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After an accident there are many things that you will have to consider. Below are some common questions you may have after you or a loved one has been injured.
How Do I Know If I Have A Case?
First and foremost, you will likely wonder if you have a case or not. There are many factors that go in to the determination of whether or not the incident that occurred will give rise to liability and compensation. Among these considerations are:
- Time Frame: Are you making your claim within the appropriate statute of limitations? If cases are not brought within a certain amount of time, you can lose the right to recover for your injuries. Different cases (car accident vs. assault, for example) will have different statute of limitations. In addition, who you are bringing your case against can also affect the statute of limitations. For example, if you are seeking compensation from the government because you were injured by a government employee there are some additional requirements before you can file a lawsuit.
- Monetary Amount Involved: Some cases have a very small amount of damages involved and can be handled on your own without involving the expense of an attorney. These are typically called small claims cases. Most jurisdictions have a small claims court that allows (and often requires) litigants to represent themselves and argue their case before a judge. (If you’ve ever watched the television show Judge Judy, then you have seen a small claims court in action.)
- Proving Damages: There are four elements in a negligence case in Maryland that a plaintiff must prove in order to recover compensation: duty, breach, causation, and damages. A plaintiff must suffer an injury or have property damage in order to recover in a negligence case. There are some exceptions to this requirement, as in the case of an intentional tort where damages are awarded but are not an element the plaintiff must prove in order to recover.
What Do I Do If A Loved One Is Injured?
When a loved one is injured you may have to assist them with their case. The first step building a case is to collect as much evidence as is possible surrounding the incident. This means obtaining things such as: medical records, witness accounts, and police reports. Bringing the case to an attorney early on will help the both you and the attorney prepare your case so you can get the best results for your loved one. There are some things you may want to avoid as well as you prepare your case including: providing information to the other party’s insurance company instead of allowing your insurance agent or attorney to do so, hesitating to bring a claim therefore missing the window of opportunity you have to file a lawsuit, and speaking publicly about your accident as this may affect the case later on.
Who Will Cover The Initial Medical Expenses?
After an accident or injury you will likely be wondering how to cover your medical expenses. If you have health insurance, then the cost of treatment for your injuries may be covered by your insurance company. If you do not have health insurance then you may be responsible for paying for your medical expenses. One exception to this involves car accident injuries in states with personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP may cover limited medical expenses regardless of whose fault the accident was. Only a handful of states require PIP coverage and Maryland is not among them. However, PIP provides limited protection and likely would not cover more serious accidents.
When Should I Contact A Lawyer?
Another common concern that arises is when to contact an attorney. Simply put, you can contact an attorney at any time after the incident. At Gilman & Bedigian, we help our clients at all stages of the claims process, from the initial dealings with the insurance companies, through the negotiation process, and at trial. We evaluate each and every case presented to us, so please don’t hesitate to call even if you are unsure whether or not you have a legal claim.
We offer a free phone consultation. When you call, you will speak with a client intake paralegal about your case. The client intake paralegal will ask you about what happened, what your injuries are, if there were any witnesses, and various other pertinent questions. Once the client intake paralegal has all the information they need, they will inform you of whether or not Gilman & Bedigian is able to move forward with your case, and if so, what the next steps are that you need to take. The earlier on in the process that you get an attorney involved, the better that attorney can assist you in protecting your rights.
What Happens If An Injury Occurs On The Job?
If you have suffered an injury at work, the main way you can recover compensation for your injuries is through Worker’s Compensation. Worker’s Compensation in Maryland was adopted into law in 1912 and is administered through the Maryland Worker’s Compensation Commission (“Commission”). The Commission has specific guidelines that govern if an employee can recover monetary compensation for an injury the employee suffered while on the job. Because of the Worker’s Compensation system, generally, an employee can no longer sue an employer when they are hurt at work. Instead, an employee files a claim with the Commission, the Commission adjudicates the claim, and then, depending on the facts of the case, the Commission determines if a benefit payment should be made by the employer. An attorney can assist an employee seeking Worker’s Compensation benefits or appealing a determination of the Commission.
What Happens If I’m Injured On Hired Transportation?
Millions of people take some form of public transportation everyday – from taxis to trains to airplanes. If you or a loved on are injured due to negligence of a transportation provider, the liability of the provider will vary depending on the type of transportation involved, the level of negligence of the transportation provider, and whether the provider is classified as a common carrier, as common carriers are held to a higher standard of care. The liability of a transportation provider may also depend on whether or not the doctrine of respondeat superior, or vicarious liability, applies. This doctrine deals with if, and to what extent, an employer can be held liable for injuries caused by its employees.
What Happens If I’m Injured As A Guest?
If you or a loved one is injured while on the property of another, whether it be a public or private entity, you ability to bring bring a claim and the types of damages you can recover is going to depend on several factors. The main issue is that the law gives different types of guests different rights. The level of liability that an owner or occupier of land is subject to for each type of guest will depend upon how the court classifies that guest.
Every personal injury case is different. To address any questions and concerns specific to your case, it is best to speak with an experienced attorney. At Gilman & Bedigian we offer a free phone consultation. Please contact us today to speak with a representative at (800) 529-6162.