Greenbelt is a small city in the central part of the state of Maryland, about 15 miles to the northeast of Washington, D.C. While Greenbelt was founded relatively recently for the area, in the 1930s, it holds a unique spot in U.S. history as one of only three planned cooperative communities that were built in the country during the New Deal.
However, just because Greenbelt holds a unique status as a cooperative community in the U.S. does not mean that it does not have many of the same problems that other cities in the States have. Among these is the fact that accidents can happen, and innocent people can get hurt in Greenbelt because someone else was acting negligently. If this happens to you, it would be unfair to expect you to pay out of pocket for your own injuries. After all, it was through no fault of your own that you got hurt.
By hiring the personal injury attorneys at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian, though, you can protect your legal rights and guard your interests by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the person or people who hurt you. If successful, you could stand to get compensation for all of the legal damages that you have suffered because of what they did.
Greenbelt is one of only three planned cooperative communities in the United States, alongside Greendale, Wisconsin, and Greenhills, Ohio. These three towns were planned by the federal government's Resettlement Administration in 1935. This Administration was a federal agency tasked with relocating low-income families from areas still struggling from the Great Depression into communities located closer to the economically strong parts of the country. While the Resettlement Administration fell far short of expectations due to a scarce budget, it succeeded in moving several thousand people into these three “green” cities, which were all hailed as models of planned communities.
The idea behind these cities was that building them would provide construction jobs to low-income people from weak parts of the country that would get them through to the end of the Depression, and would also ease the shortage of housing in the targeted urban areas, including Washington, D.C. For Greenbelt, this also meant providing affordable housing for people working in nearby Washington, D.C., which would help the local economy even more. The site chosen for the city of Greenbelt was a large tract of tobacco farms, and the city's planning included input from Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
People who wanted to live in the city of Greenbelt had to pass through a series of interviews that dealt with their level of income and their profession, as well as their intent to do community service and help the local area prosper. The screening process was meant to ensure that the community was an active one, which was especially important because of how many businesses in Greenbelt were run as cooperatives – with business decisions being made by the people who use the business – such as the famous New Deal Café.
Population-wise, Greenbelt has fared far better than the two other planned cooperative communities. Greenbelt had 23,068 residents during the 2010 census, while Wisconsin's Greendale had 14,046 and Ohio's Greenhills had only 3,615. Greenbelt is also home to the Greenbelt Historic District, which is home to many of the architecturally-significant buildings that were constructed when the community first got under way.
Greenbelt Personal Injury Lawsuits
In Greenbelt, just as in the rest of Maryland, a successful personal injury claim relies on showing four different elements:
- The person who ultimately hurt you had a duty of care to keep you safe or free from harm,
- That person breached their duty of care,
- That breach was the cause of your loss, and
- You were damaged in some way or another, whether physically or financially.
Despite the wide variety of situations in which accidents can happen, these elements of a personal injury claim are present in all of them.
Here is what to look for.
Duty of Care
The first element in every successful personal injury case is that someone else owed you a duty of care. Maryland law requires everyone to act like a reasonably prudent person whenever it is foreseeable that their conduct or oversights could lead to someone else getting hurt. If someone else does not act like a reasonably prudent person and you get hurt as a result, they could be liable for your injuries.
Breaching the Duty of Care
Whenever someone does not uphold the duty of care that they owe you, and that failure causes an accident that ends with you getting hurt, the law might require them to compensate you for your injuries. Breaching the duty of care often goes hand-in-hand with determining exactly what the duty of care entailed.
Even if someone acted egregiously negligently and you ended up getting hurt, if their poor conduct was not the cause of your injuries then it would be unfair to expect that person to pay for them. This is why personal injury lawsuits require you to show that the other person's negligence was the cause of your losses. There are two different facets of this causation:
- You would not have been hurt, but for the other person's breach of their duty of care, and
- Your losses are not so far removed from that breach that it would be unfair to hold that person accountable for your injuries.
Finally, all personal injury claims are focused on getting you the compensation you deserve for the losses that you have suffered. This means you need to provide an exact showing of the precise losses you have incurred. These include things that everyone thinks of, like the cost of your medical expenses, but also includes other, often overlooked aspects of an injury, like the cost of future medical expenses, your lost wages and earning potential, and the pain and suffering of both you and your family.
Car and Truck Accidents
The most common personal injury situation comes from a car accident. People have a duty of care to drive their cars or trucks in a reasonably safe manner. However, very few people actually do this. Too many people drive while drunk, distracted, or just plain recklessly. If you get hurt when someone else was driving unsafely and it causes a crash in Greenbelt, getting a personal injury attorney on your side as soon as you can, will be a huge step to recovering the compensation that you deserve.
Another common personal injury case in Greenbelt is a dog bite. Dogs that seem friendly can become overprotective of their owners or property, and this can lead to a serious dog bite if they think you are encroaching. Unfortunately, the most common victims of dog bites are young children who do not know to play cautiously around dogs, and who can suffer serious debilitations that affect their lives over the long-term.
Landowners in Greenbelt owe a duty of care to anyone who visits their property. If they violate this duty of care, they can be subject to premises liability.
Importantly, a landowner's duty of care can apply to you even if you were trespassing on their property without their permission. While a landowner has to do more to keep you safe if you were on the grounds with their permission or for their financial benefit, they still have a duty of care to uphold for trespassers, as well.
Medical Malpractice in Greenbelt
While medical malpractice is the rarest of personal injury cases, when it does happen, it often causes severe or fatal injuries. All healthcare professionals owe their patients a duty of care to act as reasonable doctors, and violating that duty of care can open them up to liability and can even amount to medical malpractice. With numerous doctors, medical professionals, and the Doctors Community Hospital within its city limits, Greenbelt is no stranger to these situations.
Gilman & Bedigian: Personal Injury Attorneys in Greenbelt
If you have been the victim of an accident or someone else's negligent actions in Greenbelt, getting a personal injury attorney on your side as soon as possible can make a huge difference in getting the compensation that you need in order to make a full recovery. After all, paying for the costs of your own injuries when you were not at fault would be unfair.
This is where a personal injury claim can be your best option. By filing a lawsuit against the person or people who were ultimately responsible for your injuries and other financial losses, you can get compensated for what you have lost and the pain and suffering that you have gone through.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in an accident in Greenbelt, contact the personal injury attorneys at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian by calling them at (800) 529-6162 or contact us online.