Our Suburban Maryland Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Types Of Personal Injury Cases We Handle
Personal injury includes a multitude of claims that arise when someone negligently, recklessly, or intentionally hurts another person. These are a few of the specific cases we handle:
- Automobile accidents. If you or a loved one were hurt by a drunk driver or someone else who was violating traffic laws, we’re here to help. Related cases include bicycle and pedestrian injuries, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents.
- Premises liability cases. This broad term includes slip and fall cases, swimming pool accidents, injuries sustained on a homeowner’s property, dog bites, accidents that happen on business property, hotel and motel liability, and others.
- Defective consumer products. A manufacturer that sells a dangerous consumer product could be liable for the injuries it causes. The product may be poorly designed, poorly built or assembled, or lacking proper safety warnings and instructions. This category covers numerous products such as pharmaceutical drugs, children’s toys, medical devices, automobile parts, and appliances.
- Medical malpractice. Healthcare professionals and facilities are required to treat their patients with a certain level of medical care. When those professionals fail to do so, they could injure, disable, or even kill their patients. Negligent doctors, nurses, surgeons, dentists, hospitals, and clinics can all be held liable.
- Asbestos/mesothelioma cases. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos, a group of fibrous minerals. Claims may be filed against asbestos manufacturers, insurance companies, and other parties.
- Wrongful death cases. These are similar to personal injury lawsuits, except the victim has died and the lawsuit is filed by the victim’s survivors. Primary beneficiaries of the damages recovered in these types of claims include spouses, parents, and children.
How To Build A Strong Personal Injury Case
The plaintiff in a Maryland personal injury case has to prove four elements in order to win. They are:
The defendant owed a duty of care. The law requires certain individuals to act with a level of care towards others. As an example, a surgeon is required to behave in accordance with his or her education, training, and the ethical requirements of his or her profession. The duty of care doesn’t necessarily require an express relationship between the plaintiff and defendant. Drivers, for instance, are expected to obey traffic laws and act with reasonable care given the traffic and weather conditions.
The defendant breached the duty of care. Often, the plaintiff will prove a breach by showing that the defendant behaved negligently. That means failure to follow the standard of conduct required under law. A breach can also be the result of reckless or intentional acts or omissions. Proving a breach is typically the most difficult part of a personal injury case.
The breach caused injury to the plaintiff. This element requires proof that the defendant’s negligent, reckless, or intentional behavior caused injury to the plaintiff. Without this element, also known as causation, the plaintiff cannot win a personal injury case.
The injury resulted in damages. Here, you will be proving what sort of losses you suffered because of the breach and injury. Defendants usually dispute the nature and amount of damages, but getting it right is essential because you won’t get to ask for more money when your case is over.
Our Appreciative Clients Say…
“We owe so much to Mr. Schloss and you for taking care of us and leading the way when times were tough. Money can’t buy that kind of dedication.” – Client from Maryland
“You have taught me so much about patience and the law. My wife and I both believe you have done an excellent job watching out for our best interests. It’s because of your hard work that we have had about the best year since the start of this whole mess.” – Another Maryland Client
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is attorney/client privilege, and will it apply to me?
Attorney/client privilege is your personal injury lawyer’s ethical obligation to keep confidential the content of any confidential communication with you unless you authorize the release of this information. A lawyer is even obligated to refuse a court order to divulge this information.
Can I file a claim against the manufacturer or distributor of a defective medical device?
Yes, under Maryland products liability law. In some cases, you do not even have to prove that the defendant was negligent. Instead, you must prove that the product was defective and unreasonably dangerous.
What are “pain and suffering” damages?
Pain and suffering damages are designed to compensate you for the physical suffering caused by your injuries. In many cases, pain and suffering damages, in combination with any other non-economic damages you may receive, exceed economic damages by a multiple of three to five.
What is a wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death claim is like a personal injury claim, except that the victim dies and damages go to the victim’s survivors. Under the Maryland Wrongful Death Act, damages go to next of kin, with preference to “primary beneficiaries” – the surviving spouse, parents, and children.
Do I have to prove owner negligence to win a dog bite claim?
Yes, unless the dog was “running at large,” in which case you can win a lawsuit without having to prove negligence. Under Maryland’s dog bite law, the owner can still attempt to prove that he or she had no way of knowing the dog was dangerous.
What can I expect from an asbestos/mesothelioma lawsuit?
Very large settlements are possible within months or, in some cases, up to two years. Damages are awarded for personal injury or wrongful death, depending on whether the victim is still alive at the time the claim is resolved. It is best to file soon after diagnosis in order to beat the statute of limitations deadline.
What Types Of Damages Am I Eligible For?
The damages for which you may be eligible generally fall into one of three categories:
- Economic. These are losses that are relatively easy to quantify. Some examples are medical bills, lost wages, lost future wages, and lost earning capacity.
- Non-economic. These are more subjective, not readily quantifiable, and vary from one plaintiff to another. They include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive. As the name implies, these are intended to punish the defendant for wrongful conduct. These are not regularly awarded and are reserved for particularly outrageous behavior.
Am I eligible for punitive damages?
In Maryland, an award of punitive damages requires actual malice by the defendant. Moreover, it is very unlikely that insurance will pay out on a punitive damages claim. Although punitive damages awards are rare, they can be quite sizeable when they are awarded.
I’ve Been Injured; Now What?
After an injury, your first priority is to get the medical attention you or your loved one needs. This is not only essential for your health but to maintain a personal injury claim later. If you fail to get medical attention, and injuries that could have been discovered by a doctor arise later, you might not be able to demand compensation for them. That’s because the defendant might argue that something else occurred between your injury and when you saw a doctor. Even if you think your injuries are minor, or non-existent, let a medical professional make that call.
Next, document any evidence you can. This could include police reports, witness statements, medical bills, lost income records, accident scene evidence, videos, photos, and more. Your lawyer will also subpoena evidence you may need and make sure it’s admissible in court.
Finally, contact an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney. At Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP, we have over 40 years of experience fighting for the justice that personal injury victims deserve. Our firm handles cases on a contingency basis, so you won’t pay unless we win.