Personal Injury Lawyer Maryland
As in so many other places in the United States, the most common type of accident in Maryland is a car accident, followed by a general work accident, and then maritime issues. Of course, there are many types of accidents that may occur. In some cases, an accident may be considered to be a freak “act of nature” for which nobody is responsible. However, most accidents involve human error or negligence that may allow you to collect damages from a responsible party.
First Steps to take When Seeking Mediation
No matter whether the accident that took place involved a car, truck, RV, or boat, a slip and fall or a defective product, every personal injury case in Maryland involves a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations dictates the maximum amount of time you are legally permitted to wait before you bring charges against the party whom you feel to be responsible for your accident.
It is notoriously difficult to interpret the statute of limitation laws in Maryland and to determine which one might apply to your case, but there is one thing that is important to know: Generally, the statute of limitations “clock” begins ticking on the day that you sustained your injury. That being the case, you should try to initiate proceedings as soon as you can.
Filing Claims or Initiating Maryland Personal Injury Cases
The next thing that you should do when an accident happens is to get in touch with a doctor’s office for an evaluation of your injuries. This begins one of the most important responsibilities you have as the aggrieved party in any Maryland personal injury case: To develop the base of evidence that you will need to use to show the extent of the damage done to you.
Important Reasons to Avoid Self Representation in Maryland Personal Injury
Qualified attorneys can act as mediators to help you in various ways during your case, so it is crucial you contact one. Reviewing the laws in brief, you can find a number of important reasons why it is a good idea to get an attorney in this kind of case:
— Dozens of different Maryland state laws might be involved in each individual injury case.
— Legal aid organizations do not provide help for self-representation in personal injury cases.
— Expert witnesses will be necessary to substantiate your case and must be factual and credible.
— You will need information from people you intend to file against, which is a complex process.
— You will usually settle a personal injury case out of court, and must time this aspect correctly.
Handling a personal injury case on your own is especially problematic because you must show your life has been impacted by the injury. No matter how perceptive, intelligent, and articulate you may be, it does not work in your favor to mount a vigorous, self-guided defense in a case that ultimately focuses on the long-term suffering that an accident has caused.
Potential Defenses for the Adversarial Party in Personal Injury
If you are not careful, then the adversarial party in a personal injury case may use your actions or statements to impede your progress. This is a fundamental part of the legal system in the United States, which is based on an adversarial system where two groups contend against each other. However, in a personal injury case, emotions have a tendency to run high. The aggrieved party might make serious mistakes if he or she is not represented by a qualified expert.
Let’s review a few of the potential issues that can arise in Maryland law:
In a personal injury case, it is up to you to prove that another person was negligent: That is, that they knew or should have known that their action or inaction would contribute to an unusual risk, which resulted in your injury. Negligence is that level of action or inaction. If you, yourself, were in some way negligent, and your negligence contributed to the injury, this can completely prevent the recovery of damages. A key Maryland example is Schwier v Gray of 1976.
Assumption of Risk
Maryland state law recognizes a doctrine known as Assumption of Risk. Under this doctrine, you cannot sue anyone for a personal injury case if the danger that led to your injury is something of which you were fully aware and something which you exposed yourself to voluntarily by your actions. If you knew that there was a danger present and you chose to “brave” that danger, you may invalidate your potential right to collect damages. Hooper v. Mougin (1971) can help you understand this better.
Complicating Factors such as Long Term Injuries in a Personal Injury Case
As mentioned earlier, many Maryland state personal injury cases do not go to trial. The parties in the case make clear their intention to pursue charges and there is a “discovery” process. During discovery, your legal team will seek critical information from the other parties in the case in order to make a determination about the level of damages that should be sought.
Generally speaking, even the most astute legal minds might not commit to a final figure on damages until a doctor has provided a long-term prognosis on any injury you may face. If you are hurt in the neck, head, back, or even your arm, is important to understand whether you will recover in full or, under Maryland law, reach a level of “Maximum Medical Improvement” that will require ongoing care.