Dorchester County is a county in the state of Maryland and is located on the state's Eastern Shore along the banks of the Chesapeake Bay. It is the largest county in the state of Maryland, but also one of the least populous, making it a rural county with numerous areas of vast wilderness and untamed shorelines. It is one of the few counties in Maryland do not have an interstate highway within its borders, making it a remote region with few towns of significance.
Despite being isolated on Maryland's Eastern Shore, Dorchester County is still the site of numerous accidents every year that leave hundreds of innocent people hurt and in need of compensation for their injuries. If this should ever happen to you or to someone you love in Dorchester County, getting legal help can make a huge difference in your future financial well-being, as facing the medical expenses and other costs of recovery can be overly burdensome, especially when you did not cause the accident, in the first place.
Dorchester County is a remote region on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, stretching from the eastern bank of the Chesapeake Bay to the border of Delaware. Despite being the largest county in Maryland, at 983 square miles, nearly half of Dorchester County is covered by water. As a result, the 2010 census found that there were only 32,618 people living there, making for an extremely low population density of 60 people per square mile.
This low number has left Dorchester County out of the way as the rest of the state has developed and grown. None of the interstate highways that connect Maryland with the rest of the region pass through Dorchester County, and only one major traffic artery – Route 50 – goes through the area. The remoteness has meant that much of the area in Dorchester County has been left untouched, resulting in vast expanses of wilderness that are a haven for all who enjoy the outdoors. Unfortunately, it has also meant that much of the economic success that has been visited upon the rest of Maryland by the growth of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area has passed Dorchester County by. As a result, more than 13% of the population in Dorchester County was living beneath the poverty line during the 2010 census, including nearly 20% of those under the age of 18.
Personal Injury in Dorchester County
Dorchester County, though it is remote and isolated from a lot of the rest of Maryland, is still the site of numerous accidents and personal injuries. Unfortunately, these injuries often happen to people who did not cause the accident, and who often did all that they could to avoid an accident caused by someone else's negligence. Whether the particular event was a car accident, medical malpractice, or premises liability, all of the victims who sustain injuries because of someone else's poor conduct or negligence should be compensated for their losses by whoever was responsible.
U.S. Route 50
While no major highway passes through Dorchester County, United States Route 50 cuts through some of the county's most populous areas, including the city of Cambridge, which is the third-largest city on Maryland's Eastern Shore and the county seat of Dorchester County. Through much of its journey through Dorchester County, Route 50 is a multilane divided highway with high-speed limits rivaling most interstate highways in the state, making it a preferred thoroughfare through Dorchester County. Unfortunately, this makes Route 50 the site of a significant portion of the car accidents that happen in the county every year. Worse, the high speeds make those accidents far more serious than if they had happened on a slower side road.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car crash in Dorchester County, it helps to understand that other drivers owe you a duty of care to drive reasonably safely. If they violate this duty of care and this causes a car crash, they can be held liable for your injuries and be made to compensate you for your losses. Of course, to make this happen, you need to enforce your legal rights to compensation by filing a personal injury claim.
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
The remoteness of Dorchester County makes it a pristine place to enjoy the outdoors. One of the best places to do this in the county is at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. This natural area consists of over 28,000 acres of wetlands, open fields, and woods, and is managed by the federal government through the United State Fish and Wildlife Service. The Refuge is home to numerous species of birds and other animals, many of which live in the Refuge year-round. However, visitors to the Refuge can hike or bike along the numerous trails in the park, fish or boat in the ponds during the summer, or kayak along 20 miles of marked trails.
However, one risk that visitors frequently face while at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is a hidden danger on the property. Things like potholes or dangerous conditions in the handful of buildings on the Refuge, like broken railings or stairs, can pose a significant danger to the unwary or unwarned. Unfortunately, these hazards are often impossible to see if you are not expecting them, and can lead to serious injuries if you slip and fall.
In Maryland, premises liability law requires landowners or the people who manage property to take reasonable steps to maintain it in a way that ensures the safety of anyone who visits. This is especially true of places that are held open to the public, such as the Wildlife Refuge.
University of Maryland Shore Medical Center
Anytime a medical service is provided, there exists the chance for a mistake being made or a crucially important fact being overlooked. When this happens, it can amount to medical malpractice.
In Dorchester County, one of the places that this can happen is at the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center in Cambridge. This hospital has 47 beds for inpatient care, as well as an additional 24 beds in its behavioral health unit. As the primary hospital for Dorchester County, the emergency room in the Shore Medical Center regularly sees 17,000 visitors a year. However, with all of the medical services that it provides, medical malpractice is bound to happen. Doctors and other healthcare providers make mistakes. When they do, though, it often spells disaster for their patients.
This is why Maryland holds medical professionals accountable by requiring them to uphold a duty of care to their patients. When they fail to uphold that duty of care, it can amount to medical malpractice, which can be the grounds for a personal injury lawsuit that aims to get you the compensation you deserve if you were the victim.
Dorchester County Courthouses
If you or someone you love gets hurt in an accident in Dorchester County and you file a personal injury lawsuit to enforce your rights to financial compensation for your losses, your case will be heard by either the Dorchester County Circuit Court or the Dorchester County District Court. Both of these courts are located in the downtown area of the county seat, Cambridge. Each building has a small parking lot right next to the building, though you may be better off parking on the street if you need to make an appearance at court for your case.
An important thing to remember about filing a personal injury lawsuit in the state of Maryland, though, is the fact that you have a limited amount of time to do so after the incident. In Dorchester County, you have three years to file a personal injury claim in order for the court to even hear your case. If you fail to file your lawsuit before that time expires, even if you have a solid claim and should be owed compensation, the court will dismiss your lawsuit.
Personal Injury Lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian Serve Dorchester County
If you have been hurt in an accident in Dorchester County that you did not cause, you deserve compensation for your losses. There is no reason why you should have to overcome the hardship that such an accident leads to and also pay for the costs of your own recovery. Instead, it should be the person or the people who caused you to get hurt that should foot the bill.
This is why the personal injury attorneys at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian fight for the rights and interests of those who were hurt in accidents in Dorchester County. By serving as your legal representative, we can ensure you get the financial recovery you deserve from the people who deserve to be paying it. This way, you can make a full recovery without suffering the financial strain that often accompanies it.
Contact us online or call our law office at (800) 529-6162 for the free consultation.