A personal injury accident can happen anywhere in Charles County, from being struck while riding your bicycle along a suburban street to being injured on the job. If you trip over an uneven surface or fall down stairs without a handrail, are injured in a collision with another vehicle, or are even bitten by the neighbor’s dog, you may have a case to seek compensatory damages for your injuries and pain and suffering.
If the negligence or careless actions of another party caused your accident, an experienced Charles County personal injury lawyer might be able to help you secure a settlement for compensation. Call Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis, LLP, today for a free case review!
When is an accident grounds for a personal injury case?
If one party (either a person or an entity) causes harm to another person through reckless actions or negligent oversight, then the injury the victim suffers is considered to be a personal injury.
The damages you, as the victim, may be entitled to can cover things like the cost of your medical care after the accident alongside any personal property damages, such as replacing a car that was damaged in a collision. You may also receive compensatory damages for your pain and suffering.
A Charles County personal injury attorney values their cases and will determine whether another’s negligence harmed you. They’ll collect evidence that proves the other party (the defendant) acted irresponsibly, not as could be expected of a reasonable person, and is, therefore, to blame for the accident that caused your injuries.
Negligence in a personal injury case must meet four criteria of proof:
- The defendant had a responsibility to provide a certain duty of care
- They failed to uphold or fulfill this responsibility
- Their abandonment of the duty of care caused your injuries
- You suffered financially because of this
A personal injury attorney in Charles County will build a case for your suit using pieces of evidence such as witness testimony, photos of the accident scene and your injuries, or safety records of the establishment where you were hurt. You may settle your case with the other party out of court, in mediation with your personal injury attorney negotiating with the other party, or take it to trial in a court of law.
Common Causes of Charles County Personal Injury Accidents
Personal injury accidents can happen under many circumstances, so if you aren’t sure whether your accident qualifies, speak with a Charles County personal injury lawyer about your situation. Some of the most common causes of a personal injury claim our law firm handles are the following:
- Vehicle collisions, including motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents, including cycling collisions
- Slip and fall cases, called premises liability
- Medical malpractice or misdiagnosis
- Malfunctioning or defective consumer product injuries
- Light rail, bus, or other public transit accidents
These aren’t the only causes of personal injury accidents; they are just some of the more common ways that Charles County people can be injured in an accident. If you aren’t sure if your injuries qualify as a personal injury case, one of our firm’s experienced personal injury lawyers can give you a legal evaluation.
How the Maryland Statute of Limitations Affects Personal Injury Claims
The statute of limitations is the length of time that a personal injury victim has to file a lawsuit. For personal injury cases in Maryland, it’s three years, and if you don’t file your suit within that time period, then a judge will very likely dismiss your case, even if the facts weigh heavily in your favor.
The defendant’s insurance company usually pays personal injury damages, and insurance companies know just how long the statute of limitations is. They may drag out a claims process you submit to them, hoping that the statute of limitations for your claim expires before you can file a lawsuit.
That’s one of the reasons why it’s important to explore your legal options as soon as possible after you’ve been injured so that your personal injury lawyer can file your case and begin gathering evidence for your claim at the earliest time.
The Maryland personal injury statute of limitations has a couple of exceptions. The first is in cases where the victim is injured by a medical misdiagnosis or in cases where long-term toxic exposure causes disease. In these cases, the statute of limitations begins when the victim is diagnosed with a medical condition or when they begin noticing symptoms of an illness caused by negligence.
The second exception is in cases where the government is the defendant. For example, some people living in Fort Meade housing may have developed certain medical conditions from contamination in the housing. In such a case, the defendant could be the government. If you were injured in a government facility, then the government would be the defendant as well. These cases have a two-year statute of limitations, not three, so there is more urgency with these cases to seek legal representation.
Do you need a personal injury lawyer in Charles County, MD?
If you’ve been injured in an accident you didn’t cause, we may be able to help. Contact Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis, LLP today for a complimentary case review!