Accidents that cause injuries can happen anywhere, at any time, even while you are on vacation or visiting somewhere as a tourist. And while it’s unfortunate that it might put a damper on your good time, it is important that you get the help you need after an accident. You may be able to file a lawsuit against the negligent party that caused your accident, seeking compensation for the harm you faced.
If you have been injured while visiting Baltimore, you may be able to receive financial compensation for your injury. Regardless of where you are from, it is usually most beneficial for you to file a suit in the state in which the accident happened. The Baltimore injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice are available and eager to work with clients from all locations as they seek compensation for injuries that occurred in the State of Maryland. Call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291 for help with your case.
Where to File a Lawsuit for Personal Injuries
If you are from a state that is not Maryland but you were injured in the State of Maryland while visiting, you may be able to sue in the court of either Maryland or the state that the person who injured you is from. There are complex laws that dictate where your case must be filed, but these options are typically open to you.
The state in which you’ll be able to sue for damages is a matter of “jurisdiction.” Jurisdiction is, essentially, the power of the government to exercise authority over people within its territory. In order for a court within a particular jurisdiction to hear a case, they must have both “subject matter jurisdiction” and “personal jurisdiction.” Subject matter jurisdiction means that the state has jurisdiction over the topic of the case and the relief being sought. Personal jurisdiction is the court’s power over the people involved in a case.
State courts have subject matter jurisdiction over most injury cases, so that isn’t usually a problem. Courts have personal jurisdiction over anyone that lives in the area or voluntarily submits a claim to that court, and they usually have jurisdiction if the issue arose in that court’s area. So, if you were injured by a resident of Maryland while in Maryland, you can bring a suit against the person who injured you in a Maryland court.
However, if the person who injured you is not from Maryland, the state in which you can sue them is determined by the connections they have to the state. In order to be sued in a certain state, a defendant must have a “certain minimum contacts” in a state. “Certain minimum contacts” is determined on a case-by-case basis but usually means having a company that does business in that state, maintaining a home in that state, or being a party to a contract signed in that state. This means you can usually sue companies and businesses that cause your injuries in Maryland, even if their headquarters is in another state.
Timeline of a Personal Injury Case
As you embark on an attempt to file a lawsuit against a person or business for an injury suffered in the State of Maryland, it’s important to understand how the typical process of filing a lawsuit. The commonly followed timeline is as follows:
- Meeting with an attorney – The attorney you chose to work with must be certified to practice in the jurisdiction where you’ll be filing your personal injury lawsuit. During your first meeting with a lawyer, your lawyer will review the events that led to your injury and will inform you about the next steps in the process.
- Filing the lawsuit – Your attorney will file a complaint or petition with the court to outline your case against the defendant.
- The discovery phase – During this phase, you and your lawyer will work to gather information from yourself, witnesses, and documents. You and your lawyer will discover exactly what happened in your case and will be clear on all the details surrounding the events that led to your injury.
- Pre-trial resolutions – This part of the timeline includes filing motions that may resolve any questions involving your lawsuit and may even resolve the case entirely.
- Settlement or trial – Many personal injury claims can be resolved out of court, ending in a negotiated settlement for the injuries. If a personal injury case does make it to trial, then a judge or jury will use that as an opportunity to analyze the evidence around the case after hearing each party tell their side of the story.
- Payment – If you won your personal injury claim, you will be able to collect damages at this point. Damages may be paid for the cost of medical bills incurred from dealing with the injury (including the cost of hospital and physician visits, prescriptions, physical therapy, and adaptive services), lost wages that the plaintiff could not earn while their injury kept them from working (including past wages and wages that the plaintiff knows they will not earn in the future), pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Baltimore Personal Injury Attorney for Out-of-State Visitors and Tourists
Visitors to Baltimore who get injured during their stay should seek compensation for their injuries using the help of an experienced Baltimore personal injury attorney from the Law Offices of Randolph Rice. Our lawyers can help our clients get what they deserve as compensation for another person or business’ negligence. Get in touch with the attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice as soon as possible for more information or to schedule a time for a free consultation. Call (410) 694-7291 to learn more.