Personal injury cases can arise for dozens of different reasons. The main thing that connects all of them is the idea that victims should be able to seek compensation for an injury caused by another party (whether that party did so intentionally or unintentionally). Of course, certain types of cases are more prevalent than others. Let’s talk about the five most common personal injury cases in Maryland.
1. Car Accidents. You probably aren’t surprised to find that car accidents are the common cause of personal injury cases in Maryland (and pretty much every other state). Busy highways, city traffic and varying weather conditions can lead to crashes – as can drivers who are distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Car accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, from minor whiplash and bruises to concussions, broken bones, spinal cord injuries and more. Figuring out who’s at fault for a car accident is tricky – especially in Maryland, which is a contributory negligence state (meaning if you’re found even 1% at fault for the crash, you might not be able to claim any compensation).
2. Slip and Fall Accidents. Property owners have a responsibility to maintain safe premises for visitors, both on public and private properties. If you’ve injured yourself on someone’s property as a result of a hazardous condition like wet floors, uneven surfaces or bad lighting, the property owner could be held liable for your injuries. The success of these cases often depends on whether you can prove that the property owner was aware of the danger and failed to take steps to address it.
3. Medical Malpractice. In the simplest terms, medical malpractice refers to a situation in which a healthcare professional’s negligence leads to a patient being injured or harmed. These cases can include anything from a surgical error or a missed diagnosis to medication mistakes and birth injuries. Proving medical malpractice usually requires expert testimony – which in turn depends on a comprehensive understanding of the medical specialty in question. (In fact, Maryland law dictates that you need to obtain a certificate of merit from a qualified medical expert in order to file a medical malpractice suit.)
4. Product Liability. If you’ve been injured as a result of a defective or dangerous product, you may have grounds for a liability case. Manufacturers, distributors and retailers can all potentially be held liable for injuries caused by products with design or manufacturing defects or inadequate warnings about the product’s potential risks. In order to have a successful claim, you need to establish a direct link between the product defect and your injury.
5. Dog Bites. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Maryland follows a fairly strict liability approach in dog bite cases, meaning that a dog’s owner can be held responsible for the injury even if that dog had no prior history of aggression. If you’re the victim of a dog bite, you’ll have to prove that you were lawfully on the premises where the incident occurred and that you didn’t provoke the dog in any way. (Again, remember that Maryland is a contributory negligence state, so you might not win any damages if you can’t prove that you were 100% free of fault in the situation.)
In all of these personal injury cases, you’ll need to be able to prove that the other party is negligent or liable, and that their actions directly caused your injuries. You’ll also have to provide evidence of how much harm they have caused. Note that Maryland has a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim (generally three years from the date of the injury) – which may seem like a lot, until you consider all of the work that goes into building a strong case. That’s why hiring a lawyer is a smart move; an experienced attorney will know what evidence to collect, how to deal with insurance companies, which experts to consult and how to help you develop a case that has the best chance of being successful.
If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing and you believe you have a right to compensation, 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.