Navigating the complex world of personal injury claims can seem daunting, especially if you are unfamiliar with the legal process. At The Law Office of Ben Evan, we understand the challenges individuals face when pursuing a personal injury claim and are dedicated to helping our clients secure the compensation they deserve. In an effort to educate and guide potential clients through the personal injury claims process in Maryland, we have created this comprehensive guide that explores the crucial steps involved as well as how our experienced attorneys can assist you during each phase.
As you continue to read, you’ll gain an understanding of what’s involved in filing a personal injury claim, from assessing liability and gathering evidence to negotiating a settlement or taking the case to trial. Our goal is to help you become well-prepared and confident as you pursue your claim, knowing that the experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Ben Evan have your best interests at heart.
1. Understanding Maryland Personal Injury Laws
Before diving into the personal injury claims process, it’s crucial to understand the specific laws governing personal injury cases in Maryland. One key aspect is the statute of limitations, which dictates the timeframe within which you must file a claim. In Maryland, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is typically three years from the date of the accident. However, in some circumstances, such as medical malpractice, the statute may differ.
Another essential component of Maryland law is contributory negligence. Unfortunately, Maryland is one of only a few states that still apply this strict rule, which can prohibit you from receiving any compensation if you are found to be even partially at fault for the accident that led to your injury. This makes securing evidence to prove the other party’s complete responsibility even more crucial in Maryland personal injury cases.
2. Determining Liability and Duty of Care
The first step in a personal injury claim is establishing liability. This means identifying the responsible party or parties and showing that they breached their duty of care. A duty of care is a legal obligation one party has to another to act in a reasonable and cautious manner. For example, drivers owe a duty of care to others on the road, and property owners have a duty to maintain a safe environment for visitors.
Proving that the responsible party breached their duty of care is essential in a personal injury case. This could involve demonstrating that the defendant acted negligently or recklessly, leading to the accident and your resulting injuries. The experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Ben Evan have a deep understanding of Maryland liability laws and can help you gather the necessary evidence to prove breach of duty.
3. Gathering Evidence to Strengthen Your Case
A strong personal injury claim relies on substantial evidence to support your case. This can include various forms of documentation, such as medical records, photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, surveillance footage, and police reports. The earlier you begin gathering evidence, the better. As memories fade and physical evidence diminishes, it can become more difficult to prove negligence and establish liability.
When working with a skilled personal injury attorney, they will help you collect and preserve crucial evidence that strengthens your case. They may also call upon expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists, to provide additional insights and support your claim.
4. Calculating Damages and Negotiating a Settlement
Once liability is determined and evidence is gathered, the next step is to calculate your damages. Damages are the financial compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries, property damage, and other losses. These can be divided into two main categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include quantifiable losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, cover the more intangible harms, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of companionship. Your personal injury attorney will work with you to assess and quantify your damages, ensuring you are seeking fair compensation for your injuries.
With a clear understanding of your damages, your attorney will then enter into negotiations with the responsible party’s insurance company. They will use their experience and knowledge of personal injury law to advocate for the compensation you deserve. In many cases, a favorable settlement can be reached without going to trial, which can save both time and resources.
5. Going to Trial If Necessary
While it’s true that many personal injury cases are resolved through settlements, there are instances where going to trial may be necessary to secure the compensation you deserve. This can happen if negotiations stall, or if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement.
In preparation for trial, your attorney will develop a comprehensive strategy based on the evidence gathered and the arguments that will be presented before a judge or jury. They will guide you through the entire process, from pre-trial proceedings to presenting your case in court. Going to trial can be a lengthy and complex process, but having a skilled personal injury attorney on your side can help you navigate the courtroom with confidence.
6. Post-Trial Actions and Appeals
After the trial concludes, the judge or jury will make a determination regarding liability and damages. If you are awarded compensation, your attorney will ensure the responsible party complies with the judgment and pays the awarded compensation. In some cases, it may be necessary to seek enforcement actions to collect your compensation, and your attorney will assist with that process.
Additionally, either party may decide to appeal the judgment if they believe legal errors were made during the trial. If an appeal is filed, your attorney will guide you through the appeals process and help you understand your options moving forward.
The personal injury claims process in Maryland is complex and requires a thorough understanding of the law, as well as diligent attention to detail in gathering evidence and calculating damages. The compassionate attorneys at The Law Office of Ben Evan are dedicated to guiding you through each step of the process, advocating for your best interests and fighting for the compensation you rightfully deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to another party’s negligence, don’t hesitate to reach out to The Law Office of Ben Evan for a free consultation. Our experienced team of accident and injury lawyers will assess your case, answer your questions, and provide the legal representation needed to help you navigate the personal injury claims process in Maryland. Start on the path to recovery by contacting us today.