It can happen in the blink of an eye. Whether a car crash, workplace incident, or other type of injury, an accident can leave you with serious, sometimes catastrophic injuries — often as a result of another party’s negligent or reckless behavior. When those injuries happen, they can also leave their victim with significant financial losses.
The area of personal injury law exists to offer victims of negligence a sense of justice and allow them to recover compensation for personal injuries caused by the fault of another party.
What Is Personal Injury Law?
Simply put, personal injury law involves filing a claim to recover compensation for personal injuries suffered in an accident due to another party’s conduct. Some examples of personal injury claims include liability for motor vehicle accidents, negligence caused on someone else’s property, injuries that occur at work, and negligence caused by professionals such as doctors.
In a personal injury claim, the plaintiff – the party who suffered the injury – brings a civil lawsuit against the defendant, the party who is responsible for the injuries that were inflicted. Generally, anyone who is responsible for causing an injury can be sued in a Baltimore personal injury matter, but the plaintiff will need to prove both liability and damages.
There are many different types of cases under personal injury law, and our team of Baltimore personal injury lawyers handles various types, including:
- Medical Malpractice
- Car Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- Truck Accidents
- Uber Accidents
- Slip and Fall
- Premises Liability
- Workers Compensation
- Burn Injuries
- Birth Injuries
- Dog Bites
How Is Liability Determined For Personal Injury Claims In Baltimore?
When you have been involved in an accident and are seeking compensation, it is crucial to understand issues of liability, including whether you’re able to prove that another party was at fault for your accident. Determining fault depends on the unique circumstances of the case, and an experienced personal injury lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation to find important evidence for proving liability in your case.
Generally, personal injury cases involve a claim for negligence. This requires the plaintiff to prove four elements:
- The defendant owed a duty of reasonable care to the plaintiff
- The defendant breached that duty of care
- The breach directly resulted in an injury to the plaintiff
- The plaintiff suffered damages or financial losses
There is also a strict liability, where the defendant might be found liable, even if they did not act out of negligence. It is established in:
This is where a pet bites someone, and the pet owner is found liable for the damages incurred. The only exception is if the owner proves that they did not have any prior knowledge of the animal’s behavior.
Product liability happens if a product causes injury to someone after they have used it. The manufacturer will be held strictly liable.
How Do I Know If I Have a Claim in a Baltimore Personal Injury Case?
Issues of liability can quickly become complex, and they are very rarely clear-cut. There may be multiple parties involved, for example, and it may be difficult to determine the extent of each party’s fault for the accident.
There may also be several different Baltimore laws that apply to your case, which means the need for extensive research on the law and its application to your unique, specific circumstances.
A Baltimore personal injury claim will involve not only the parties who may be at fault for your accident but also their insurance companies. This means you will need to negotiate with insurers, who generally have significant legal and financial resources on their side, which can skew the balance of power in their favor.
You should not try to negotiate with the other party and their insurance company alone. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will be able to communicate on your behalf, striving for a fair and reasonable settlement. If a resolution is not possible outside of court, they will prepare a strong case on your behalf to present at trial.
Who Can Be Sued in a Baltimore Personal Injury Case?
Any party who may be liable for your injuries can be sued in a personal injury claim in Baltimore. This can mean, in some cases, that liability is potentially shared by several different parties: for example, in a motor vehicle accident, it is possible that several drivers contributed to the cause of your injuries. Your attorney will help you determine which parties you should file your claim against. You will likely need to file a claim against the parties’ insurance companies, as well.
The Contributory Negligence rule is applicable in Baltimore, and it applies to cases where multiple parties — including the plaintiff — may be at fault for an accident. According to that rule, a victim’s settlement can be reduced based on the amount of fault the court says the plaintiff bears in causing the accident and their subsequent injuries or losses.
In other words, in Baltimore, if the victim bears even 1% of the blame for the accident, then he or she can altogether be barred from getting compensation from the party that shoulders the most responsibility for the accident. As you might imagine, this is a difficult rule to fight—our team of legal experts will analyze the facts of your case to determine if you shoulder any blame and whether that might affect your claim in any way.
How Long Do You Have To File A Personal Injury Claim In Baltimore?
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Baltimore is three years. This period usually runs from the time the plaintiff discovered that they were injured until the time the complaint is filed. For claims that are against a state government agency, you are given one year to file a formal claim and three years for a lawsuit.
There are some exceptions to this rule. If the plaintiff is a minor, for example, they may wait until they are 21 to file a claim. Your attorney will carefully review the timeline of your accident to determine how the statute of limitations applies in your case. Because the clock begins to tick the moment you discover that you have been injured, it is essential that you seek out legal help as soon as possible after your accident.
How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth in Baltimore?
Although money will never truly fix everything that your accident has touched, nor will it put you back where you were before your injuries, recovering compensation in a personal injury claim can bring a sense of justice and help you recoup some of your financial losses as a result of the accident. Damages incurred in personal injury cases are of different types, including:
- Economic Damages. These are your out-of-pocket costs, which can be ascertained by the amounts you’ve paid out as a result of your injuries. They include your medical expenses, such as the costs of hospital stays, doctors’ and specialists’ visits, prescription drugs, and medical testing, imaging, and treatments. They also include the wages or income you’ve lost as a result of not being able to go to work. Home care or nursing care and various types of therapy are also examples of economic damage. In the case of wrongful death, the defendant may also have to cover the funeral and burial costs. They will also need to pay for the damages incurred by the family after the plaintiff’s death, such as the costs of household services and inheritance.
