Bladensburg is a city in Maryland that is on the northeastern outskirts of Washington, D.C. Its location and proximity to the nation's capital have made Bladensburg a significant area in the history of the United States, and have more recently made it a popular residential area for people working in the city.
While Bladensburg has many unique characteristics, it still shares one thing in common with the rest of the country – it is the site of many accidents that result in innocent people suffering some serious personal injuries. When this happens, the victims can be put in a difficult position where they not only have to deal with injuries that they did not deserve and often could not prevent, but also have to pay for their own medical bills and the other costs associated with their recovery.
In these situations, it can be crucially important to enforce your legal rights by filing a personal injury claim. A successful personal injury lawsuit makes the person or people who were responsible for your injuries pay for the costs of your recovery, as well as for the other losses associated with the accident. Having a personal injury lawyer represent you both in and out of court can make a huge difference in the outcome of such a case, and can be the difference between getting the compensation that you need and deserve and having to pay for the costs of your own recovery.
The city of Bladensburg, which had a population of 9,148 during the 2010 census, lies just to the northeast of Washington, D.C., less than ten miles from the city's center. It was originally settled in 1742 to act as a commercial center in the area, taking advantage of the town's location on the Anacostia River. To further this end, a port was built on the river and Bladensburg became a destination for tobacco exports during the colonial period right through the American Revolution.
After the birth of the United States and the creation of the District of Columbia in 1790, Bladensburg's location near the border of the new nation's capital made it the focal point for several important aspects of U.S. history. During the War of 1812, the Battle of Bladensburg was the pivotal moment that allowed the British troops to advance to Washington, D.C. and burn the city to the ground. Historians have called the loss the greatest disgrace ever suffered by the American military, even though there were very few casualties in the fight. The Battle of Bladensburg was also the only time ever that a sitting President of the United States – in this, case, James Madison – rode into battle.
Between the American Revolution in the late 18th century and the Civil War in the middle of the 19th, Bladensburg was also a famous dueling ground. Despite the fact that duels were an illegal way for people to settle feuds or disputes, it was still popular among the wealthy and powerful and the Bladensburg Dueling Grounds was the place for them to happen in the Washington, D.C. area. Located on the Dueling River in what is now the adjacent town of Colmar Manor, the Bladensburg Dueling Grounds saw duels between numerous politicians and aristocrats until the practice fell out of favor soon after the Civil War.
More recently, though, Bladensburg has become a popular place for workers in Washington, D.C. to live. Its proximity to the city, ease of transportation access, and expansion of the federal government after World War II and the 1970s resulted in massive housing booms in the area and huge increases in Bladensburg's population.
Personal Injury Claims in Bladensburg
Any accident that happens in the state of Maryland gets resolved under Maryland's personal injury laws. This means that all personal injury claims can only be successful if you prove that the following four elements were present in the accident that caused your injuries:
- Someone else had a duty of care to ensure your safety,
- That person breached their duty of care,
- That breach was the cause of your injuries,
- You ended up suffering financial or physical damages in the accident.
Here is a closer look at what these elements mean.
Duty of Care
In Maryland, people are typically under a legal obligation to act like reasonably prudent people whenever it is foreseeable that their conduct could cause an injury. While there are some situations that require more or less careful action, this generally means that people should not act negligently. Unfortunately, many people do not take this legal responsibility very seriously and this can lead to a breach of the duty of care.
Breaching the Duty of Care
Whenever someone fails to uphold their duty of care towards you, they are said to have breached it. Importantly, in Maryland, other people can be liable for the damages that their conduct causes, even if they only accidentally breached their duty of care – purposefully hurting you is not necessary for your personal injury claim to be successful.
Even if someone else breached their duty of care, that does not necessarily mean that they will be held liable for their conduct. Instead, their breach of the duty of care needs to be the cause of your injuries. In Maryland, this requires two things to be true:
- You would not have been hurt, but for the other person's conduct, and
- Your injuries and the other person's breach of their duty of care are not so far removed from each other that it would be unfair to hold them liable for their conduct.
In Maryland, personal injury lawsuits are all about getting you the compensation you need and deserve to recover from the accident. However, this means that you need to show exactly how much you have lost. Luckily, Maryland recognizes numerous categories of damages, including:
- Your current and future medical bills associated with the injuries you suffered in the accident,
- The wages you have lost during your recovery and that you are likely to lose in the future,
- Any property damages you have suffered, and
- The pain and suffering that you and your family have gone through because of the accident.
Car Accidents in Bladensburg
One of the most common situations for a personal injury case in Maryland and Bladensburg is a car accident. Drivers owe the others on the road a duty of care to keep them safe. However, drivers rarely uphold this legal obligation, driving while distracted or under the influence on a constant basis. If this breach of the duty of care leads to an accident that causes your injuries, you could be entitled to compensation from whoever caused the crash.
Many people in Bladensburg are dog owners, and this makes the potential for a dog bite significant. Because you cannot technically sue the dog for the injuries they have caused, Maryland's personal injury law holds the dog owner strictly liable for what their pet has done. Unfortunately, because children are especially susceptible to a serious dog bite, enforcing your right to compensation is especially important when it comes to a dog bite – injuries suffered by children are more likely to be debilitating over the long term.
Premises Liability in Bladensburg
Property owners in Bladensburg owe a duty of care to anyone who visits their property, even those who are trespassing. If they do not uphold this responsibility, they can face premises liability for the slip and fall injuries that their oversight or conduct has caused. What, exactly, the duty of care requires a property owner to do, however, typically depends on your relationship with them. If you are on the property for the financial benefit of the owner, then the duty of care is stronger and requires property owners to take extra steps to ensure your safety. However, even if you were trespassing, you are not without legal rights and can be owed compensation if you have been hurt while on someone else's land.
Gilman & Bedigian: Personal Injury Attorneys in Bladensburg
If you or someone you love has been hurt in the city of Bladensburg, you need legal representation. By hiring an attorney at Gilman & Bedigian, you can rest assured that you have personal injury attorneys in your corner who are fighting for your rights and interests and will try getting you the compensation you need and deserve. This can make a huge difference in the outcome of your plight – a successful case can get you the financial help you need, while not pursuing your case can leave you with the bills for your recovery.
Enforcing your legal rights to compensation after an injury is crucial, and the lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian are here to help. Contact us online or call our law office at (800) 529-6162 for a free consultation.