Personal Injury Claims After a Storm – What to Know and What to Do

Storm Damage - Lightening in the Sky

Like it or not, storms are a part of life. We can’t control when they happen or how serious they are, and even if we do everything we possibly can to prepare for them, they sometimes cause damage.

If you’ve experienced property damage or personal injury as the result of a storm, you may be wondering what your options are with regard to compensation. Let’s break down some of the things that you need to consider.

Can Fault Be Determined?

Storms are typically referred to as “Acts of God” – natural events for which no one is at fault – and, as mentioned above, they’re unavoidable. Insurance policies usually have pretty specific guidelines regarding what they will and won’t cover in these instances, and you probably won’t have much success filing for compensation beyond what your policy allows.

There are some cases, however, in which fault can be determined for damages sustained because of a storm. If you can prove that the storm damage you suffer could have been prevented if it weren’t for someone else’s negligence, then you might have a case. Here’s an example: say your next-door neighbor has a tree on their property that is rotten or has a bunch of dead branches on it. If, during a storm, that tree (or one of the branches) falls on your property and causes damage, you might be able to claim that your neighbor is to blame for not properly maintaining the tree (and therefore putting you and your home at risk with their negligence). Of course, being able to prove that the neighbor willingly ignored repeated warning signs that the tree needed to be removed; they can simply say that they were unaware of the danger or didn’t realize how serious it was. If that’s the case, a good lawyer may be able to help you work through how to respond.

Another thing to remember is that Maryland is a contributory negligence state, which means that if you’re determined to be even 1% at fault in a personal injury case, you’re not entitled to any compensation. Again, an experienced lawyer can talk to you about what this means and if you still might have a case, regardless of how strict the laws are. So don’t assume you don’t have any recourse, even if you’re concerned that you might be partly to blame.

How Long Do I Have to File?

In Maryland, the statute of limitations (i.e., the amount of time you have to file your case in court) is three years from when the damage occurred. There are certain cases in which this time limit can be extended, but they are extremely rare; they typically have to do with your age at the time of the accident (for example, if you were under the age of 18 when the damage occurred) or whether or not you can prove that you were legally disabled and unable to file sooner. If you’re planning to file a claim, earlier is always better, so that you don’t run out of time while trying to clear potential hurdles.

Now that we’ve gone over some things to consider, let’s walk through the steps you need to take if you’ve suffered a personal or property-related injury as a result of a storm.

  1. Assess (and Document) the Damage. As soon as it’s safe to do so, make a detailed note of any and all damage to your property as a result of the storm; take plenty of pictures and/or video if possible. If you have suffered a physical injury because of the storm, seek medical treatment immediately; even if your injuries don’t warrant emergency care, make an appointment with your doctor or healthcare provider and get yourself checked out.

    One thing you shouldn’t do yet: clean up property damage caused by the storm, unless it’s absolutely necessary to do so. While pictures and videos are important, you’ll also want to actually show the damage to an insurance adjuster when they come to inspect it. Which brings us to the next step…

  2. Contact Your Insurance Provider. Take a look at your insurance policy to determine what it covers, and what you might be entitled to in terms of compensation. Then get in touch with your provider to report the damage. If there is extensive damage to your property, the insurance company will probably send a claims adjuster to inspect it. They will also want to examine all of your documentation (photos, video, written testimony if you have it and doctor’s records if you’ve been physically injured).

    Keep in mind that your insurance company might try to get you to quickly sign off on a settlement. A word of advice: don’t agree to anything before this next step…

  3. Speak to a Lawyer. Insurance companies don’t necessarily have your best interests at heart; they may be looking for the quickest and cheapest resolution, rather than one that accurately reflects the compensation you deserve. Enlisting the services of a qualified personal injury lawyer protects you against this outcome, while also taking the burden of dealing with the insurance company off your shoulders. Once you’ve reported the accident and your subsequent injuries or damage, your attorney can be the main point of contact with your insurance provider. They can also help you determine how much you should file for and what to expect during the process.

Dealing with the aftermath of a storm is stressful. But if you know what to look for and you have a plan in place, you can minimize the anxiety and assure yourself of the best possible outcome.

If you’ve suffered personal injury or property damage after a storm and you are considering filing a claim, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, MD today to schedule your free consultation. We don’t receive a fee unless we win.

