FAQ

Personal Injury

Q
What is negligence?
ATo have a viable personal injury claim, the victim must have been injured from the negligence of another individual or entity. Negligence occurs when an individual fails to exercise a reasonable standard of care for the safety of others. If a person fails to act as a reasonable person would, he or she may be liable for any resulting damages.

Q
What does it mean to “file suit,” and why do we do it?
A

The act of filing legal papers at the courthouse is called filing suit. The client gives the authorization to file suit after all other options have been exhausted during pre-suit. When a case is filed with the court, it does not necessarily mean you will be accompanying your lawyer to court. Most cases are able to be resolved before trials begin, but some still reach the courtroom.

Q
How long will my personal injury lawsuit take?
A

It is difficult to determine how long it will take to resolve a personal injury lawsuit. Each case is unique; therefore, no general timetable can be established. A personal injury lawsuit may settle in a few months without the need for a trial, while others can take years to complete.

Auto Accident

Q
Can I recover damages from my auto accident?
AYes. Accident victims are often entitled to compensation for physical injuries, property damage, psychological injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Q
If an insurance agency contacts me, should I settle my claim?
ANo. Never sign or agree to anything that you do not understand. Often times, insurance agencies arrive at the scene of the accident in attempt to settle as quickly as possible. It is prudent to speak  with an experienced auto accident attorney before settling any claim.

Q
When should I contact a lawyer regarding my accident?
AIf you have been injured in a vehicle accident, it is important that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Insurance companies will attempt to settle your claim; while an experienced auto accident lawyer can help you make an educated decision. By contacting an attorney after your accident, the accident is still fresh in your memory which can assist in building a stronger case against the negligent driver.

Workers’ Compensation

Q
Does it matter what type of injury I suffered?
ASince Workers’ Compensation cases are subject to statutory interpretation, it may matter what type of injury you suffered. Each case is unique and should be discussed in light of what is covered under the workers compensation statute. You must have a compensable injury. Most statutes require that you have an accidental personal injury or occupational disease arising out of and in the course of your employment.

An accidental injury is an event that usually involves trauma such as a fall, car accident, or other type of accident. As long as the injury is found to be related to work activity, the claim is generally compensable.

An occupational disease is a condition which is shown by medical evidence to be related to the workplace and type of work performed.

Q
Who pays for these benefits and how is the value of my claim determined?
AYour employer has either contracted for workers compensation insurance or is self insured. The insurance company will pay for all benefits. You should have a workers’ compensation lawyer handle your claim who is also familiar with the practices and procedures of the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission.

The value of the claim depends on the nature and extent of the injuries involved, need for surgery, amount of medical bills, length of treatment, need for future treatment, lost wages past and future, non-economic loss such as pain and suffering, inconvenience, and disfigurement. The degree of permanency is a factor in any award. Each case will have a different value depending upon an evaluation of the aforementioned factors.

Q
Should I cooperate with the insurance company and how long do cases typically take to resolve?
AAs with most personal injury cases, it is advisable to cooperate with the insurance company through the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. You should not give a recorded statement without the advice of a workers’ compensation attorney. All correspondence with the insurance company should be made through your workers compensation attorney.

Once you have a completed treatment, we will try to resolve your case with the insurance company. The length of your treatment will depend upon the severity of your injury, your age and physical condition and how you respond to treatment. Your case cannot be resolved until after your treatment has concluded.

Premises Liability

Q
What is premises liability?
APremises liability is the part of the law that deals with injuries you suffer because of a defect in someone else’s property. It’s a broad category that can include slip and fall injuries, dog bites, fire loss or even getting food poisoning at a restaurant through the negligence of the owner or operator.

Q
What kinds of accidents or injuries fall under premises liability?
APremises liability cases encompass a number of different types of accidents or injuries. The classic examples are slip and fall accidents, such as when you slip or trip in a large pothole in a dark parking lot and suffer serious injury. Premises liability also covers incidents such as dog bites, porch or deck collapses, elevator and escalator accidents, swimming pool accidents, amusement park accidents, stadium accidents, stairway accidents, or gym and fitness center accidents. Premises liability law also applies when you’re the victim of a violent crime on someone’s premises because of negligent security.

Q
Who is responsible when I slip and fall on someone’s property?
AMost often the person or company that owns the property will be the responsible party. But sometimes a property may be leased to someone else who agrees to maintain the property, or the premises may be managed by a person or company who takes on responsibility. It may be some combination of parties that are responsible for your injuries. An experienced premises liability lawyer can help determine who is responsible and negotiate for a fair settlement of your claim.

Medical Malpractice

Q
What is medical malpractice?
AMedical malpractice or professional negligence is the failure of a doctor, hospital, nurse, technician, pharmacist or other health care provider to uphold good and accepted medical techniques or principles. In other words, they provided substandard care.

Q
Why is a doctor not automatically responsible for my damages when a surgery or medical procedure does not go well?
ATo prevail in a medical malpractice action, the injured person must prove that the doctor or other healthcare provider was negligent. A poor outcome or surgical complication does not necessarily mean that the doctor was negligent. To prove negligence, a plaintiff must prove the medical professional’s performance did not meet the minimum standards accepted by the medical community.

Q
How will I pay for your time and expenses? What expenses are involved?
AMost malpractice cases are handled on a contingency fee agreement. Our firm receives a percentage of the financial recovery made by the client as a result of the prosecution of the case. We generally do not expect the client to pay any of the expenses of developing the case until a recovery is made. Expenses are reimbursed from the settlement.

Wrongful Death

Q
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
AA wrongful death claim exists when a person dies due to the legal fault of another person. Wrongful death claims involve all types of fatal accidents from simple car accidents to complicated medical malpractice or product liability cases. Persons, companies, and governmental agencies can be legally at fault for acting negligently (failing to act as a reasonable person would have acted) and for acting intentionally.

Q
Who May Sue for Wrongful Death?
AA wrongful death claim must be filed by a representative on behalf of the survivors who suffer damage from the decedent’s death. These people might include immediate family members like spouses and children (including adopted children) and parents of unmarried children.

Q
Types of Damages?
AIn general, the types of damages that may be available to the survivors in a wrongful death lawsuit are economic and non-economic.

Economic damages include the value of the financial contributions the victim would have made to the survivors if he or she didn’t die, and include medical and funeral expenses connected to the death as well as the loss of the victim’s expected earnings. Non-economic damages include damages for the survivors’ mental anguish or pain and suffering, loss of the care and protection from the deceased, loss of love, society, and companionship from the deceased, and loss of consortium from a deceased spouse.