What You Need to Know About Maryland Personal Injury Law

May 18, 2018 at 1:11 PM Leave a comment

Maryland’s laws for personal injury claims are vast and complex, and it is difficult for the average person to navigate through the mountains of case law, reform, and arcane, legal terminology when parsing through a case.

Personal injury is defined as harm or ‘injury to a person’s mind, body, or emotions, inflicted by another’s wrongdoing.’  If someone injured you on purpose or through neglect, and you required medical attention, you may want consider filing a lawsuit against the culpable party.

First, contact a personal injury attorney. Most law firms will give you a free consultation, so you can explore your options and avenues of recourse. An experienced and qualified attorney will know how to handle your case and get you the justice you deserve.

There are several basic personal injury law terms you will want to familiarize yourself with so the process isn’t so confusing.

Personal Injury Terminology:

  • Deadline
  • At-Fault, Shared-Fault
  • Strict Liability
  • Assumption of Risks
  • Caps – Economic and Non-Economic

Deadline

Maryland has a deadlineto protect all parties from faulty personal injury claims. To file a claim, Maryland law allows a three-year limitation from the date your accident transpired.

It is not recommended that you wait this long to file. Information can get lost the longer the time passes, and you may forget important information as the years go by. Consulting your Maryland personal injury lawyer,to discover if you have a case and filing as soon as possible is the best course of action so you don’t lose important documents or forget any facts.

At-Fault, Shared-Fault

Some states are an at-fault jurisdiction and others are a no-fault jurisdiction. Maryland is an at-fault state, and also a shared-fault state.

No-fault limits from where and when an injured party can file for compensation. In a no-fault state, for example, drivers injured in automobile accidents must file their claim within a set number of years, and the injured driver’s own insurance company is from where they will first receive compensation.

At-fault means the court will find a responsible party for the injury.

Shared-fault is when the party files a claim, but the court can also find the injured party is partially responsible for their injury.

Because Maryland is both an at-fault, and shared-fault jurisdiction, you can file a lawsuit against the party responsible, but you can also be found partially responsible, which will be factored in to your awarded compensation. If the injured party is found to be a shared-fault party, little or no compensation will be awarded.

Strict Liability

Maryland is also home to strict liabilitylaws.

Strict liability means an at-fault party does not have to exhibit negligence to be found responsible.

Negligence is defined as a failure to responsibly avoid harm, resulting in injury to a person or damage to property. In a personal injury case, it would be harm – physical or emotional – to a single individual or to a group.

For example, unknowingly on your part, your dog escaped your fenced-in backyard and bit a child playing outside down the street.

Under Maryland law, you are held responsible for the child’s personal injury, even if you were unaware your dog was on the loose. If the child’s parents wish to sue for a personal injury lawsuit, you will be found at fault under strict liability.

Assumption Of Risk

Under Maryland law, assumption of risk is when a person is aware of the possible dangers and risk before engaging in an activity.

An example of assumption of risk is if your neighbor has a large trampoline in their backyard, but has no protective netting surrounding the trampoline’s top.

Immediately, you should instinctively know the risks and possible injuries that could transpire to anyone jumping on the unsafe, unnetted trampoline.

Hypothetically, your neighbor invites you over to jump on the trampoline, and you willing accept. If you fall off trampoline and are injured, this would fall under assumption of risk, because you knew the possible dangers and injuries you could receive by jumping on a trampoline that is missing a safety net.

Cap – Economic and Non-Economic

Maryland places a cap on the compensation awarded in some cases. The most common area they place a cap on is a non-economic claim, but occasionally, economic claims are capped.

Economic claims are hard damages. These are quantifiable. An example of economic claims and damages would be missed wages, damage to a vehicle, and medical bills. Economic damages are usually immediately suffered by the injured party and are not on-going.

Non-Economic damages are non-quantifiable, harder to determine, and can continue indefinitely. An example of non-economic damages would be anxiety related to the injury, possible PTSD or other mental health issues that may or may not resolve in time.

Maryland will place a cap for compensations awarded, in any form, if they foresee damages to be ongoing or excessive. Caps are typically placed on non-economic damages.

Maryland personal injury law is comprised of complex terminology, and case law. It is not in the best interest of the injured party to pursue their case without adequate legal representation. If you’ve been injured by a negligent party, contact an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer today.

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