Being injured in an accident is an overwhelming experience. In addition to the physical and emotional pain you’re likely feeling, you might be wondering if someone else is at fault for your injury – and if so, whether or not you have a right to compensation. So how do you know if you have a valid personal injury claim? Let’s talk through some of the criteria.
There was a clear violation of duty of care.
First things first: what is duty of care? Basically, it refers to a person’s (or employer’s) responsibility to act reasonably and to avoid doing anything that might cause harm to others. For example, let’s say you work in a factory operating heavy machinery. The factory owners have a duty of care to ensure that the equipment you use is safe and well-maintained. If you are involved in an accident because the machinery is faulty, then your employers have violated a duty of care with their negligence, and you have a solid case for a personal injury claim.
Your injury was caused by someone else’s recklessness.
Recklessness is still considered a violation of duty of care, but it takes things a step further than negligence, because it asserts that someone knowingly violated their duty of care. If you’re in a car accident and the other driver was speeding, texting or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you can argue that they behaved recklessly (because they knew beforehand that their actions were dangerous and illegal).
Your injury led to personal and/or professional damages.
If your injury cost you money in medical bills or forced you to miss work and lose wages, you can argue that you are entitled to compensation from the responsible party – basically, repayment for the long-term damages that the injury has caused you. Of course, you’ll need to prove these damages with medical records and communications from your employer.
The best thing to do if you think you have a personal injury claim is to speak to a qualified attorney, who can walk you through the steps involved in filing that claim. Be sure to look for someone local. If you’re in Prince George’s County, for example, you’ll want to find a personal injury lawyer who is familiar with the rules specific to the county, so they’ll know exactly what your options are. Keep in mind, too, that the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Prince George’s County (and throughout Maryland) is three years, so don’t delay.
One thing you shouldn’t do is talk to a lot of people about your case. Obviously, discussing it with close family members or trusted confidants is one thing, but steer clear of posting anything on social media. And definitely don’t talk to anyone representing the responsible party (like their insurance company) without a lawyer present.
If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence in Maryland, a lawyer can help you determine the best course of action. 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.