled People
Disabled people who face injuries can get an extension under the same provision for minors if the disability interferes with their mental abilities.
Many cognitive and developmental disabilities would qualify, as would some brain injuries. However, the disability must already exist before the injury for the victim to qualify for an extension on their injury lawsuit. As with minors, the victim has 3 years to file after the disability ends.
Medical Malpractice Cases
Victims of medical malpractice in Maryland should look at a different statute of limitations under § 5-109. Many medical malpractice injuries are harder to identify because the victim might not understand whether the injury was caused by mistakes or whether the injury was just part of normal medical complications.
As such, victims of medical malpractice get 5 years to file their lawsuits in Ocean City. If you discover the injury earlier than that, you have to file within 3 years of the date of discovery or 5 years of the injury, whichever is earlier.
For minors injured by medical malpractice before they turn 11, cases must be filed by the time they turn 11. This is different from the typical extension rule for minors, and these cases are typically filed by parents on behalf of their children.
In rare cases, you may have been told that your injury was caused by something else. the situations where this kind of fraudulent concealment occurs are rare, but they could lead to an extension on your filing deadline.
If the defendant lied to keep the cause of injury from you, then you have 3 years from the date you discover the true cause of injury to get your case filed under § 5-203.
Can You File an Insurance Claim for Injuries in Ocean City, MD?
Many injury victims find out quickly that the person who injured them has insurance that can cover the accident. Car accidents, injuries at a business, injuries on someone else’s property, and injuries involving medical malpractice are often covered by car insurance, business liability insurance, homeowners or renters insurance, and medical malpractice insurance, respectively. However, insurance might not cover the accident in full, and you should definitely speak with a lawyer instead of trusting insurance.
Insurance companies are businesses seeking to make a profit. They do this by lowering how much they have to pay out, either by rejecting claims altogether or by reducing how much they pay for claims. In many cases, even when insurance is available to cover your accident, insurance companies do not pay enough.
If you were injured in Ocean City, you should speak with one of our personal injury attorneys before talking to insurance companies or accepting any money from them. When you accept money, that can act as a settlement that blocks you from being able to go back to court and seek additional damages.
Essentially, the money you take from the insurance company will usually be all you get. If that money leaves out certain areas of damage (e.g., pain and suffering) or comes at a lower rate than you need, it could mean leaving money on the table.
In some cases, your personal injury lawyer will recommend taking your case to court to open up additional areas of damages or to help maximize the compensation you deserve. Sometimes, uncooperative insurance companies will refuse to pay even when the evidence in your favor is overwhelming. In that case, you may need a ruling from a neutral judge and jury to get justice.
Call Our Ocean City Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation on Your Case
If you or a member of your family was injured while on vacation in Ocean City – or if you are local to the Ocean City area and suffered serious injuries – contact our law offices today.
Rice, Murtha & Psoras ’s Ocean City, MD personal injury attorneys represent victims whose injuries can be traced back to someone’s negligent acts or omissions, and we fight to get our clients the compensation they deserve. For a free legal consultation, call us today at (410) 694-7291.