If you have been in a car accident in Baltimore, you have suffered legal damages of some sort even if you were able to walk away from the incident. This is because under the law, the notion of an injury is not confined to a physical one; it can be a merely economic one as well.
Despite this reality, enforcing your legal rights in court can be a costly endeavor and you might be convinced that it will not be worth it. While the decision of whether or not you have been hurt badly enough to sue for a Baltimore car accident is ultimately up to you, having a full understanding of what you have to gain from a lawsuit is necessary to make an informed decision.
How Badly Have You Been Hurt? Legal Damages in Maryland
Your legal damages are all of the ways you have been hurt that are recoverable in a personal injury lawsuit in Maryland. The breadth of these legal damages is significant and allows you to get compensation for far more things that you might have considered possible.
Legal damages are categorized into economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are things that can be easily distilled into a dollar amount, often because their precise cost is reflected in a bill or invoice that can be easily produced. Examples of economic damages can include the following.
- The cost of repairing or replacing any property damage you suffered in the car accident.
- The medical bills you have already paid, and are likely to pay in the future, to recover from your injuries.
- The wages that you lost while you were hurt and while you were recovering.
- Any wages you were likely to have earned in the future but which you now cannot because of your injuries.
Noneconomic damages are those ways that you have been hurt, but which are far more difficult to put into a dollar amount.
- The toll of your pain and suffering.
- The loss that your loved ones have felt from your absence.
- Punitive damages against the person who hurt you if their conduct was extremely reckless and deserves to be punished.
Totaling Your Legal Damages
Adding all of these economic and noneconomic damages together gets you your total legal damages, which is the amount that you stand to earn in a successful personal injury lawsuit. Totaling up these damages, therefore, is the best way to better understand whether you have been hurt badly enough to sue.
The place to start is with the cost of the medical care that you have already received. As you progress in your recovery, you will undoubtedly have received medical bills from your hospital and doctor. Add all of these together to see the extent of your injuries and how much compensation you deserve.
To the cost of your medical bills, add the amount of wages that you lost due to the car accident and your recovery, even if you have to reach out to your boss to get a solid estimate. While you are asking your boss about your missed wages, also bring up whether your injuries will prevent you from earning income in the future. If this is the case, you can add that missed earning capacity to your legal damages as well.
After this, add in the likely cost of your future medical bills. If you are wondering whether you are hurt badly enough to sue, then you are probably still in the early stages of your recovery and you will accumulate more medical bills in the future. You might have to ask your doctor what you can expect in the later stages of your recovery and how much it will likely cost to get a good estimate of this aspect of your legal damages.
Once you have totaled these economic damages, you still have your noneconomic losses. These are notoriously difficult to determine, though, so it often takes an experienced personal injury attorney to get it right. As you decide whether you have been hurt badly enough to sue, it is often better to use just your economic damages and know that your noneconomic damages can increase the total from anywhere between 33% to 300%.
Statute of Limitations
Throughout your determination of whether you have been hurt badly enough to sue, bear in mind that Maryland's statute of limitations only gives you three years to initiate the lawsuit in court. Deciding whether to enforce your rights in court, therefore, should happen within one year in order to give you and your attorneys the ability to put together an effective legal claim and file the lawsuit on time.
The Final Decision
In the end, the decision of whether you have been hurt badly enough to sue someone for a car accident in Baltimore is yours. Making the decision quickly, though, can lead to an uninformed decision now, and both financial strain and regret down the road.
One thing that deters many people from enforcing their rights to compensation after a Baltimore car crash is the cost of hiring a personal injury attorney. Many people think that hiring a lawyer to represent them in court is prohibitively expensive and outweighs the potential benefits of filing the lawsuit in the first place.
If this still seems like a problem after totaling your legal damages, then you should know that the personal injury attorneys at the Baltimore law office of Gilman & Bedigian represent clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that if you hire them to represent you after your Baltimore car accident, you do not pay them a dime unless you win your case. This can make the decision of whether to sue or not much easier, because there is no way you will end up in the losing position of having to pay your lawyer for a losing lawsuit.
Contact us online to get started, or if you still doubt whether you have been hurt badly enough to sue someone for a car accident in Baltimore. We also offer a free consultation that can help you decide.