What is Personal Injury?
Involvement in an accident of any sort resulting in serious personal injuries can be life-changing and catastrophic to someone’s financial, physical, and emotional well-being. In the unfortunate event of you experiencing an injury, you should be able to rest and recover without worry for the future.
Unfortunately, many people struggle to balance physical and mental recovery with financial health following an accident. Increased stress as a result of the injury is a common occurrence. This can be due to the fact that medical care and appointments disrupt your life, you are losing income from work, and incurring medical expenses, that may interfere with your ability to pay bills.
For example, in the event that an ambulance needs to be called in response to the injury, many people face serious risks that the ambulance is out of network, and get stuck with the bill. You can’t exactly “shop around” to ensure that your ambulance is in-network in the event of a medical emergency. Healthcare costs in the United States are growing, and people are struggling to stay afloat when injury or sickness occurs.
In the event of a serious personal injury, exorbitant medical bills can quickly overwhelm someone, even after medical insurance covers a portion. Emergency room costs, ambulance transportation, hospital stays, necessary surgery, and extended physical therapy are all examples of high-cost medical expenses that can result from a personal injury following an accident.
In addition to high medical expenses, the serious risk of lost wages from inability to work, lost opportunities (both personal and professional), as well as pain and suffering can all result from personal injuries after an accident. All of these factors can be a lot for someone to handle and tolerate, especially when the injured party should be concentrating on recovery following an accident – not worrying whether they’re going to make rent or their next car payment.
It is important to hire a compassionate and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer from Montgomery County to represent you during any legal battles pertaining to your injury and the accident. You are entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages that occurred as a result of your accident. An experienced personal injury attorney from Montgomery County will help guide you through the process of a personal injury claim and recovering compensation so you can concentrate on personal recovery and rebuilding what was lost from the accident. Read on to learn more about personal injury law and your rights following an accident.
Examples of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury is a legal umbrella term including injuries or damage done to your mind or body as a result of someone else’s negligence or mal-intent. Personal injury cases also include the wrongful death of accident victims.
Establishing negligence is a key factor in determining if an injury has grounds for legal action and filing a claim. Personal injury cases can vary greatly, and injuries can be short-term or long-term, and can be life-changing, requiring years of physical therapy, surgeries, or emotional support.
Below are some examples of what constitutes personal injury cases.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slipping and falling is a leading cause of injuries, even though they are easily preventable. If you are on someone else’s property and slip and fall, the negligent property owners can be held accountable for your injuries. This is called a premises liability case. These can include falls caused by, among other things, ice, spills, and uneven ground.
A slip and fall at a store is an example of a slip and fall case. For example, if an employee recently mopped a floor but did not put out a “wet floor” sign, that would likely be negligent conduct. If a customer slips, falls, and is injured as a result of the fall, the store may be held liable for the customer’s injuries caused by the employee’s negligence.
Car Accidents & Truck Accidents
A car crash can be devastating for everyone involved. Injuries resulting from an auto accident can be severe and catastrophic. Serious injuries such as spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, or broken bones are some of the many painful injuries that can be sustained in a car accident and be life-changing. Motor vehicle accidents aren’t uncommon on roads today, and Maryland is an at-fault state, meaning you are entitled to compensation for your injuries caused by auto accidents caused by another person’s negligence.
Motorcycle accidents can create serious injuries for the rider, such as severe spinal cord damage, brain injuries, road rash, and more. Driver error and negligence such as distracted driving is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents on the road today. Like a car accident victim, injured parties have a right to compensation from an accident caused by a negligent party such as another driver on the road.
Insurance providers will commonly dispute claims and attempt to capitalize on negative rider stereotypes in order to deflect fault away from drivers who cause accidents. Fighting with an insurance company following a motorcycle accident shouldn’t be a burden a victim needs to bear alone.
Family members have the right to compensation if an accident resulted in the death of the victim. Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and funeral expenses are all things that a personal injury attorney will seek compensation for on your behalf following the loss of a loved one.
In addition to holding a wrongdoer accountable for their actions, wrongful death claims can allow certain family members to recover financial compensation for their damages and future needs.
Having a compassionate attorney is vital in your personal well-being following the loss of a loved one.
Nursing Home Abuse & Senior Abuse
Elder abuse is inexcusable. If your loved one has suffered nursing home abuse in Montgomery County, legal action can be sought against the negligent party.
Examples of elder abuse include, but is not limited to:
- Bedsores due to neglect
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Negative changes in hygiene
Elder physical abuse is not just limited to nursing home staff. Abuse can come from an acquaintance, a caregiver, a doctor or nurse, or any other person the patient has contact with. Physical abuse can include many different actions, including hitting or slapping, threats of violence, sexual abuse, or inappropriate use of restraint. An attorney will be one of the best advocates someone has in the event of senior abuse or nursing home negligence.
