- Maryland Burn Injury Information
- Contributory Negligence
- More On Depositions
- Daylight Savings Time & Auto Accident Cases
- Contributory Negligence
- Statue of Limitations
- Hiring a lawyer
If you are injured as the result of another person’s negligence or other wrongful conduct, or as the result of a defective product or dangerous condition, you may have the right to be compensated. The most common personal injury claims involve automobile collisions, falls on dangerous surfaces, injuries from defective products (including drugs and devices) and harm arising from professional negligence of various kinds, including medical negligence. Typically, work-related injuries fall into the category of workers’ compensation. Some who have sustained personal injuries may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits. Ingerman & Horwitz LLP can help with all of these types of claims.
Sometimes what appears to be a “simple” automobile collision turns out to be a workers’ compensation claim. Sometimes a workers’ compensation claim turns out to involve a claim for products liability, which can lead to better compensation. Sometimes a claim for premises liability (such as a slip and fall) is a claim for medical malpractice, or vice versa. Sometimes what appears to be a claim for personal injuries is instead a claim involving civil rights or disability rights. Or vice versa. A qualified personal injury lawyer will examine your claim in full, and seek to draw out all of the facts which may suggest a different type of claim is at stake. But if you have been injured and do not pick up the phone, you will never know your rights.
Maryland is one of a handful of American jurisdictions that still recognize the defense of “contributory negligence.” One percent inattention or other neglect on your own part, and no matter how good your case is against the other guy, no matter how drunk or sleepy he was, or how fast he was driving that tractor trailer in the dark, you and your family could lose 100 percent of your recovery. That’s our law.
Contributory negligence helps all insurers, regardless of whether contributory negligence is present in a particular claim. It’s always looming, affecting offers and settlements of otherwise legitimate claims. Insurers frequently suggest the plaintiff was somehow inattentive behind the wheel, was wearing the wrong kind of shoes (in a slip and fall case), wasn’t wearing eyeglasses, or did something else to contribute to her own injuries. At Ingerman & Horwitz LLP we investigate the facts and defuse contributory negligence wherever and whenever we can.
Other defenses to personal injury claims can also affect your ability to recover compensation. These include, among others, assumption of risk, last clear chance, immunity from suit, and intentional misuse. Each of these defenses has been used to defeat Maryland personal injury claims. In pursuing your claim, Ingerman & Horwitz LLP will review all of the relevant facts, advise you of potential defenses that may be raised, and work with you to minimize, as much as possible, the impact of such defenses.
Common causes of auto accidents
From minor fender benders to life altering crashes, auto accidents occur every day on the nation’s roadways. According to reports, approximately 6,000,000 auto accidents occurred in the United States in 2005. While many of the victims of auto accidents walk away from the accident shaken but unscathed, countless others suffer serious, permanent, and debilitating injuries. For some, the injuries sustained in an auto accident are so severe that they are unable to recover from their injuries.
Each day in the United States, it is estimated that 115 people die due to automobile accidents. Between January 2008 and October 2008, it is reported that more than 550 people lost their lives as the result of an automobile accidents in Maryland. While accidents do happen and are an inevitable part of life, many auto accidents may be avoidable and preventable.
There are numerous and varying causes of auto accidents and some of the common causes of auto accidents include:
• Distracted drivers – talking on the cell phone or texting, changing the radio station, too many passengers in the car, looking at scenery, reading while driving
• Driver fatigue – long drives after work, sleep deprivation, driving solo on long trips
• Drunk driving
• Aggressive/Reckless driving – tailgating, changing lanes frequently, failure to yield, disregarding traffic signals
• Inclement weather – hazardous road conditions: wet roads, icy roads, debris on roadways
All of these situations and scenarios can lead to auto accidents with serious or fatal consequences. According to reports, approximately 25 percent of all auto accidents in the U.S. are caused by distracted drivers.
