If you or someone close to you has been injured due to the negligent behavior of someone else, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, more. But you can’t do it alone. To successfully file a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
The Saint Mary’s County, Maryland personal injury lawyers from The Law Offices of Randolph Rice are prepared to assist victims of injuries throughout the state file their personal injury lawsuits. Statutes of limitations apply so don’t wait to get in touch. Call our offices at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.
The Process of Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Saint Mary’s County, MD
After you’ve decided that you want to file a personal injury lawsuit in Saint Mary’s County to receive compensation for your injuries, the process will begin when you and your attorney file a complaint. This complaint will include the facts of what happened to cause your injury and how that creates a legal basis for your suit. Then, the settlement process will begin. During the settlement process, you and your attorney will work with the defendant to agree on an appropriate settlement. If you can agree, the case will be over. However, if you can’t agree on a settlement, the case will move to the discovery phase. During this phase, you and your attorney will collect evidence that can be used to prove your claim. Then you’ll go to court for a trial where either a judge or a jury will decide whether the defendant owes you money and if so, how much.
Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Saint Mary’s County, Maryland
The circumstances of your case will determine the damages that you can receive. However, there are some types of damages that are common among most personal injury cases.
It’s important to note that Maryland is a contributory negligence state, which means that if a judge or jury determines that you, the plaintiff, were even one percent at fault for your accident, then you are not able to receive compensation. Maryland is one of only a few contributory negligence states in the country; nearly all others are comparative negligence states, which means that the plaintiff’s compensation will be reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault.
The following are types of compensatory damages that are usually awarded to plaintiffs in personal injury cases in Saint Mary’s County, MD.
Whether it’s for medical equipment, surgeries, medications, ambulance rides, stays in the hospital, or physical therapy, the cost of receiving medical treatment after an injury can be extremely high. Luckily, you can receive compensation for medical expenses as part of a personal injury lawsuit.
Lost Wages and Diminished Earning Potential
A serious injury can keep you from being able to work, meaning that you won’t be able to make an income in the same way that you did before the injury. In a personal injury lawsuit, you can recover compensation for the wages that you lost while you were unable to work. You can also get compensated for the wages that you won’t make in the future due to your injury. This is known as diminished earning potential.
Pain and Suffering
If an injury causes you emotional and mental anguish and keeps you from enjoying your life, you can be compensated for it. Your injury may allow your spouse to join your lawsuit to recover compensation for loss of consortium. Other noneconomic damages that can be recovered include physical disfigurement or impairment, potentially shortened lifespan, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship. Note that compensation for pain and suffering is not included in workers’ compensation claims.
Wrongful Death Benefits
If one of your loved ones died because of someone else’s negligent behavior, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the party that was responsible. Wrongful death benefits include funeral costs and the deceased person’s potential future earnings.
Punitive damages are rare in Maryland, but they are still able to be awarded if the defendant exhibited “actual malice.” Producing proof of actual malice can be difficult for plaintiffs and their attorneys. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant for their dangerous behavior and to dissuade other people and organizations from acting in a similar way.
Proving Fault in a Personal Injury Claim in Saint Mary’s County, Maryland
People assume a duty of care when they participate in certain activities such as driving and providing medical care. If this duty is breached by someone and they cause an injury to someone else, a personal injury lawsuit may be filed against them. Plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits, with the assistance of their attorneys, must demonstrate that the defendant had a duty to behave safely based on their relationship, that they breached their duty, that their breach of duty was the direct cause of an injury to the plaintiff, and that the plaintiff’s injury resulted in economic damages for which they can be compensated.
Personal Injury Attorney Serving Saint Mary’s County, Maryland
At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we are dedicated to providing our clients with a high level of service as they file personal injury lawsuits for injuries they sustain during car accidents, medical malpractice, and other situations. Our Saint Mary’s County personal injury attorneys are excited to give you the support you need during this challenging time. Call (410) 694-7291 to speak with us about your case today.