Personal Injury FAQs
These FAQs are designed for personal injury victims of automobile accidents, truck accidents, and medical malpractice. If you have any questions about your personal injury case that aren’t answered below, please contact us at 301-277-9171, or email email@example.com to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.
Under what circumstances am I able to recover damages as a result of an accident or medical malpractice in Maryland?
To recover damages as a result of an accident or medical malpractice in Maryland you must have suffered an injury to your person or property as the result of someone else’s negligence. In other words, the person or company who caused the harm must be at fault for your accident.
If I was injured in an accident that was from the fault of someone else, how are my damages calculated?
Damages in Maryland personal injury cases consist of three primary categories: medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering (almost always the largest component). In cases where the plaintiff’s injury is such that he/she must be retrained for a new job, the costs associated with the retraining are also recoverable. This money is intended to restore your loss and is not taxable by either the federal government or the State of Maryland.
What is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and do I have it?
In Maryland, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage applies in two general situations: (1) Uninsured: the at-fault driver has no liability insurance; and (2) Underinsured: where the at-fault driver has insufficient liability insurance limits (at-fault driver’s policy limits are lower than the limits of your uninsured motorist coverage). Essentially uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is insurance coverage that covers your accident just as your liability insurance provides compensation for the people who you might injure through careless driving. This coverage typically extends to anyone who lives with you and anyone who is injured in your vehicle.
Under the Maryland Insurance article, a policyholder may waive UIM coverage in the policy only if he/she executes a written waiver of that coverage. So if you did not expressly waive it, you have uninsured motorist coverage.
How much is my case worth?
Predicting the trial value of any Maryland personal injury case is almost impossible. There are many factors that can affect the value of a case. Your attorney can only give you a very general idea of the value of your case, based on cases we have handled with similar injuries, and will not be able to predict the specific amount you will receive. That said, our lawyers generally are able to give our clients a settlement range that they can reasonably expect after our lawyers have reviewed the client’s personal injury case.
With respect to the value of your personal injury case if taken to trial by one our Christian, Ashin & Brown, P.C. lawyers or another competent attorney, the results are even more difficult to predict. That value of your case is that which is placed on it by six Maryland jurors. They decide together how much money to award you for your injuries. Accordingly, the ranges for the exact same injury with similar facts vary widely depending upon who those six jurors are. Jurors bring with them, just as all of us do, their own personal biases that can either help or hurt you.
You need to discuss with your lawyers the specific facts of your personal injury case, the pros and cons, and then come to a conclusion about the fair value of your case. This will include a discussion of the severity of your injuries, the amount of available insurance, how clear the connection is between your injuries and the accident, how strong your liability case is, the quality of the witnesses, and the expected jury perceptions of you and the defendant (remember, the jury is not told there is insurance covering the claim).
This discussion will also include analysis of the venue where the case is being tried. In Maryland, Baltimore City and Prince George’s County are favorable venues for plaintiffs. Conversely, in more rural parts of Maryland, such as Somerset County or St. Mary’s County, for example, the jury awards are more conservative. This is true across the country– juries typically award more money in urban areas than they do in rural areas.
What if I am hit by a driver who flees the scene of the accident?
In Maryland, if you suffer personal injuries as the result of the negligence of a hit-and-run driver, you may still recover for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering as if you knew the identity of the driver by bringing a claim under your own insurance policy’s uninsured motorist provision. Essentially, the law treats that phantom vehicle as an uninsured driver.
Many states require actual contact with the phantom vehicle in order for a plaintiff to bring a personal injury claim. Under Maryland law, however, contact is not required, and Maryland courts will not enforce any policy provisions from out-of-state insurers that require physical contact between the injured party and the at-fault hit-and-run driver.
Will I have to go to court?
If there is no settlement offer, our lawyers will take your case to trial. In most cases though, the choice is yours because there is a settlement offer on the table. Because our accident and medical malpractice lawyers carefully screen personal injury cases, and because our attorneys have a reputation with insurance companies for trying cases and getting excellent recoveries for our clients, the vast majority of our clients receive reasonable offers to settle before trial. However, because of the many factors involved, it is impossible to predict whether your particular case is one that will be settled, or which must be decided by a jury.
How much of my time will this take?
Surprisingly, your personal injury claim will not require a great deal of your time, unless it goes all the way to trial. After the initial interview, our personal injury attorneys will do almost all of the work for you. Your problems become our lawyer’s problems. Your job is to recover the best that you can from your injuries from the accident or malpractice if you have not yet fully recovered. Your time commitment obviously changes if yours is in the minority of our personal injury cases that goes to trial. The final trial preparation process will require more of a time commitment if your injuries are substantial.
How is a decision made regarding whether to accept a settlement or go to trial?
You will meet with our personal injury lawyers to discuss together what would be the best for you and your family. Our attorneys’ job is not to make the decision for you, but to evaluate the offer we have been able to obtain and provide the information to you, based on our attorneys’ years of experience handling personal injury cases in Maryland, to help you make the best decision for you.