When auto accidents in Maryland occur due to another driver’s negligence and innocent individuals are injured as a result, a Maryland personal injury lawyer should be contacted immediately. Victims of auto accidents may be entitled to financial remuneration for things such as lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses as a result of the accident. Because the insurance company will work aggressively to defend the negligent driver and pay the victim as little as possible, victims should retain the professional and expert legal representation of experience and skilled Maryland personal injury attorneys.
When you or a loved one has been injured, do not delay seeking an attorney. Time limits vary, depending on the type of claim. If you do not file within the statute of limitations period applicable to your claim, you will lose your ability to seek compensation. Under Maryland law, many claims must be filed within three years of the date of injury, but you cannot depend on this in every case. Shorter periods, such as two years, one year, six months, or even less could apply. Or possibly, a much longer period could apply. It depends on the precise nature of the claim or injury, the age of the injured party, whether the claim is based on common law or a statute, where you were injured, who your claim is against, where your claim is filed, how and when you learned you may have a claim, the status or conduct of the defendant, and whether the claim involves a death and/or an estate. Each case depends on its own facts. So do not take “three years” as legal advice controlling your own claim. It could be a serious mistake.
If you are seriously injured or if you are not sure about the outcome of your injury you should consult a lawyer. A lawyer can give you expert advice on your claim, and will be able to give you accurate information as to how much you should value your case. Statistics show insurance companies will often pay more when you have hired a lawyer than if you are making your claim independently. Compensation will depend on medical treatment needed, income compensation if work is missed, and other pain and suffering damages.
To Sue Or Not To Sue
Most claims are resolved without litigation, but if filing a lawsuit is necessary, Ingerman & Horwitz LLP is ready to go to court on your behalf. The decision to file suit may be a difficult one, but Ingerman & Horwitz LLP prepares for possible litigation from the moment you are accepted as a client. We must–if defendants and insurers lack confidence that a lawyer is prepared to file suit on behalf of clients whose claims are not resolved, they won’t be motivated to offer reasonable settlements beforehand.
Nevertheless, Ingerman & Horwitz LLP may decline to file suit after agreeing to pursue a possible settlement of your claim. That is because we do not file suit unless we are confident of our chances of success in the event your case must be tried. Trying a case in court requires enormous commitment and hard work. If an insurer refuses to settle before a lawsuit is filed, it won’t suddenly change its mind simply because the defendant has been sued. However, some cases must be filed before settlement discussions can begin. In either event, Ingerman & Horwitz, LLP must be committed to the case from the moment it is filed. Sometimes it becomes apparent that the monetary value of a claim is simply not enough to justify the expense of filing the claim. If that is the case, we do not want to commit our clients to litigation we are not confident they can complete.
Suing for personal injuries can be expensive, especially in claims involving defective products or professional negligence. You may have a perfectly legitimate claim, yet be disappointed in your ability to find a lawyer to represent you. Often it is due to economics. Ingerman & Horwitz LLP does not file suit if there is a strong likelihood that the only people who will be compensated are your expert witnesses, the court reporters, other litigation support people, and your lawyers. Although no one can predict with certainty how your case will be resolved, you should not be put through litigation unless your attorney feels confident that the potential value of your claim exceeds the potential costs and has a strong likelihood generating for you a significant net recovery.
Remember – Car insurance companies do not have your best interests in mind when paying out to victims! Our firm works for you to get you the highest payout possible.
How We Can Help
Ingerman & Horwitz LLP will guide you through the process of case evaluation, settlement or litigation, and where appropriate, trial and any necessary appeals. Our Maryland personal injury lawyers have helped many victims throughout Maryland, and have worked with lawyers outside of Maryland as well. Our job is to help you and your family move forward with your lives. But as we have told our clients many times, we cannot turn back the clock. We know that a check for compensation will never bring back a loved one, restore function to an injured limb, or erase scars. However, through appropriate claims for compensation, we can help replace income where it has been lost, and recover costs and other monetary damages to help make up for the pain, suffering and other injuries you have sustained.