Personal injury accidents can happen almost anywhere in St. Mary’s County, from slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk walking into the DMV to getting bitten by a neighbor’s dog or colliding with a semi-truck along I-495.
The injuries you, as the victim, sustain can hurt a lot and lead to high medical bills and lost time at work. You should not be responsible for the damages that result from an accident you didn’t cause; you can seek compensation to recoup these expenses with a personal injury lawsuit.
If the reckless actions of another party caused your injuries, consult with an experienced St. Mary’s County personal injury lawyer to seek a settlement on your behalf. We can help — contact Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP today for a free case consultation.
The Difference Between an Accident and a Personal Injury Case
If your accident was caused by the reckless or negligent behavior of another person or the negligent oversight of potential hazards, it’s more than just an accident — it could become a personal injury case.
The compensatory damages that you, as the plaintiff in the case, would be entitled to could cover things like the cost of your medical treatment, replacing damaged personal property, and consideration for the pain and suffering you experienced.
A St. Mary’s County personal injury lawyer can value your case and determine whether it was caused by negligence. They prove your case using evidence like photos and videos of the incident, witness accounts, or even accident reconstruction.
Proof of negligence must satisfy four elements:
- The defendant (the at-fault party) had a responsibility to provide a certain level of care toward others
- The defendant did not fulfill their duty of care
- Their breach of the responsibility of care caused the accident and your injury
- You suffered financial loss due to the accident and your injuries
The way your personal injury lawyer in St. Mary’s County could prove negligence in your case will depend on your individual situation. We will explain the best recourse for your case during your initial consultation.
Common Causes of Personal Injury Claims in St. Mary’s County, MD
Personal injury cases can vary widely, from getting hurt on the job to accidental poisoning from a toxic consumer product. If you are not sure whether your injuries qualify for a personal injury claim, don’t delay — speak with one of our personal injury attorneys today.
Some of the most common reasons our clients have personal injury claims include the following:
- Pedestrian accidents or cycling crashes with a vehicle
- Car, SUV, and motorcycle accidents
- Premises liability accidents, like a slip and fall or falling down unsafe stairs
- Medical misdiagnosis or malpractice
- Defective consumer product injuries or toxic exposure
- Public transportation accidents
These are not the only situations that cause personal injury accidents. These are just some of the most common ways that St. Mary’s County residents can get hurt through someone else’s negligence.
The Maryland Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims Can Affect Your Case
The statute of limitations in a personal injury case is how long the victim has to file the suit in court. In Maryland, that time limit is three years from the date of the accident. If you do not file the claim before the deadline, then there is a very high chance that your case will be dismissed, even if the evidence is strongly in your favor.
The defendant’s insurance company is responsible for paying personal injury claims, and it understands the statute of limitations very well. The insurance company may drag out processing a claim you try to file on your own, hoping that your deadline will run out before you consult with a personal injury lawyer to file your case.
This is why it is so important to consult with a lawyer as soon as you can!
There are a couple of exceptions to the statute of limitations in Maryland. The first is in cases where your injury is not apparent right away, such as if you experienced medical malpractice or misdiagnosis or developed a disease because of prolonged exposure to a toxic substance like asbestos.
In these cases, the statute of limitations begins when you are diagnosed with the disease or when you first notice symptoms or medical issues.
The second exception to the Maryland statute of limitations is if the government is the defendant. In those cases, the statute of limitations is just two years.
For example, if you suffered harm because you lived in contaminated housing at Fort Meade, or if your accident occurred on government property, then the state or federal government would be named as a defendant in your case and the statute of limitations would be two years.
Do you need a personal injury lawyer in St. Mary’s County, MD?
If you’ve been injured in an accident because of someone else’s actions, we may be able to help. Contact Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP today for a free case review.