The city of Bel Air is in northeastern Maryland, in Harford County, where it is also the county seat. While nearly 30 miles to the northeast of Baltimore, Bel Air is still the home to many people who work in the city and choose to commute down Interstate 95.
Just like other cities in the United States, though, Bel Air is a place where accidents can happen and where undeserving people can get hurt because of someone else's negligence or mistake. When this happens to you or to someone you love, it can be especially frustrating because you often know that there was nothing you could have done to prevent it from happening.
In these cases, it can be important to file a personal injury claim, especially if you want to get compensated for your expenses associated with the accident. That is where the personal injury attorneys at the Maryland law office of Gilman & Bedigian can help. By working as your legal representative both in and out of court, our lawyers can fight for your legal rights and interests and make sure that you get the help you deserve.
Bel Air, Maryland
The city of Bel Air lies just inland from the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, near the northeastern corner of the state of Maryland, in Harford County. Bel Air, Harford County is not to be confused with the area referred to as Bel Air in Allegany County, near the western tip of Maryland, or with Bel Air, the Los Angeles neighborhood from the 1990s TV show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Instead, Harford County's city of Bel Air had 10,120 people living in it during the 2010 census and has been known as a slowly but steadily growing town since the turn of the 20th century. One of the early centerpieces of Bel Air was the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad, which ran straight through the town in the first half of the 20th century. It was dismantled, however, in 1958, as the automobile successfully replaced trains as the best way to travel. Bel Air, however, continued to thrive because of its location just off Interstate 95, and right next to one of the busiest pathways down the eastern seaboard, Route 1.
Despite its location in an area that is rife with rich history, Bel Air has managed to avoid the spotlight for the most part. The only exception to this was in the 1800s when Bel Air was home to the Booth family, which produced some of the greatest theater actors of the era, as well as John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.
More recently, though, Bel Air has settled into its status as one of the major destinations of the quiet northeastern corner of Maryland, boasting some of the most popular shopping attractions in the area in the Bel Air Plaza.
Personal Injury Claims in Bel Air
Because it is in the state of Maryland, any accidents that happen in Bel Air that lead to an injury will fall under Maryland's personal injury law. If you or someone you love are the ones who get hurt in an accident, this means that to succeed with a personal injury lawsuit, you need to show four different things:
- The person or people you are suing had a duty of care to keep you safe,
- They breached that duty of care,
- That breach caused your injuries, and
- You suffered legal damages, whether they be financial or physical.
Duty of Care
Maryland personal injury law requires everyone to act like a reasonably prudent person whenever it is foreseeable that what they do could cause an injury to someone else. This often requires other people to keep you out of harm's way, refrain from acting in a way that would likely lead to you getting hurt, or generally act in a non-negligent fashion. However, in some circumstances, the duty of care can require more or less attentive conduct.
When the Duty of Care is Breached
Once it has been established what a reasonably prudent person would do, the next step in a personal injury case in Maryland is to show that the person or people you are suing did not follow through on their legal obligations. Crucially, Maryland personal injury law does not care whether the breach of the duty of care was done on purpose or not – the purpose of this field of law is compensating the victims of accidents, so even if the breach of the duty of care was done negligently, it will still hold the other person liable for your injuries.
No matter how egregious the other person's conduct was, if it did not cause your injuries then it would be unfair to hold him or her liable for your losses. This is why Maryland requires you to prove causation, which covers two different elements:
- The “but for” test: You would not have been hurt, but for the other person's conduct, and
- Proximate cause: The other person's breach of the duty of care and your injury were proximately related – if they are so far remote from each other that it would be unfair to hold the other person liable, then your lawsuit will not succeed.
Personal injury claims are intended to compensate you for your losses from the accident. In order to determine your loss, it is important to show exactly what you have suffered. In Maryland, these are your “legal damages,” and include:
- The medical bills that you have already accumulated or paid,
- The medical bills that you are likely to have to pay in the future for injuries that happened in the accident,
- The wages that you have lost from work while you have recovered from the accident,
- The wages that you are likely to lose in the future from the injuries that happened in the accident,
- Any property damage that you incurred in the accident,
- Your own pain and suffering, and
- The pain and suffering that your family or loved ones have gone through because of your injuries.
Car Accidents in Bel Air
One of the most common situations that spawn a personal injury lawsuit in Bel Air is a car accident. Other drivers owe you a duty of care to drive reasonably safely. However, it seems like fewer and fewer drivers actually take this legal responsibility seriously. If this breach of the duty of care leads to an accident that causes your injuries, you could be entitled to compensation.
Many people in Bel Air own pets. However, where there is a dog, there is the potential for a dog bite. Maryland holds dog owners strictly liable for the injuries caused by their dogs, making it important to pursue legal action if you or someone you love has been hurt in a dog attack. This is especially important if it was your child who was hurt – most dog bite victims are children who are more likely to suffer serious long-term injuries in a dog bite incident.
Property owners in Bel Air owe a duty of care to visitors to keep their premises reasonably safe. If they breach this duty of care, they could face premises liability for slip and fall injuries. Importantly, what the duty of care requires depends on your relationship with the property owner – if you were on the premises for the owner's financial benefit, then the duty of care requires the property owner to take more steps to ensure your safety than if you were trespassing. However, even trespassers have legal rights to compensation if they were hurt on someone else's property in some situations.
Medical Malpractice in Bel Air
Just like other people, doctors and medical professionals have a duty of care to act like reasonably prudent people when they provide medical attention. When they breach this duty of care, it can amount to medical malpractice. This is true for healthcare professionals who work at the University of Maryland's Upper Chesapeake Hospital or at their own clinic or facility.
While medical malpractice cases are relatively rare, the injuries that they involve are often some of the most serious that you can suffer. This makes enforcing your legal rights all the more important.
Gilman & Bedigian: Personal Injury Attorneys in Bel Air
Personal injury cases do not have to fall into one of these categories – they come in all shapes and sizes, but all require the utmost care and attention to make right.
This is where the personal injury lawyers at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian are at their best. By serving as your legal representative, we can fight for your legal rights and interests and ensure that you get the financial compensation you need to make a full recovery. Contact us online or call our law office at (800) 529-6162 if you or a loved one has been hurt in the city of Bel Air. We offer a free consultation that will help you get the information you need to make the right decision on your road to recovery.