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Cumberland is a small city near the western-most tip of Maryland, only a stone’s throw from the border with Pennsylvania, to the north, and just across the Potomac River from West Virginia to the south. The county seat of Maryland’s Allegany County, Cumberland has a rich history because of its location near a convenient pass through the Appalachian Mountains but has been on the downturn since the 1950s when its industrial center started to falter. Now it is one of the poorest areas in the country.
Just like any other city in the U.S., accidents can happen in Cumberland that leads to innocent people getting hurt. If this ever happens to you or someone you love, it would be unfair to have to pay for the cost of your recovery and your financial losses out of your own pocket if you were not responsible for the accident that led to your injuries.
In cases like these, hiring an attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person or the people who were responsible for your pain and suffering is the best way to ensure you get compensated financially for what you have gone through. This is where the lawyers at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian can help.
The city of Cumberland, Maryland was a city of 20,859 inhabitants during the 2010 census and sits on a pass through the Appalachian Mountains called the Cumberland Narrows. This location, connecting the East Coast with the Midwest, has made Cumberland a pivotal city throughout much of its history, and still makes Cumberland an important thoroughfare for drivers in the area.
Throughout the early history of America, Cumberland was a crucial city to pass through as armies in the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the Civil War all either went through the town to action in the west or were stationed in the area to prevent opposition forces from doing the same. When the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal were built in the mid-19th century, though, Cumberland’s importance peaked and led to Cumberland being the site for the beginning of the National Road, the first major highway built by the United States. Now Route 40, this road was the way westward into Ohio and as far as Indiana in the early days of the United States.
The National Road was just one sign of Cumberland’s importance, though. Because it was such a transportation hub, it quickly became an industrial center, as well. However, the Industrial Revolution did not last forever, and Cumberland’s strong economy faltered and failed after the needs of World War II evaporated and new technologies made Cumberland’s industrial plants obsolete. As the jobs dried up through the 1970s and 1980s, people left Cumberland.
Now, Cumberland has barely half the residents it had during World War II when there were nearly 40,000 people who called the city home. Those that have remained in the area are often in dire financial straits. Nearly one in five of Cumberland’s residents live below the poverty line, and the metropolitan area surrounding Cumberland has been ranked 302nd out of 318 in per capita income in 2015, making it the poorest city in Maryland.
Personal Injury Claims in Cumberland
In Cumberland and the rest of Maryland, different accidents and personal injuries take on a variety of shapes and forms. In fact, each situation is unique in its own way, with its own particular background and set of facts. However, personal injury law in Maryland looks for four elements that are required before it will hold someone else liable for your injuries. Those elements are:
- Someone else had a duty of care to keep you safe or out of harm’s way,
- That person breached that duty of care,
- That breach of the duty of care was the cause of your injuries, and
- You were legally damaged, whether physically or financially.
In every personal injury situation, the first thing to look for is whether the person who hurt you had a duty of care to keep you out of harm’s way. In most cases, the law requires people to act in a reasonably prudent way when it would be foreseeable that they could cause an injury to someone else. This is the duty of care, and whenever someone else has to uphold it, they could be held liable for your injuries if they fail to do so.
Once it has been established what the duty of care is, if it is clear from what happened that the other person did not follow through on their legal obligations, they can be held liable for your losses.
Even if someone else acted with gross negligence, it does not mean that they will necessarily be liable to you for your injuries. You have to show that their conduct was the thing that caused them, too. If this were not the case, it would lead to unfair outcomes where people were being forced to pay for injuries that they did not cause.
In Maryland, showing that your losses were caused by the person you are suing requires two things:
- You would not have been injured, but for the other person’s breach of their duty of care to you, and
- Your injuries were not so attenuated from the other person’s conduct that it would be unfair to hold them responsible.
Finally, personal injury cases are all about getting you the compensation that you deserve for your losses, so determining what that compensation amounts to is a huge part of your case. Luckily, personal injury law in Maryland recognizes that your losses in an accident go far beyond just the medical bills that you have had to pay for your recovery so far. They also include the future medical bills that you are likely to pay for your injuries, as well as the wages you have lost and are likely to lose because of the accident, and the pain and suffering that you and your family have been put through, as well.
Car Accidents in Cumberland
Car accidents are the most common type of personal injury claim, especially for a city with as much traffic passing through it as Cumberland has. Drivers have a duty of care to keep the others on the road safe and to drive with all of the attention and care it takes to make this a reality. Needless to say, not everyone follows through on that duty of care. Distracted driving is common, and when it causes a crash that leads to your injuries, a personal injury case can be the best way to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Many people are convinced that their pets are friendly, but dog bites continue to happen. This is because many owners are too relaxed around their pet, and forget that dogs are protective and territorial to people they think are a threat. Unfortunately, young children are most likely to be a victim of a serious dog bite. When this happens in Cumberland, getting an attorney to help can make a huge difference in their long-term quality of life.
Injuries on Another’s Property
Landowners in Cumberland have a duty of care to the other people on their property. If they do not uphold this duty of care, they could find themselves facing premises liability for any injuries that their property causes.
The duty of care that property owners need to uphold, though, depends on whether you had permission to be on the property, or if your presence on the premises was for the financial benefit of the owner. Nevertheless, even if you were trespassing you still have legal rights.
Medical malpractice is a rare type of personal injury case, but when it does happen, the injuries that it involves are often life-altering or fatal. Like other cities, Cumberland has numerous doctors and healthcare professionals, as well as the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, where medical professionals are required to uphold a duty of care to keep their patients reasonably healthy. When they violate this duty of care, it can amount to medical malpractice, and they can be liable for the injuries that their negligence causes.
Gilman & Bedigian: Personal Injury Attorneys in Cumberland
When someone else hurts you, it is unfair to expect you to cover the costs of your own recovery. After all, they were the one who caused your injury, so why should you have to pay, instead of them?
That problem is what a personal injury lawsuit is meant to rectify. By hiring the personal injury lawyers at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian, you are taking the first step to enforcing your rights to the financial compensation that you deserve.
You can contact the law office of Gilman & Bedigian by calling us at (800) 529-6162 or by contacting us online.