How Maryland Laws Affect Personal Injury Claims

State of Maryland Statue

If you’ve been injured in an accident and someone else is to blame, there is a strong chance that you have a right to financial compensation. Unfortunately, the process is rarely as easy as filing a claim and waiting for the money to roll in. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with state laws in order to understand how, when, and against whom you should file your claim.

These state laws – or statutes – are very important in personal injury claims. Let’s talk about a few of Maryland’s statutes in more detail.

Statute of limitations. The statute of limitations dictates how much time you have to file a personal injury claim, and is typically calculated from the date you first realized you had grounds for a claim (the so-called “date of discovery”). In the state of Maryland, the statute of limitations is three years. While that might seem like a lot of time, keep in mind that there are a number of logistical issues that can delay the claim process, and the last thing you want to deal with is finding yourself in a race against the clock to settle your case. (And yes, there are ways to potentially extend the statute of limitations, depending on your circumstances, but you don’t want to have to depend on those loopholes.)

Contributory negligence. This is a big one, which we have discussed in detail in another post[TK1] . Maryland is one of only four states (and, to a slightly lesser extent, the District of Columbia) that adhere to the law of contributory negligence, which dictates that if you are proven to be even 1% at fault in an accident, you are banned from receiving any compensation for it at all. It’s important to note, though, that this statute doesn’t necessarily represent a deal-breaker if you’re looking to file a claim. An experienced attorney can help you determine if you have a valid case, regardless of whether or not you think you might be somewhat at fault.

Non-economic damage caps. Personal injury claims are not always about physical damages. If you can prove that you’ve suffered psychological anguish as a direct result of your accident, you are eligible to file a claim for emotional distress [TK2] (or non-economic damage, as it’s referred to legally). Maryland, like many other states, puts a cap on how much money you can receive if you file a personal claim for emotional distress. That cap is $920,000 (as of October 2022).

Knowing the laws that affect you is a crucial step in filing a claim for personal injury in Maryland.  Even more important: retaining the services of a competent lawyer who can walk you through all of those laws in detail and help you present a case that has the highest odds of being successful.

If you’ve suffered a personal injury and you are considering filing a claim, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, MD today to schedule your free consultation. We don’t receive a fee unless we win.

Emotional Distress Claims in Personal Injury Cases: What They Are and How They Work

Emotional Distress, Man Sitting on Leather Couch

You probably know that you’re eligible to file a claim if you’re hurt in an accident and someone else is to blame. But these claims are not limited to just physical injuries. There is another component of personal injury compensation that focuses on the mental and psychological pain you can experience in the aftermath of an accident: emotional distress.

What is Emotional Distress?

Sometimes referred to as non-economic damage or mental anguish, emotional distress describes the psychological pain that a person suffers as the result of personal injury. These damages can present themselves in a variety of different forms, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and even suicidal thoughts. Emotional distress is a little harder to measure than physical injury, since it’s not always visible or easy to quantify, but that doesn’t make it any less real or debilitating.

How Do Emotional Distress Claims Work in Maryland?

If you’ve suffered an injury in Baltimore or elsewhere in Maryland and you want to file a claim for emotional distress, you will need to be able to prove that your mental pain can be measured in some tangible way. Typically, this means a diagnosis from a medical professional, a prescription for medication or documented treatment (therapy sessions, for example).

How Do I Know if I Have a Case? 

Every situation is different, and you should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine your options when filing a claim for emotional distress. At a high level, however, you need to be able to prove that your emotional distress is a direct result of your injury and is negatively impacting your life. If your accident is serious enough that you need medical treatment for physical injuries, chances are you can make a case for mental anguish, given that physical pain often leads to psychological distress (and can potentially affect your ability to work – which in turn leads to loss of income and further emotional upset).

How Much Can I Receive for Emotional Distress in Maryland?

Many states, including Maryland, place a limit on how much you can receive as part of your claim for non-economic damages. As of October 2022, the cap for emotional distress damages in Maryland is $920,000 (note that this is for personal injury cases that don’t involve wrongful death).

I’m Ready to File a Claim. What’s My Next Step?

Talk to an attorney who is experienced in managing emotional distress claims. This person will have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the process, from advising you on how to document your emotions to gathering witnesses for testimony, if necessary.

If you’ve suffered a personal injury and you are considering filing an emotional distress claim, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, MD today to schedule your free consultation. We don’t receive a fee unless we win.

Can I Pursue a Legal Action if I Am Partially Responsible for an Accident in Maryland?

Law courtroom, Judge Bench. Woman sitting, auction gavel and notepad on wooden table, close up.

