Maryland Personal Injury Law
Often times, much of the losses you sustain from a personal injury can be measured in dollars. Sometimes, though, there may be lasting effects of an injury that could add to your financial strain. And some damages are beyond the physical, such as lasting pain and suffering or a broken relationship. Luckily, Maryland's personal injury laws allow you to seek compensation for these losses from the alleged source of your injury.
If you've been injured in Baltimore, Silver Spring or Frederick, use LawInfo's Maryland personal injury articles to learn about the laws surrounding your case and to find a qualified attorney.
Maryland Proving Negligence
Negligence is a legal theory that's used in many Maryland personal injury lawsuits to measure liability. There are many methods courts may use to determine negligence. Two of the simpler methods for the layman to comprehend are the four elements of negligence and the "reasonably prudent person." Both of these methods complement one another.
The four elements of negligence are:
- Duty—A responsibility to ensuring safety from reasonably foreseeable injuries.
- Breach of Duty—Actions by the responsible party that violate their duty of care.
- Causation—Proof of a direct or indirect link between the injury and the breaching actions.
- Damages—Losses resulting from the injury that can be compensated financially.
The reasonably prudent person method focuses on the first two elements of negligence. It's not concerned with the extent of a party's liability, which the last two elements help to determine. A reasonably prudent person is a theoretical figure whose actions during a situation similar to the injuring incident are deemed ideal or acceptable. If a party's actions are comparably different, they may be deemed negligent.
What to Do After an Accident in Maryland
If you get into a car accident and someone gets injured, you'll want to be prepared for the possibility of a personal injury lawsuit. Safety and medical needs should always be your first priority after an accident occurs, but there are several things you can do to build your case for a potential lawsuit.
The keys to ensuring a solid defense or building your case (depending on who was injured) are to collect a lot of information and to curb your liability. To do those immediately following an accident, your should:
- Have you and the other driver pull over to the side of the road if possible.
- Call the police to report the accident. Also, call for emergency services if required.
- Not administer first aid unless the emergency dispatcher instructs you to do so or you are a licensed or certified first aid provider.
- Exchange insurance, car and contact information with the other driver and any injured party.
- Take photos and write down information regarding the accident, injuries and damages.
- Talk to witnesses and exchange contact information.
- Not admit ("self-incriminate") or accuse anyone of fault when talking to the police, insurance agents or other people.
- Keep a record of your economic expenses related to the accident.
Maryland Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations (see §5-101 and onward) limits how much time after an injury occurs that a plaintiff has to pursue legal action against a defendant. Once the statute "runs out," a lawsuit cannot be pursued. Maryland's civil statute of limitations includes:
- Three years for personal
- Three years for wrongful death.
- Three years for fraud.
- Three years from reasonable discovery for medical malpractice, up to a maximum of five years from the date of the first injury.
- Three years for injury (or damage) to property.
- Three years for written and oral contracts. 12 years for written contracts under seal.
Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney
Injuries cost money, including time away from work, medical bills and other complications. You should have an attorney help you with your claim. Not sure if you have a good injury case? Speak to a local personal injury attorney about the merits of your case. This one step can help you protect your rights and take the proper next steps.
Additional Personal Injury Articles
- I Was Injured. Can I File A Lawsuit Against The Party That Caused My Injury?
- Who Is Responsible When A Person Is Injured?
- How Do I Decide If I Need To Hire An Attorney?
- How Much Will An Attorney Cost?
- How Long Do I Have To Hire An Attorney?
- How Will My Claim Be Processed?
- What Damages Can I Recover?
- How Can I Determine How Much My Claim Is Worth?