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Posted On 04.29.15 by in Baltimore
This winter, a construction worker from Buffalo, NY received a $5 million settlement from the employer and property owner for an accident that occurred in 2008. While working, he suffered a serious fall that gave him several serious injuries. These injuries included a torn rotator cuff, a punctured lung, and several herniated disks. He then had to complete numerous surgeries to bring him closer to his original physical condition.
Though many of these claims are settled before trial, this suit actually reached trial because the defendants, both the employer and the property owner, were contesting the damages. They argued that the worker’s behavior on the job was risky and contributed to the injury, and they also believed that the injuries were not caused by the fall but were pre-existing conditions. Once the case went to trial, the court rejected both of these arguments and determined that the defendants were completely liable for the accident. The plaintiff and the defendants then negotiated a settlement for $5 million.
Though the eventual outcome may be similar to a personal injury case in Maryland, it is important to note a few important differences. In Maryland, plaintiffs who file personal injury suits must overcome arguments of contributory negligence. Contributory negligence is a legal concept that says that if the plaintiff did anything to contribute to the accident taking place, then the plaintiff will not be awarded any money.
This applies whether the plaintiff was acting especially risky and caused an accident or if the plaintiff was only 1% at fault. If there was any negligence on the plaintiff’s side, he cannot be awarded money in Maryland. In the Buffalo NY case, the defendants argued that the worker had unnecessarily taken an unsafe route through the work site and this caused the injury. This argument was dismissed in New York, but if the court accepted it in Maryland, then the plaintiff would be awarded no money.
This case was also unique because it was taken all the way to trial. Most personal injury cases in Maryland and elsewhere do not make it to trial because both parties are able to negotiate a settlement. Trials are typically a last resort because of their expense and the unpredictability of the jury. Fortunately for the plaintiff, the court agreed that the defendants were liable, and then he was better able to negotiate an appropriate settlement.
If you were recently injured in Maryland due to someone else’s actions or negligence, you should get in contact with a personal injury lawyer. Our attorneys can help you determine if you have a strong case or if you may be partially responsible for the accident. After we file the case, we can also help you negotiate a settlement.
Our legal practice is committed to helping our clients get the compensation they deserve and we are eager to help you with your next lawsuit. If you are pursuing a personal injury claim, give us a call to schedule a consultation.
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