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Understanding Your Personal Injury Rights in Baltimore

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Posted On 03.27.15 by in Baltimore

Understanding Your Personal Injury Rights in Baltimore

If you’ve been injured due to another person’s negligence in Baltimore, you may be considering a personal injury case. Before deciding whether to file a lawsuit or claim, make sure you know your rights, and the laws that pertain to personal injury.

The Basis of the Claim

In order to have a personal injury claim, you have to be able to prove that another party’s negligence was responsible for your injuries. This means that the at-fault party failed to act as any other person might in the same situation. For example, if your accident was caused by someone driving recklessly in icy conditions, the other driver was not acting as most others would, which would be by slowing down and driving appropriately for the conditions.

Statute of Limitations

One of the most important considerations in personal injury cases in Baltimore is the statute of limitations. The amount of time that you have to file a claim in Maryland is within three years after the date of your injury. While this may seem like quite a long time, waiting too long to initiate a claim can lead to not having enough time left to attempt to take your case to court if you are unhappy with the settlement offer.

If you feel you have a personal injury claim against a government agency, there are two different time frames that apply to your case. If you are planning to file a lawsuit, you have three years; however, if you are filing a claim, you have only one year.

Contributory Negligence

Baltimore follows the contributory negligence rule, which means that your own actions play a role in determining whether you can collect damages. If the courts determine that your own negligence, such as speeding, was also a contributing factor to your injuries, you will not be able to collect anything from the other party – no matter how small a percentage may be attributed to you. While this generally applies in lawsuits, you should be prepared for the insurance company to bring it up as well if you are trying to reach a settlement.

Damages

Any monies that you receive as a part of your settlement are called damages. In personal injury cases in Baltimore, there are caps in place for all cases, including non-medical and medical malpractice and wrongful death. These caps limit the amount you can collect in your situation, which can lead to you receiving less damages than what covers the amount of your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. These caps change from one year to the next, as Maryland adjusts them each October to accommodate inflation.

Being involved in a personal injury case in Baltimore can be stressful, but there are laws in place to protect you. If you believe you have a claim that is based on negligence, you should contact an attorney to consult with on your case. This will help you determine the merits of your case, and whether there is any danger of contributory negligence being called into question.

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