Medical Malpractice & Medical Negligence
Medical malpractice and medical negligence are grounds for a serious legal claim for injury victims. Medical malpractice is when a medical professional fails to complete his or her duties competently and safely. This can lead to serious long-term repercussions for the victim. Legal help is available for victims of medical malpractice.
Some examples of medical malpractice may include, but is not limited to:
- Diagnostic errors
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
When it comes to seeking medical treatment, patients have every right to believe that their physician and all attending health care providers will uphold a certain standard of care. Physicians have a legal obligation to practice what is in your best interests. Losing this trust in medical professionals can have long-term emotional effects, as well as physical. Medical malpractice claims are important to getting restitution for injuries and emotional turmoil sustained and holding medical professionals accountable for their actions.
Bicycle accidents are on the rise in Maryland. More than 80% of bicycle accidents result in death or injury according to a recent study. Bicycle riders are completely exposed and more prone to serious injury than those riding in a car, who in comparison are protected with airbags and the frame of the vehicle.
1.5% of people killed and 2% of people injured in traffic accidents are bicyclists. It is estimated that one in 20 bicyclists are injured each year. This is a staggering amount. Although some bike accidents are the fault of the cyclist, studies estimate that over 90% are caused by reckless motorists.
Drivers have a legal responsibility to look out for bicyclists and respect their right of way as if they were other motor vehicles, but when they fail to do so a bicyclist is far more likely to be catastrophically injured or killed than another driver or passenger.
Montgomery County Personal Injury
There are a lot of accidents that occur in Montgomery County. Montgomery County has the highest population in all of Maryland. Montgomery County injury victims are not left without options following a serious accident. Victims of preventable accidents have the right to pursue monetary compensation from the at-fault party for their damages, including economic and non-economic losses such as emotional turmoil. However, compensation is never guaranteed – especially when insurance companies work aggressively to dispute or deny your claim, and do everything in their power to limit payouts as much as possible.
Having a personal injury attorney at your side from an established law firm will help you receive the settlement you deserve and hold negligent parties accountable for their actions.
Why You Should Get a Lawyer for Your Personal Injury Case
Every personal injury case is different and unique, but insurance companies function overall the same. In the event that you are injured due to someone else’s negligence or mal-intent, their insurance company may try to settle quickly and cheaply in their own best interests. A dedicated personal injury attorney is knowledgeable in personal injury law and legal concepts and how insurance companies try and take advantage of people not familiar with the process.
Having a personal injury lawyer handle your case will help prevent insurance companies from getting away with settling for less than you deserve from your accident and taking advantage of you. The personal injury case process varies with every claim and can be overwhelming for someone unfamiliar with the legal process. Personal injury lawyers will help guide you through the process so you can concentrate on your recovery while working to get you the maximum compensation you deserve from the accident.
How much will I get for my personal injury case?
Every personal injury case is unique, with many variables to consider when calculating fair settlement amounts for victims. The main goal of personal injury attorneys is to seek and recover fair compensation for your injuries, property damages, emotional distress, and your time. This is called “economic and non-economic damages.” This includes outstanding and predicted medical bills, lost wages, legal fees, and pain & suffering.
Some examples of monetary compensation successfully received for a plaintiff’s injuries by Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C. :
- $15 Million verdict for a woman who was permanently paralyzed from the neck down
- $6 Million for a client who suffered a brain injury in a rear-end accident
- $4.8 Million settlement for a man who was severely injured when his motorcycle struck a trailer being pulled by a minivan
- $4.5 Million for a pedestrian accident victim
- $3 Million settlement obtained by a woman who lost her leg from the knee down as a result of a collision with a utility truck that struck her vehicle head-on
- $1.9 Million verdict for a woman with a permanent back injury from a car collision
- $1 Million for a bicyclist hit by a truck
Sitting down with an attorney to discuss your claim and review all of the evidence will give you a better idea of what you are entitled to from your accident. It is important to save all information regarding your accident such as medical bills and witness testimonies, for this will help with the claim process.
Does my injury qualify as a personal injury claim?
Not every accident can be pursued. The main things personal injury lawyers are looking for with personal injury claims following an accident are:
- If you, as an accident victim suffered physical injuries or emotional damages as a result of the incident
- You received medical treatment as a result of your injuries sustained in the accident
- The accident in question was caused by someone else’s negligence or mal-intent
- The time between the injury and when you are looking to file hasn’t exceeded the statute of limitations for your state
Proving whether or not you have a case can either be the hardest, or the easiest part of your claim. The best thing you can do after an accident (aside from receiving medical treatment) is to begin researching your legal options right away. Accident victims often wait too long after the injury before looking at their legal options and may exceed the statute of limitations. Statute of limitations vary in Montgomery County, Maryland, for different types of actions. Accordingly, you should call a lawyer at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. as soon as possible for a free initial consultation.
