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Laurel is a small city in the central part of the state of Maryland, just to the northeast of Washington, D.C., and the southwest of Baltimore. The city has a long history as an industrial area but has developed into a residential town, with many of its populace commuting to their jobs in the large cities nearby. However, because of its close proximity to the nation’s capitol, Laurel does still have several federal agencies that call the locale home.
Just because Laurel is a primarily residential area, however, does not mean that accidents do not happen within its city limits that hurt innocent people. If you are the victim of an accident that happened because of someone else’s negligence or oversight, there is no reason why you should have to pay for the costs of your injuries and what you have had to go through. Instead, by hiring an attorney and filing a personal injury lawsuit, you can protect your legal rights and interests and get the compensation that you need for a full recovery and that you deserve. After all, it was through no fault of your own that you were hurt.
The personal injury attorneys at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian can help. By legally representing you both in and out of court, we can fight for your rights and make sure you are properly cared for by the person who hurt you in Laurel.
In its early years, the city of Laurel grew up around a cotton mill that developed in the area in the 1820s. The town was known as Laurel Factory, and the workers in the mill lived in houses owned by the mill, which also owned the shops and schools in the immediate area, making it a quintessential mill town. This was rare for the area in Maryland, which at the time was almost entirely farmland, but Laurel’s mills expanded rapidly when the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad put a line from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore that ran right through Laurel.
While this railroad made Laurel’s mills more important, it also led to the eventual evolution of the town from an industrial one to a residential one. As both Baltimore and Washington, D.C. grew soon after the Civil War, more and more people chose to live in Laurel to get away from the cities they worked in, but still, use the railroad to commute to their jobs.
The area soon grew past just being a mill town, with residents opening up their own businesses independently from the mill’s ownership. Chief among these was the Laurel Park Racecourse, a horse racetrack, which opened on the northeastern outskirts of Laurel in 1911. Still in operation today, the racecourse is the site of many major horse races. Other businesses opened up along Washington Boulevard, the stretch of Route 1 that passes through downtown Laurel, with several strip malls and the Laurel Shopping Center still open today.
Despite the businesses in the area, Laurel is still primarily a residential area in Maryland. With a population of 25,115 during the 2010 census, most of the major businesses and employers in the area are located outside of Laurel’s city limits. Major federal agencies like the National Security Agency and the Fort Meade Army base are in surrounding communities like Fort Meade, while the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, a prominent contractor with the Department of Defense, is near Laurel’s border with neighboring Columbia.
Personal Injury Claims in Laurel
Throughout Maryland, personal injury claims rely on four different elements:
- Someone else owed you a duty of care to keep you out of harm’s way,
- That person breached their duty of care,
- That breach caused your injuries, and
- You were hurt, whether physically, financially, or both.
Even though every accident and injury has its own unique background and fact pattern, these four different elements need to be present.
Here is what to look for.
The Duty of Care
The first element required in every personal injury case is the duty of care. Maryland law requires that people act like reasonably prudent people when they are dealing with others. What this requires from a practical standpoint, of course, depends on the specific circumstances of your case. However, one of the key factors in whether someone else was acting like a reasonably prudent person is whether they were doing anything that would foreseeably lead to you getting hurt.
Breaching the Duty of Care
If the other person’s duty of care required a specific thing to be done or not done, and then they went ahead and did the opposite, they could be liable for any injuries that their breach causes.
Of course, it would be unfair to expect someone else to compensate you for your injuries if what they did was not actually the cause. To show that the other person’s conduct was the cause of your injuries, you need to prove two things:
- You would not have been hurt, but for the other person’s breach of their duty of care, and
- What the other person did was not so far removed from your injuries that it would be unfair to hold them liable.
Finally, personal injury cases are all about compensating you for what you have lost. This means that you will have to show exactly how you have been hurt, both physically and financially, in order for your personal injury suit to be successful. Luckily, the law recognizes that your losses from an accident are not just limited to your medical bills. They also include things like your lost wages and the decrease in your future earning potential, as well as the cost of the pain and suffering that both you and your family went through because of your injuries.
In Laurel and elsewhere, car accidents are the most common situation for a personal injury lawsuit to take place. Other drivers have a duty of care to drive their cars like a reasonably prudent person. This means taking into account the safety of other drivers on the road, abiding by the speed limit, and paying attention to their surroundings while behind the wheel. Obviously, these are things that very few drivers do effectively. If you are involved in a car accident in Laurel that was caused by someone driving while drunk or while distracted, and this causes you to get hurt, you can be compensated for your losses.
Dog bites are another common personal injury case in Laurel. Because Laurel is such a residential town, there are lots of dog owners who are usually very confident that their pet would not hurt anyone else, and are often surprised when they do end up biting someone. Unfortunately, the most common victims of a dog bite are children who can face long-term or even permanent debilitations from a dog bite. Making sure they get the compensation they deserve is crucial for their livelihood.
In Laurel and Maryland, people who own or use property owe a duty of care to the people who are on it, whether they have been invited or not. If a property owner breaches this duty of care, they can face premises liability for their conduct.
Importantly, the duty of care that a landowner owes depends on the person who is on the property. If you have entered someone else’s land and have not been invited, you are a trespasser, and the duty of care that you are owed is small. However, if you have been invited or if you are on the premises for the financial benefit of the owner, then the duty of care that you are owed increases significantly.
Like other cities of its size, Laurel has its own hospital and numerous doctors and other medical professionals. The Laurel Regional Hospital and these other healthcare providers all owe their patients a duty of care to keep them safe and provide reasonably adept medical care. If they breach that duty, it can rise to the level of medical malpractice. While rare, instances of medical malpractice often lead to severe or even fatal injuries.
Gilman & Bedigian: Personal Injury Attorneys in Laurel
Being the victim of an accident in Laurel often means having to deal with a serious injury that you did not deserve, and which only happened because someone else was being negligent. Expecting you to pay for your losses out of your own pocket seems unfair.
That is why the state of Maryland allows people to file personal injury lawsuits and get compensation for their injuries and other losses after someone else caused an accident. To be successful in one of these, though, it often takes having a personal injury attorney at your side that understands the process and can provide effective legal representation.
This is where the personal injury lawyers at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian come into play. Call our law office at (800) 529-6162 or contact us online for the legal representation that you need to get the compensation that you deserve.