Like it or not, accidents happen. While we certainly do our best to avoid them, many of us will, unfortunately, be involved in an accident at some point in our lives. Hopefully, these accidents aren’t serious enough to affect our lives of the lives of the other people involved in them. Regardless of the severity of your accident, you’re likely to be overwhelmed in its aftermath, trying to figure out the best course of action.

One of the things you might be wondering is how much of the accident is your fault, and if you’re able to seek compensation for any damages that might have occurred due to someone else’s negligence. Let’s dive into what you need to know about determining accident fault in here in Maryland, as well as what your options are when it comes to filing a claim for compensation.

Understanding Negligence Laws

Before you can determine who is at fault in an accident, you need to understand the rules that apply in your state with regard to negligence. There are two basic types of negligence laws: comparative negligence and contributory negligence.

Most states operate under the principle of comparative negligence. This law allows you to sue for damages and compensation even if you are partially to blame for an accident. Different states have different rules for how much compensation you can claim, based on your percentage of fault. Some states practice something called modified comparative negligence, where they cap the percentage at 50% and only allow you to pursue damages if your fault is determined to be less than that. Other states are more flexible and allow you to seek compensation even if you are over 50% responsible; this version of the law is what’s known as pure comparative negligence.

On the other hand, Maryland is one of only four states, along with Washington, D.C., that follow the principle of contributory negligence. This is a much stricter law than comparative negligence because it dictates that you can’t receive any compensation at all if you are found to be even the slightest bit at fault in an accident (although D.C. does allow for some exceptions in accidents involving bike riders or pedestrians). If you think the contributory negligence rule seems unfair or overly harsh, you’re not alone. There’s a reason why so few states follow these laws; most people would agree that it’s pretty restrictive to require 100% fault on the part of one person in order for a compensation claim to be legal.

Does this mean that, if you think you’re partially responsible for an accident in Bowie or elsewhere in Maryland, you shouldn’t bother looking into making a claim? Absolutely not. Even if you are concerned that you might be somewhat at fault for an accident, you might not actually be at fault from a legal standpoint. In order to know for sure, you need a knowledgeable, experienced attorney on your side who can work to establish a strong claim that you are indeed completely innocent.

How is Fault Determined?

It all comes down to collecting and examining evidence. There are several means by which this is done – including witness statements, photographs, police reports, medical records and vehicle or property damage. The more comprehensive the evidence, the easier it will be for those who are in charge of examining it to make a solid determination – so it’s in your best interest to help them collect as much proof as possible. Take photos of the accident scene if you can; call the police and have them investigate the scene and write a report; get the contact info of any witnesses who were at the scene at the time of the accident (or better yet, ask them questions and request permission to record their comments on your phone); seek medical help even if you don’t think you’re in urgent need. And find a good personal injury lawyer who understands Maryland’s strict contributory negligence laws and can help you navigate them.

Keep in mind, though, that not [TK1] all forms of evidence are beneficial to your claim. Insurance adjusters and others who might not have your best interests in mind will try to convince you to settle quickly, or they’ll mine your social media accounts for any references you make to your accident. For this reason, it’s very important that you steer clear of saying anything about your accident publicly. You should also never admit fault to an adjuster, or sign a quick settlement agreement; don’t even verbally agree to one. If you feel as though you are being pressured into making a statement or settling by insurance claim adjusters, refer them to your lawyer.

Who Determines Fault?

As mentioned earlier, attorneys play a large part in determining fault in an accident. They have the education, training and experience to be able to examine all of the evidence and make an informed decision about where the blame lies. Of course, they aren’t the only people in charge of determining fault. Police officers also contribute their findings, as well as a judge and jury if your case goes to court. (Insurance adjusters have a role to play in fault determination as well, although it should be noted that an adjuster’s main goal is usually to deny or minimize payouts, which could affect the way they consider the evidence presented to them.)

Given all of the moving parts associated with blame determination and compensation, your first (and best) course of action is to enlist the help of a dedicated attorney. Doing so will dramatically increase your chances of achieving the best possible outcome.

If you have been involved in an accident in Bowie and you think you might be entitled to compensation, a lawyer can help you determine the next steps. Contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, MD today to schedule your free consultation. We don’t receive a fee unless we win.

Factors to consider when choosing a lawyer

Lawyers in Maryland

Lawyers can handle all sorts of legal matters, and this is because they are professionals who are qualified to offer advice about the law or even present someone with legal issues. Lawyers can also be called counselors, attorneys, or a barrister. They apply the law to specific cases.