Montgomery County personal injury accident victims should also reach out for personal injury representation right away after seeking medical attention in order to begin documenting and building their case. We highly suggest avoiding the “wait and see” mentality and urge victims to think of their own well-being first.
Even if you believe you may be partially at fault, you should call a lawyer for a free initial consultation.
How long does it take to file my personal injury claim?
Often, personal injury claims can be settled outside of court and not need to go to trial. However, every case is different in terms of how long it takes and is highly dependent upon the seriousness of your injury.
Before we begin negotiating with the insurance company we will typically wait until you are done receiving medical treatment. That can be months or years. In cases that settle before a lawsuit, the case can sometimes settle as early as 30-60 days from when we submit it to the insurance company.
However, in the event that a lawsuit needs to be filed, it can take longer, as most Montgomery County personal injury cases can take approximately 1 year, after filing, to get through the court system. However, every case is different.
For example, sometimes insurance companies will settle the case, right after you file the lawsuit, and sometimes they will go to trial. In either situation, we will be by your side, aggressively representing you, until we get full and fair compensation for your injuries.
What is the process to receive compensation for my injury?
Step 1: Consultation
The first step in a personal injury case is to seek legal consultation for your claim with an established law firm. This will help you understand your legal rights by speaking with an attorney about your accident and help you get a better idea of what you are entitled to from the accident.
Step 2: Investigation
Personal injury attorneys will help you investigate your case. This stage includes you and your lawyer searching for evidence to be used in the case. This can include police reports, photos from the accident, medical records, and anything else relevant to the case.
Step 3: Demand
Your legal team will review the personal injury case, as well as all the evidence, and calculate what they believe to be fair compensation for your injuries from the accident. This stage may include a monetary demand by your attorney, which is then followed by negotiations and counteroffers with the other party.
Step 4: Filing
Your legal team will file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf, along with the demand for compensation, if necessary. In this stage, your legal team will also review your medical bills and may help you secure the expert opinion of medical professionals involved in your case, in the possible event that an expert opinion or witness is needed to testify on your behalf.
Step 5: Discovery
The discovery phase is similar to the investigation phase in that both parties are allowed to collect evidence pertaining to the trial. Both sides are informed of any evidence and information that will be used in the trial so neither side is surprised by any information. This allows for both parties to prepare fairly.
Step 6: Negotiation
The negotiation phase includes the back and forth with the defendant or their insurance company in an attempt to reach a fair settlement for your injuries. Offers may be rejected or countered during this phase. An experienced personal injury attorney is especially valuable at this stage, as they will help you gauge what is fair and what isn’t, and help prevent you from accepting a low settlement offer.
Many cases can be settled at this stage and do not need to proceed to trial. If an agreement is reached at this stage, personal injury lawyers will draft up any necessary paperwork to close out the case.
Step 7: Trial
If an agreement isn’t met in the negotiation phase, the case goes to trial. This includes both sides being able to present their case, and bring forward any evidence or witnesses.
Step 8: Verdict
If the case is successful, you will receive a verdict. This is considered to be the final outcome. If you believe that the outcome is unfair, you may appeal the case.
Step 9: Appeal
If you do not agree with the outcome of your case and wish to dispute it, you can request an appeal. There may be some lag time before an appeal process can take place.
It has been a while since my injury – do I still have a case?
In Montgomery County and the state of Maryland, there is a statute of limitations – which is a deadline established by law, within which you must file a lawsuit. You do not need to complete your injury case within this window, simply that you begin the filing process. If you attempt to file an injury claim after the deadline you will likely be barred from pursuing the case. The statute of limitations differs depending on what kind of case it is, so you should call an experienced lawyer for a free consultation, to see if you still have time to file.
Contact Award-Winning Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. for Your Personal Injury Claims in Montgomery County
The law firm of Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has highly regarded personal injury attorneys on our team. If you are looking for a Montgomery County personal injury attorney, do not hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation.
You deserve experienced, and compassionate attorneys to fight for you and have your best interests in mind.
Why Choose Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C.
Sometimes, choosing a law firm to represent you and your case can be a scary process. When you choose Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., you can have confidence knowing that your choice is backed by years of experience, and the evidence of our successes. Our multiple accolades and distinctions are a reflection of our ability to achieve extraordinary results for our clients.
Our law firm works on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning that there are no up-front costs for you and that we only get paid an attorney’s fee if we win your case. If and when we secure the personal injury settlement or verdict you deserve, we take an agreed-upon percentage of the total recovery. Our law firm has been ranked a “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News and World Report for the third consecutive year. Our firm received a Tier 1 ranking in plaintiff personal injury litigation.
We strive to obtain maximum compensation for your injury. We have decades of experience and have recovered over $500 Million for our clients. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to discuss your options.
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