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Understanding personal injury law

Personal Injury Law is an area of law that deals with claims against individuals, corporations, and other entities for damages caused to an accident victim due to negligence. It covers a wide range of legal issues including automobile accidents, medical negligence, slip & fall injuries, bike accidents,  pedestrian accidents, wrongful death, and much more.

Personal injury lawyers work on behalf of clients who suffer bodily harm and property damage because of the carelessness or intentional conduct of another person. Filing a lawsuit in the courts may become necessary.

The process of filing a lawsuit is complex and requires a lawyer with legal experience  in handling these types of cases. In this article, we will go over some of the important legal terms with respect to personal injury.

Personal Injury Law

Personal Injury Law is the branch of law that deals with injuries caused by negligence. The American Bar Association defines personal injury law as Personal injury law, also known as tort law, is designed to protect you if you or your property is injured or harmed because of someone else’s act or failure to act. In a successful tort action, the one who caused the injury or harm compensates the one who suffered the losses.

Negligence

Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care.  It’s a legal term that means you have an obligation to act reasonably in your own best interests and those of others, including other drivers on the road. If you fail to do so, then it can be considered negligence.

If someone else causes damage or harm to another person through their negligent actions, they are legally responsible for paying compensation. This could include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.

Reasonable Care

Reasonable care is the standard for conduct that an ordinary person would exercise in similar circumstances. The law does not require a defendant to take extraordinary measures, but rather requires only reasonable and ordinary efforts under all of the surrounding facts and conditions. For example, reasonable care may require using headlights during the day or at dusk when visibility is poor. Reasonable care also requires that speed limits be observed and means must be taken to avoid accidents.                    

Duty of Care                                                                         

Duty of Care is the responsibility owed by each individual to every other individual.  Duty of care refers to the level of caution required of a party based on his/her relationship with others involved. There must be a standard of behavior expected from every participant in the situation. As such, certain responsibilities arise when a duty of care is present. These duties vary depending upon the nature of the activity.

For example, a driver has a duty of care to other drivers on the road, pedestrians and bicyclists.The driver is supposed to reduce their speed and drive in a manner that is safe for everyone on the road.

Breach of Duty of Care

Breach of duty of care is any negligent act that injures another person and could have been prevented with reasonable care. That includes any behavior in which one knowingly disregards the safety and lives of others. For example, failing to maintain control with regard to speed near pedestrians or other cars. A driver has a duty of care to other drivers on the road, pedestrians and bicyclists. The driver is supposed to reduce their speed and drive in a manner that is safe for everyone on the road.

Proximate Cause

Proximate cause is a legal principle which holds one party responsible for the damages of another party. This means that if the defendant is even remotely linked to causing the plaintiff’s personal injury, they can be held liable for those damages. 6. Contributory negligence occurs when there was some fault on behalf of the victim and this contributed towards the injuries sustained. It happens where the victim fails to follow proper standards of behavior and takes actions that increase their risk of being hurt. Examples of this might be walking into traffic without looking, getting hit by a car while crossing against a red light or riding a bicycle out of a crosswalk.

Contributory Negligence

Contributory negligence is a type of fault in which a person’s actions contribute to his or her own injury. Maryland is one of only four states that use this law. In Maryland contributory negligence is a defense used by insurance companies for personal injury lawsuits. What this means is if the insurance company can prove that any negligence on the part of the injured party contributed to their injuries, that person cannot collect any award for personal injury damages.

For example, if a car accident case is brought to court in which the plaintiff alleges that the defendant’s negligent actions caused him injury and it can be proved that the plaintiff was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, even though he was required and expected by Maryland law to do so, the plaintiff will not be able to recover damages for personal injury.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations in Maryland for filing a personal injury case is three years from the date of the accident. A personal injury lawyer will provide personal assistance in filing a personal injury claim and can act on your behalf as soon as possible.

Damages

Damages are compensation for harm done. In a personal injury case, damages are awarded for injuries suffered by the victim/plaintiff. Damages may be awarded for past, present, or future losses. Past losses include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Present losses include physical pain, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. Future losses include any permanent disability that will result from the injury.

How are Damages awarded

Damages are awarded either by a jury or from a personal injury settlement. The personal injury claim may be decided by a judge in a bench trial, or by a jury of six citizens chosen at random from the community where the personal injury action occurred.

In most cases, your personal injury lawyer will be successful at getting you a fair settlement. Your attorney will demonstrate that your injuries resulted in damages based on proving negligence with medical records, accident reports, witness testimonials and other such evidence.

Personal injury lawyers get paid on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee agreement is an arrangement between a lawyer and his or her client in which the lawyer agrees to represent the client for a fixed percentage of the amount recovered through settlement or trial judgement.

How can a Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer Help

Personal injury lawyers work on behalf of clients who suffer injuries due to the carelessness or intentional conduct of another person. Filing a lawsuit in court may become necessary and it is imperative that you hire an attorney with the legal experience to be able to take your case to trial, if necessary.. Personal injury law is not an area that can be handled without expertise and professional assistance. The Law Office of John J. Leppler will provide personal assistance in filing a personal injury claim and can act on your behalf as soon as possible to help you recover damages for your injuries.

Call John at (443) 955-1989 for a FREE consultation to discuss your situation.  If you choose to work with John, he will fight the insurance company hard and refuse to accept a low-ball settlement. His commitment is to help you get the compensation you deserve! Contact us today so we can get started helping you!