However, they investigate the facts and the evidence by conferring with their clients and reviewing documents; after that, they prepare and file the pleadings in court. They are expected to introduce evidence, interrogate witnesses, and argue questions of law and facts. They sometimes don’t win the cases, so they are expected to seek a new trial or relief in an appellate court. However, many lawyers in the industry make it challenging to choose the best one for your needs. This article discusses the top factors to consider when choosing an experienced lawyer for your needs.

Experience and Expertise  

Hiring an experienced lawyer is integral to considering their experience in work. Due to their experience, lawyers can also settle cases through compromise, negotiations, and reconciliation. One needs a lawyer who understands the ins and outs of your business, is aware of what to expect, and has a proven track record of success. A key factor is also to consider the law firm and its focus on meeting your specific needs. It is essential to hire an experienced lawyer like Maryland’s Car Accident Lawyer.


Law firms have schedules that ask one to sign the price agreement. Lawyers charge different amounts of fees depending on a variety of factors. Choose a lawyer who you can afford to pay. More experienced lawyers tend to charge higher fees but understand that you simply must find a better balance that will lead you to give yourself the most value. Make sure you choose a lawyer who works on the contingency of the outcome of the case. 

Communication Skills  

Lawyers should be good listeners and must, be orally persuasive, and have quality written communication skills. This enables them to content before the judges in the courtroom. Quality public speaking skills are necessary. Lawyers develop these skills during their studies by participating in activities like prevailing public express.  

Analytical Skills

Practice and study of law necessitate compulsive large consignment of details and distorting it into something logical and manageable. Most of the time, there seems to be more than one level-headed conclusion to solve a situation. This forces lawyers to have more estimative skills to choose the suitable one. Lawyers should be able to investigate all concerns and analyze them from all points of view. Lawyers must be able to take in a large proportion of knowledge at a time, organize it, and understand it on the spot.


Lawyers play an intriguing role within modern society. Lawyers need to be experts in numerous areas. Lawyers must be organized, for the organization is critical to everything a lawyer does. Lawyers should be very creative because they display great originality in their problem-clearing. And are mainly required to anticipate outside the receptacle. 

How to Prepare for Halloween and Avoid a Personal Injury Claim at Your Home

Avoid a Personal Injury Claim at Your Home at Halloween

For many people, Halloween is one of the highlights of the year. It’s a time for family, friends and neighbors to dress up in fun costumes and enjoy each other’s company. Unfortunately, it can also be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions – and if an accident occurs on your property, you could be held responsible for it. Keep your guests safe (and avoid the potential for personal injury liability) by following these home safety tips.

Make sure any pathways are well-lit and unobstructed.

You might be tempted to lower the lights in your yard to create a spookier atmosphere, but doing so can cause problems for visitors (especially if they’re wearing costumes that partially obstruct their vision). Ensure that any pathways to your door are brightly lit and free of any potential slip or trip hazards like rocks, leaves, and decorations (including pumpkins, which are very slippery when broken). Having a well-lit path to your door offers the extra bonus of encouraging guests to stick to the path and not trample your yard, too.

Consider adding treads to your steps.

It doesn’t typically get icy here in Baltimore until later in the year, but stairs can still be treacherous at night. If you have steps leading up to your front door, adding treads to them can help prevent slips.

Keep your pets away from visitors.

Even the friendliest pets can be frightened by all of the noise and excitement of Halloween, and you don’t want them doing anything to inadvertently harm your guests as a result. Keep them inside during trick-or-treating, or block off a portion of your house for them to roam undisturbed while you’re hosting a party.

Only hand out pre-packaged, store-bought treats.

Resist the temptation to give homemade goodies to trick-or-treaters. If someone gets sick after eating something you made, you might get blamed for it. (And a lot of parents force their kids to throw out items that aren’t store-bought out of an abundance of caution anyway).  

Encourage (and enforce) responsible partying.

If you’re planning an adult party and serving alcohol, you have some additional concerns you’ll need to address. Drinking can affect people’s judgement and make them more susceptible to injury… and you could be held liable for those injuries as a result. Encourage your partygoers to be responsible with their drinking, and make sure no one drives home drunk. And, of course, don’t let anyone drink alcohol in your home if they’re under 21.

If a personal injury occurs at your home and you need advice, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, MD today to schedule your free consultation. We don’t receive a fee unless we win.