When you have questions about a personal injury claims in Maryland, we’re here to help. Below, the team at Zirkin & Schmerling Law firm answers common questions about personal injuries and how to seek compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, property damage, and lost wages.
If you have additional questions about Maryland laws or need legal advice regarding your unique situation, please call us 24/7 at 410-753-4611 or schedule your free consultation online.
Personal Injury FAQ
Personal injuries arise in many ways. Although they’re often associated with car crashes and slip-and-fall accidents, they can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone. In its most basic form, a personal injury occurs when someone else’s negligence is to blame for a person’s bodily or property damage.
This can be physical harm, mental abuse, emotional suffering, damage to your interpersonal relationships, career damage, financial damage, and more. The team at Zirkin & Schmerling Law handles all of the following types of personal injury cases below, and you can click on any of them to learn more.
- Auto Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Birth Injuries
- Dog Bites
- Domestic Violence
- DUI/Drunk Driving
- Group Home Abuse and Neglect
- Medical Malpractice
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Ridesharing Injuries
- Traffic/Uninsured Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Workers Compensation
- Wrongful Death
Act quickly after being injured in an accident. If it’s a car accident, it’s your obligation to call 911 to report injuries, significant property damage, and any suspicion of a crime like drunk driving. Assess yourself for injuries and accept medical help at the scene of the accident.
Next, seize the opportunity to gather photo and video evidence from the scene of the accident, if you can. This includes gathering the contact information of the person who hurt you. Get contact info from witnesses too. If the incident involves the police, ask about obtaining a copy of the police report.
Although insurance could be involved in your accident, don’t talk to the insurance company until you choose a personal injury lawyer. The things you say and do after an accident can help or hurt your chances at compensation for the accident. Stay off social media and don’t talk about what happened until you speak to your lawyer.
Medical bills are often paid by insurance companies that cover certain types of personal injuries. This may include car insurance, trucking insurance, homeowner’s insurance, business-related insurance, health insurance, and other types of coverage. However, it’s often difficult to get these companies to pay up when the time comes. They may resist paying you the full and fair amount you deserve.
This is why accident victims contact personal injury attorneys. Your attorney will help you seek multiple routes to getting your medical bills paid. They can provide valuable services like negotiating your bills down with providers, arranging agreements that settle your medical debts, and going to court when necessary to make your case to the judge or jury.
If insurance doesn’t cover all your bills and the responsible person has the financial resources to pay, it might be worth filing a lawsuit against them. This puts the responsibility where it belongs and prevents you from facing your bills alone.
It’s hard to say how much your case is worth without knowing your unique situation. However, personal injury cases are usually built from expensive medical bills, lost wages, car repair bills, property damage, lifestyle harm, and pain and suffering. Here at Zirkin & Schmerling Law, we have helped clients gain millions of dollars in settlements and court awards in the state of Maryland.
We helped a client who was sexually assaulted at work win a $3.25 million settlement. We helped a client who was struck by flying metal on the highway win $1.8 million. We have helped numerous dog bite victims win between $200,000 and $500,000.
And we have helped in cases involving shocking group home abuse, for example providing $475,000 for the family of someone who was abused by a staff member and needed to move to a different facility.
Keep in mind that the pain and suffering element of your case could be substantial and shouldn’t be undervalued. If you need a more precise valuation of your case, please call us 24/7 at 410-753-4611 or schedule your free consultation online.
Beware of taking the insurance company’s first offer. They may try to lowball you and see if you’ll accept a small, fast settlement that ends your claim and prevents you from taking further action. Accepting a settlement without negotiation is almost always a bad deal for a severely injured victim!
It’s your right to consider your options and seek a free consultation with a Maryland personal injury attorney. It’s common to see the insurance company’s offer go steadily upward as soon as they realize you have legal representation and are presenting strong evidence of your need for high-dollar compensation.
Whether or not you go to the hospital depends on your injuries, but it’s important to seek medical care as quickly as possible after you’re injured. Make your health a priority. Any delay in treatment can later be used as evidence against you, as if to say, “See? Your injuries weren’t so bad. You didn’t even see a doctor right away.”
By going to the hospital, you not only start the road to recovery, but also start a paper trail that includes a doctor’s diagnosis, medical bills, insurance paperwork, and more. It’s one of the best ways to gather the evidence you’ll need later to claim injury compensation.
Yes. You may still have a substantial claim even if your medical bills are being handled through health insurance, car insurance, or another form of coverage. In Maryland, the element of pain and suffering is almost always the largest component of personal injury damages, and insurance doesn’t address it.
You deserve compensation for the suffering you’ve experienced and the pain and trauma of the accident. Perhaps you’ve lost your ability to ride your bike, play tennis, go on hikes in the mountains, and do other things you enjoy as part of your lifestyle. Maybe your family is struggling to cope without your help doing chores and things around the house.
Your loss of consortium, or intimate relations, may also be a consideration. Plus, many people find they have lost wages and lost future earning power due to their injuries and long recovery period. These hold value that can be part of your personal injury claim.
In Maryland, personal injury cases have a fixed period within which you must start your claim or lose your opportunity forever. This is usually three years from the date of the accident, although some exceptions make the period shorter or longer due to specific circumstances.
For example, if the injury involves a government organization or municipality, you likely have just 180 days to start your claim. Or if you were injured while under the age of 18 and no action has ever been taken, you can start the claim when you turn 18. Ask your personal injury lawyer about which rules may apply to your case.
Most personal injury cases are settled out of court when the various parties accept a settlement after a period of consideration and negotiation. If you can come to an out-of-court agreement that covers your financial debts and adequately covers your other damages, that’s an ideal situation.
However, some cases are worth taking to court because you may end up with a much higher verdict in your favor. For example, this could be the case if you have a medical malpractice case where you believe the judge or jury will have great sympathy for your situation.
The choice of agreeing to a settlement or going to court is ultimately yours. Your lawyer can help you understand your options and the potential outcomes that could occur.
You’re probably wondering how much time a personal injury case takes. It varies, but most cases can be handled in a matter of weeks or months. It’s very rare for a case to take a year or more, although it can happen with very complex medical malpractice and group home abuse cases.
When you hire a personal injury lawyer, the timeline becomes less worrisome because your lawyer and their team are skillfully handling the stressful legal details for you. Instead of spending your time focusing on your case, you can rest, recover, and focus on your life.
Contributory negligence is the concept of contributing to your own injury. It’s common for an insurance company to bring up this issue as they try to prove that you’re partially at fault for your injuries and therefore don’t deserve any compensation.
Maryland is one of just a handful of states that treat injured victims harshly in this respect. If you are even 1% at fault for your injuries, you are barred from receiving compensation for them. As you can imagine, this means insurance companies and lawyers representing negligent people will go to great lengths to claim injured victims deserve zero compensation.
If you find yourself in this situation (Contributory negligence), hiring a personal injury lawyer could be the smartest decision you ever make. Your lawyer can help you build a compelling case that supports your innocence and puts the blame where it belongs.
In a legal sense, when you assume the risk of a particular activity, you voluntarily and knowingly accept that your own harm may arise from it. This means you’re likely unable to receive compensation for injuries and other damages you sustain during the activity.
This concept often comes up in cases that involve recreational sports, auto racing, and other similar high-risk activities. However, assumption of risk can be difficult to prove in personal injury cases, so ask your lawyer whether it applies to your case.
Have a Legal Question? We Have Answers
When you need to learn more about your rights, the attorneys at Zirkin & Schmerling Law can help. Remember there is a statute of limitations to file a claim, so Contact us or call us at (410) 753-4611 to set up an appointment with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers today.