When you’ve been the victim of an accident, you want someone that will fight and help with your personal injury claim. Our personal injury lawyers work with families and their loved ones after minor to serious injuries. We know the turmoil and strife an accident can cause, we take away the legal worries and let you heal and recover from your injuries. Contact the Maryland personal injury law firm Law Offices of Randolph Rice today for immediate legal help.
What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit or Claim?
A personal injury claim is the initial complaint the victim of personal injury makes through their attorney with the tortfeasor or the person or business that is the cause of the injury and damages. Not all personal injury claims start with a lawsuit. In most situations after an injury, the lawyer for the victim will contact the responsible party and their insurance company. For example, after a car accident, the personal injury lawyer will contact the insurance company for the person who was at fault in the accident. The claim is merely the first step in notifying the party or personal responsible that their client is seeking damages for their negligence or intentional tort.
Do You Need an Attorney for a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawyer can be helpful in resolving a personal injury claim successfully. A personal injury claim may have many moving parts in terms of damages. In every personal injury claim, the plaintiff must prove duty, breach of duty, proximate cause and damages. For someone not experienced in torts and personal injury law, proving these elements may be difficult.
An experienced and skilled personal injury lawyer can develop the theory of your claim and case and ensure each element is fulfilled if your case goes to trial. Prior to filing a lawsuit, your lawyer will work to resolve or settle the claim without the need of going to Court. This may prove beneficial and advantageous to the plaintiff and injured party. As a lawsuit may drag the case out longer, the need for financial support and closure can be reached with a settlement.
It is smart to call a personal injury lawyer soon after you know you have sustained damages. How do I know if I have a claim? Let the lawyer determine if you have a basis or grounds to file a personal injury claim. The lawyer will go over the facts of the case with you to determine the four elements: Duty, Breach, Proximate Cause and Damages.
If the lawyer believes these elements are present, then he will suggest you move forward with filing a claim through their office. Contacting a personal injury lawyer sooner rather than later can prove beneficial and helpful in preserving evidence in your claim. For example, most business destroy video within 7 days. Since they have limited space on memory, the video of you injury could be lost. A lawyer can ensure that the video is preserved and event collect that video footage to preserve for trial, if needed. So, calling a lawyer as soon as you know you were hurt and you think someone else was responsible for the injuries is the best time to call a personal injury lawyer.
Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case
If you have been hurt or suffered damages, then you may want to hire a personal injury lawyer. The general rule is: if you have been hurt, you need a lawyer. There are scenarios when you do not need a lawyer for your personal injury claim. If you were not hurt or did not suffer any damages, then you do not need to hire a personal injury lawyer.
Choosing a lawyer to represent a personal injury claim can be challenging, but if you look for these qualities, you should find a lawyer that will work for you.
- Trust – A lawyer that you can trust is one of the most important qualities. Being able to count on the lawyer to do the right thing and look out for your best interests in imperative in any injury case and claim. You can usually tell if the lawyer is trustworthy when you meet with him or her on your initial consultation.
- Honest – Honesty is hard to tell at the onset, but you can usually tell if the lawyer is telling you the truth by how they explain the process. If a lawyer promises tons or money and speaks in abstract over achieving numbers in terms of money, then they may not be honest enough for your personal injury claim.
- Confident – Confidence is important because this lawyer may have to take your case to trial. If the lawsuit demands a certain amount, in Maryland, over $30,000.00, then you may have a trial before a jury. Confidence is easily detected by a jury and if they think your lawyer is not confident, it may hurt your chances at trial.
- The Good Feeling – This is not so much a quality, but more of how you feel around the lawyer. If the lawyer makes you feel good and makes you positive, then he/she may be the right personal injury lawyer for you.
Now that you know what to look for in a personal injury lawyer, now you need to find one. The easiest and most cost effective ways to find a personal injury lawyer is to search “personal injury lawyer” on the internet. But that provides about 4.5 million results and you have not way of knowing which one is right for you. Look for a lawyer in your area and one with high, Google reviews (4.5-5 stars).
How Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Recover for Negligence?
The recover for a negligence claim, the victim or “plaintiff” must prove by a preponderance of the evidence the following elements:
- Duty – There must be a legal relationship between the injured and the at-fault party
- Breach of Duty – The the defendant breached the duty he/she owed the victim
- Proximate Cause – That the defendant’s actions caused the damages, and
- Damage – The plaintiff must suffer some type of damage as a result of the breach in duty.
A personal injury lawyer represents the victim after an accident. The job of a personal injury lawyer is to protect the victim’s rights in a claim for damages. Victims in a personal injury claim can be compensated for:
- Medical expenses – physicians, doctors, hospital, physical therapy and any other necessary medical treatment
- Lost wages or diminished earning capacity – past and future lost wages
- Incidental Economic consequences – the cost associated with the medial treatment
- Pain and suffering – mental distress and loss of enjoyment in life
- Punitive Damage – When a defendant acts with malice
Maryland is one of a handful or States that still recognizes the contributory negligence standard. Contributory negligence is when the plaintiff’s actions falls below the standard conduct a reasonable person would exhibit for his own protection and which contributes to the negligent action of the defendant which causes the plaintiff’s damages. Contributory negligence is a defense to negligence but not to an intentional tort.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Charge in Maryland?
A common question when looking for a personal injury lawyer is: “how much does a personal injury lawyer make or how much does a personal injury lawyer charge?” Lawyers charge fee various ways depending on the type of legal matter. For personal injury or tort claims, lawyers typically charge a contingency fee. A contingency fee is contingent on the outcome in the claim.
What You Should Ask Your Lawyer
The good news is a personal injury lawyer will ask you most of the questions and know what information to collect from you. You may have follow up questions, but a well trained lawyer will answer most of your questions after an accident. Some common questions we have found asked by our clients are:
- How much is this going to cost?
- How long will my personal injury claim take?
- Will I have to go to Court?
- When will my car get fixed?
- Will I have to miss work?
- Who will pay for my car to get fixed?
- I don’t know all the information, can you find it for me?
These are all questions your lawyer will be able to answer. It is good to keep in mind that your lawyer is there to answer questions along the way. So if you have a question, don’t feel bad about calling or emailing your lawyer. They want to help you along with process with better understanding what to expect.
Call Our Maryland Personal Injury Attorneys for a Free Case Review
Choosing the right Maryland personal injury attorney to protect your financial future after a serious accident or injury because someone else was negligent or reckless is important. It is imperative that you choose a lawyer who is qualified to handle your case. Choosing a lawyer with a history of success can prove beneficial to you. Who you select to handle your personal injury case can make a huge difference in the amount of money and compensation that you receive.
The Baltimore personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice fight to maximize the compensation our clients receive after an accident. As we have have handled death cases, we know how to offer the care and support after the death of a loved one.
We offer free, no obligation, consultations for personal injury victims within the state of Maryland and only take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get paid unless you win. To speak with a personal injury lawyer today, call 800.470.RICE or (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.