District Heights is a town in central Maryland near Washington, D.C. Its close proximity to the District of Columbia and the ease with which its residents can get into the city has made District Heights a popular commuter town since its incorporation soon after World War II.
Despite its quiet streets, District Heights is nevertheless the site of numerous accidents throughout the year, each of which can cause innocent people to sustain serious injuries. Through no fault of their own, the accident victims find themselves with serious or debilitating injuries to overcome. This can take years of difficult recovery time and cost thousands of dollars in medical expenses.
Victims in District Heights and the state of Maryland can recover damages through filing a personal injury claim. A personal injury lawsuit is a formal claim for compensation from the person or the people who were ultimately responsible for your injuries. Enforcing your rights to compensation can make a huge difference in how financially straining the accident and injuries can be, and whether you are able to make a full recovery. The personal injury attorneys at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian can make sure your best arguments are put forward, which can greatly enhance your odds of recovery.
District Heights is one of the many cities in Prince George's County that lies on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. and serve as the residential communities for the city. With a population of 5,837 during the 2010 census, District Heights is one of the larger residential communities, in large part because it is on the inside of the Capital Beltway – the loop of Interstate 495 that runs around the District of Columbia – and right alongside one of the major arteries into the city, Route 4, also known as Pennsylvania Avenue.
Because there are hardly ten miles separating District Heights from Washington, D.C., it should come as no surprise that District Heights has attracted a considerable number of residents since incorporating as a town in 1936. Like many other towns and cities in Prince George's County, most of these residents are African-American. During the 2010 census, nine out of every ten residents in District Heights was African-American.
However, nearly all of District Heights is residential. Most of the businesses in the town are on Marlboro Pike, lining the road there in a small series of strip malls. This is where many of the residents of District Heights go to relax, run errands, or work out and play sports – sporting complexes dominate the scene on Marlboro Pike in District Heights.
Personal Injury Claims in District Heights
Even though it is just a quiet, residential community, accidents can happen in District Heights that can get people hurt. Unfortunately, it is not always the case that the person who caused the accident is the one who suffers from it. Many times, it is an innocent bystander who was merely minding his or her own business who gets hurt. In these cases, it can be incredibly unfair to the victim because it was through no fault of their own that they now have to deal with a serious medical issue that can take time and money to heal.
If this should ever happen to you, you should consider filing a personal injury claim against the people who caused the accident. To be successful, these lawsuits require you show four different things:
- The person or people you are suing had a duty of care to keep from harming you,
- They breached that duty of care,
- That breach caused your injuries, and
- You were, in fact, hurt in the accident.
If you succeed in showing these four things, the court may find the other party liable for your injuries, and you can get the financial compensation that you need to make a medical recovery without going into debt to do it.
Duty of Care
One of the things that you need to show in a Maryland personal injury case is that the other party – the person or people you are suing – owed you a duty of care. Generally, people in Maryland owe others a duty of care whenever it would be foreseeable that their conduct would cause someone else's injury if they did not act like a reasonably prudent person. While there are some situations that use a different standard to determine the duty of care – for example, if the person you are suing tried rescuing you from a dangerous situation, but actually made it much, much worse – once someone else owes you a duty of care, they can be liable for your injuries if they go ahead and breach it.
Breaching the Duty of Care
If the other party does not uphold their duty of care towards you, they could be found to be in breach of their legal obligations, which could open them up to liability for any injuries that result. This is the case even if they did not intend to breach their duty of care. Negligence can still be the grounds for the breach of the duty of care because, between an innocent accident victim and a negligent person who caused the accident, it would be less unfair for the negligent party to assume the costs of the injuries that result.
Even if someone else had a duty of care towards you and then breached it, it would still be unfair to expect them to pay for your injuries if their negligence did not cause you to get hurt. Because of this, Maryland requires you to show two different aspects of causation:
- You would not have gotten hurt, but for the other party's conduct, and
- The other party's conduct and your injuries are not so far separated by time or place that it would be unfair to hold the other party liable.
Finally, personal injury cases are all about getting you compensation for your injuries. This, however, requires a detailed accounting of what you lost in the accident. Without that, it would be impossible to tell if you had received adequate compensation. In Maryland, this is done by counting not only your medical expenses, but also the medical bills you are likely to pay in the future, as well as your lost wages, earning potential, and the cost of the pain and suffering that both you and your family have gone through.
Car Accidents in District Heights
The most common situation for a personal injury claim is a car accident. In a commuter town like District Heights, this is especially the case. All drivers owe a duty of care to the others on the road to keep them safe by driving reasonably safely. If they do not uphold this responsibility – by, for example, driving while drunk or distracted – they could be held liable for any injuries that this causes.
Residential communities like District Heights are full of single-family homes, which are the place you are most likely to find pets, especially dogs. Unfortunately, wherever there is a dog, there is the potential for a dog bite injury. Even if owners are sure that their pet is safe, if they get protective or territorial, they can lash out and bite someone they consider a threat. To make matters worse, the people that dogs most often attack are children. This makes it even more important to pursue a personal injury claim against the dog owner – dog bite injuries often come with long-term debilitations, especially when the victim is a child.
Business and property owners all owe a duty of care to anyone who visits their property. If they do not uphold this duty of care, they can face premises liability for a slip and fall accident that happens because of some hazard on the property. While landowners owe even trespassers a duty of care, that duty of care includes much more when you were on the premises for the owner's financial benefit. With so many sports complexes in District Heights, this is especially important. If you get hurt while playing sports because of some dangerous condition on the fields, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries.
Gilman & Bedigian: Personal Injury Attorneys in District Heights
These are just a few of the numerous different situations where a personal injury lawsuit can be a huge help. The personal injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian, however, represent injured clients in District Heights and the rest of Maryland, no matter how it happened. By working as your legal representative both in and out of court, our lawyers can enforce your legal rights and protect your interests, making sure you get the compensation that you need to make the recovery you deserve.
Contact us online or call our law office at (800) 529-6162.