Personal injury claims are considered cases that are not always properly self-represented. Any individual involved in a personal injury claim should hire a lawyer as soon as possible. This is because personal injury cases differ from one another and different laws apply to different cases.
Types of personal injury cases include but are not limited to:
- Vehicle Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Slip and Fall cases
- Defective Man-made products
Due to the wide range in types and laws on personal injury, it is highly recommended that a person planning to file a personal injury claim hire an experienced lawyer to advise him/her throughout the case.
To begin a lawyer will have to make sure that their client’s claim is filed within its statute of limitations. In Maryland, the statute of limitations on a personal injury claim is within three years from the date of the incident. If the claim is made against the state of Maryland’s government agency, the statute of limitations is within one year to file an official claim and within three years to file a lawsuit. The lawyer will thoroughly interview their own client, any witnesses present and study all of the evidence in order to carefully review the incident and form a theory for what essentially occurred.
Once a trial begins, a lawyer will attempt to argue that the defendant be found guilty of causing the injury on the grounds of negligence. Negligence is a lawful supposition that measures a defendant’s liability in a case.
There are two methods a lawyer may use to determine negligence;
- The four elements of negligence
- Duty – being responsible enough to avoid causing accidents and injuries.
- Breach of Duty – actions that may disrupt Duty
- Causation – Evidence that links any injury caused to the breach of duty
- Damage – Losses caused by injury
- The reasonably prudent person
- a. This method is used to compare what a reasonably responsible individual would do under the circumstances of the case as opposed to what the defendant actually did.
Prior to the beginning of the trial, the lawyer will discuss with their client the amount of compensation the case is worth and how much a client should expect to receive. There may be a settlement meeting before the trial between the plaintiff and the defendant. In the absence of a lawyer, a plaintiff will not be warned or advised on any agreements or offers made by the opposing party. Because of this, it is always wise to have a lawyer present during a personal injury claim.
The state of Maryland is a fault-based state which means that a person or party found guilty of causing an accident or a personal injury is ordered by law to pay any compensation determined by the court. Compensation can be ordered to cover things such as:
- Medical Payments
- Damage of Property
- Damage to Income
- Pain and Suffering
The state of Maryland recognizes a law known as contributory negligence. Contributory negligence is defined as when the individual filing the personal injury claim can be held responsible even to the tiniest of extents for the occurrence of the accident. If a court finds that contributory negligence occurred during the incident, the plaintiff will not be awarded any compensation. A lawyer will discuss with their client the possibility of a contributory negligence claim being made during the case and the steps that he/she will take to oppose it.