- Non-Economic Damages. These are non-out-of-pocket losses, and they are typically much harder to ascertain and assign a monetary value to them. These include pain and suffering incurred, permanent scarring or disfigurement, and lost companionship after the death of your partner. They also include the loss of enjoyment of activities that you are no longer able to do, future lost wages if you cannot work at all, and the general decline in the quality of your life. With non-economic damages, it is much more difficult to assign a specific amount of money, as you cannot point to any bills to calculate the costs—generally, it will be left up to the jury to figure out what compensation should be paid, and having a competent attorney by your side to advocate regarding non-economic damages is crucial.
- Punitive Damages. These are damages that are meant to punish the person at fault, rather than making them compensate you for the losses. They are usually awarded at the discretion of the jury or judge, and typically involve acts of gross negligence.
The value or worth of your case is often difficult to establish and predict. Many different factors need to be considered, including the severity of your injuries, the costs you’ve incurred, the length of your potential recovery, the amount of any personal property that was lost or destroyed, and the extent of fault liability attached to each party.
An experienced personal injury lawyer is invaluable in this regard: they will accurately appraise and determine the full value of your claim based on the facts so that you can demand a fair and reasonable settlement.
How Long Does It Take To Settle A Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury cases are complicated, often involving various laws, complex facts, and sometimes multiple parties and insurers; therefore, there is no hard-and-fast timeline for how long it will take for your case to settle.
There are many factors that affect the length of time it will take to resolve your case, including the complexity of injuries and damages, liability issues, and the likelihood of the other party and their insurance company cooperating with you.
Patience is key, as is hiring a trusted lawyer who will collaborate and communicate with you regarding your case.
What Should I Do After Being Injured?
After you’ve been injured, it is very important that you seek out the medical care and treatment you need. You must focus on getting better, even if, at first, it seems like you are feeling fine. Get checked out at a hospital or by a medical professional.
It is also important that you preserve evidence in your case. Keep all reports and documents related to your injury, and if possible, take pictures of your personal injuries and the scene of the accident. Get the contact information for any witnesses and all other parties involved. Finally, it is important that you consult with an experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyer so that you can discuss your legal rights and options.
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Taking on a personal injury claim yourself can see you facing some fierce opposition—after all, not only will you be going up against the other party, but you’ll also likely face insurance companies, who often have significant legal and financial resources on their side.
The legal process, procedures, and research required in personal injury matters are often complex, requiring legal expertise. To help you, consider the services of an experienced Baltimore personal injury attorney. The lawyer will help determine questions of fault liability, protect your legal rights, preserve important evidence, and accurately determine the type and severity of damages or losses you have suffered.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will understand how local courts work. We at Pinder Plotkin have worked with many different local courthouse personnel, and we have acquired a wealth of knowledge regarding the necessary legal procedures. We also know of previous cases that are like yours and how they fared in court. As such, we have vast insights that will be highly beneficial for coming up with negotiation tactics and legal strategies needed to ensure you receive knowledgeable and experienced legal representation.
How Much Will A Personal Injury Lawyer Cost In Baltimore?
Understandably, you would want to know how much a personal injury lawyer will cost in Baltimore before hiring one. After all, you have likely already incurred damages in the form of lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses—and you may be worried that you’ll need to spend even more in order to protect your rights with capable legal representation. Our Baltimore personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis.
This means that they will get paid a portion of the damages that you will win in your case. You will not have to dig into your pockets to pay your attorneys, as we will only get paid if you are paid. In Maryland, the contingency fee is 33% if the case ends in a settlement and 40% if it goes to trial.
What to Bring to a Legal Consultation with a Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer
When you first meet with your personal injury lawyer, it can be helpful to have the following information with you:
- Copies of any witness statements, police reports, or other documents that discuss what happened during your accident or injury
- Copies of your medical records
- Copies of your time sheets or other records that show your missed work as a result of your injuries
- Copies of invoices or bills that show the amount you have paid for medical care and treatment, mechanic’s bills, therapy, or any other expenses that you have incurred
- Photos from the scene of the accident or injury
- Contact information for the other party, their insurance company, and any witnesses
Why You Should Choose Pinder Plotkin for Your Personal Injury Claim
You have the right to file a personal injury claim for compensation for the injuries or losses sustained in an accident caused by the recklessness or negligence of another person, but you should not try to go alone.
At Pinder Plotkin, we have a team of experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyers who are ready to assist you by investigating the incident and circumstances surrounding your injuries to determine the likelihood of recouping damages on your behalf, whether through a fair and reasonable out-of-court settlement or by presenting a case on your behalf at trial, in front of a judge and jury.
If the Baltimore personal injury attorney assigned to your case finds that you have a valid claim, then we will pursue monetary damages for lost wages, medical bills, rehab expenses, and other out-of-pocket and general damages, such as mental and emotional pain and suffering attributed to the accident.
We know just how stressful it can be to recover after an injury sustained in an accident, whether it be a motor vehicle crash, workplace injury, or other accident caused by the negligence of another party. Trust our firm to help make things easier for you, handling your claim so that you can focus on getting your life back on track after your injuries.
When you task us with the responsibility of pursuing the compensation you rightly deserve, you can focus on getting better. Get in touch with the personal injury attorneys at the offices of Pinder Plotkin today, and let us fight for your rights and guide you through the legal processes of recovering your losses. Contact us today.