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Frostburg is a small city in western Maryland, located where the state stretches in a panhandle between Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Frostburg has a long history as an important town because of its location at the head of the Georges Creek Valley in the Allegheny Mountains. During the 19th century, this made it a stopping point for travelers and a thoroughfare for supplies going from the Midwest to the East Coast. The remnants of this can be seen on Route 40, one of the oldest highways in the country, which passes right through Frostburg, and Interstate 68, which skirts Frostburg’s southern border.
Just like all of the other cities and towns in the U.S., though, Frostburg is a place where accidents can happen and where people can get hurt because of someone else’s negligence. If this ever happens to you, it can be frustrating and can feel unfair because of how much your injuries can impact your life and how much they can set you back, financially.
This is where filing a personal injury claim can help. A personal injury lawsuit is a formal request that someone else – namely, the person or people who were ultimately responsible for your injuries – pay the costs associated with the accident. When successful, a personal injury claim can be a huge financial relief and can be the difference between a full recovery and continuing to feel the pain of the accident for years afterward. The personal injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian can help.
Frostburg is a small city in Western Maryland’s Allegany County, with a population of 9,002 during the 2010 census, though that number increases when school is in session because of the more than 5,000 students who attend Frostburg State University. The city is located less than ten miles to the west of Cumberland, which is the seat of the county and also the largest city in the area.
Early in Frostburg’s history, it was an important town on the way from the East Coast through the mountains and into the Midwest frontier. Because of its location in the mountains and its accessibility, Frostburg was an important stop for the National Road – now Route 40 – which connected the populous East Coast with the Midwest starting in the 1810s. The National Road was the best way for settlers to move west and was the easiest way to get supplies like grain and coal to the East Coast from its source in what is now West Virginia. Frostburg’s location right on the Road – Route 40 now serves as one of the main thoroughfares in the city – brought people and business to the city.
Frostburg got another steady source of business when miners found coal in the area. The coal mines took off after railroads came to the area in the 1850s, allowing the mines an easy way to get the coal out of the area and through the surrounding mountains. However, like all coal mining towns, Frostburg went on the decline as other sources of energy became more popular, like oil, natural gas, and solar power. Unfortunately, Frostburg never developed its economy and the decline of coal became the decline of Frostburg: According to numbers on CityData, 41.8% of the residents in Frostburg were below the poverty line in 2015, with 23% making less than half of the poverty level.
Personal Injury Claims in Frostburg
Accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. However, in a place like Frostburg, where so many people are struggling financially, there is a good chance that getting hurt and missing work – not to mention being saddled with the significant price of the medical bills associated with your recovery – can make life almost impossible.
That is why it is so important to protect your legal rights by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the person or the people who were responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. If successful, you stand to gain the compensation that you need to make a full recovery from the accident.
In order to be successful, though, a personal injury lawsuit needs to prove four different things:
- The person or people you are suing had a duty of care towards you,
- They breached that duty of care,
- That breach was the cause of your injuries, and
- You were, in fact, physically or financially hurt in the accident.
The Duty of Care
The first thing that a personal injury lawsuit has to show is that the person you are suing had a legal duty of care towards you. Generally speaking, Maryland law requires everyone to act like a reasonably prudent person when it is foreseeable that their conduct could hurt someone else. In some other situations, though, people can owe you a duty of care that is either stronger or weaker.
Breach of the Duty of Care
Once it has been established what the duty of care was, the next step is to show that the person you are suing did not uphold it. Even if they only accidentally failed to uphold their duty of care, you can still be entitled to compensation because between a negligent party and a completely innocent one, it is only fair for the negligent party to be liable.
Even if someone else owed you a duty of care and then breached it, if their conduct was not the cause of your injuries then it would be unfair to expect them to compensate you for your losses. This is why Maryland law requires you to show that their conduct was the cause of your injuries. Proving causation, though, has two elements to it:
- You would not have been hurt, but for the other person’s conduct, and
- The other person’s conduct was not so far removed from your injuries that it would be unfair for them to pay compensation.
Finally, you need to show all of the ways that you have suffered from the accident. Otherwise, it would be impossible to prove when you have received adequate compensation for your losses. Luckily, in Maryland, your legal damages include much more than just the cost of your medical bills. It also includes your future medical expenses, as well as your lost wages and those that you are likely to lose in the future, plus non-economic losses, like the pain and suffering that you and your family have gone through.
Car Accidents in Frostburg
One of the most common personal injury situations comes from a car accident. Other drivers owe everyone else on the road a duty of care to drive reasonably safely, but very few take this seriously. Whether because they are driving drunk or while distracted, if another driver causes a crash because they were not driving safely, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Dog bites are another common source of personal injuries in Frostburg. Unfortunately, young children are especially prone to be bitten by someone else’s dog, so these kinds of cases are especially important to pursue: If left without compensation, children could have to deal with permanently debilitating injuries on their own.
Premises Liability in Frostburg
Business and property owners in Frostburg and the rest of Maryland owe their visitors a duty of care to keep the premises reasonably safe. If they do not uphold this duty of care, they could face premises liability.
What it means to keep property “reasonably safe,” however, depends on your relationship with the property owner. If you are on the premises for the financial benefit of the business or property owner – like if they owned a shop and you were browsing the aisles for something to buy – then they will owe you a higher duty of care than if you were trespassing. However, even trespassers have legal rights.
Doctors and other medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients, as well. If they breach that duty of care, it can open up them and their practice to a medical malpractice claim. While these lawsuits are rare when compared to other forms of personal injury claims, they are often the most severe because of how debilitating they can be.
Gilman & Bedigian: Personal Injury Attorneys in Frostburg
The personal injury attorneys at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian handle these and all sorts of other kinds of personal injury claims in western Maryland and Frostburg. By serving as your legal representative both in and out of court, our lawyers can ensure that your rights and interests and protected and that you get the compensation you are entitled to receive from the people who should have to pay for your losses. Without this compensation, you could find yourself facing steep medical bills and other costs that can be difficult to overcome.
Contact our law office online or call us at (800) 529-6162 for the legal help you need to get the full recovery that you deserve.