Personal Injury FAQs
Do you have questions about filing a personal injury claim? Have you or someone you love and care about been hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence? We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers below that help you better understand necessary components of personal injury cases in Maryland.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Case Take?
If you, or a loved one, have been hurt or injured by the direct actions of someone else, then you can file a personal injury claim against that person. How long it takes to win your case from the moment after filing the claim depends on the experience of your lawyer and the circumstances surrounding the accident. At the Law Offices of Otway Russo, we are committed to helping our clients spend as little time as possible between filing a claim and getting compensated.
What Goes into a Personal Injury Case?
Most Maryland personal injury cases involve a lengthy process that could be further aggravated and dragged on endlessly if an incompetent lawyer is handling the case; for this reason, it is imperative that you ensure only experienced personal injury attorneys handle your case. A brief overview of a Personal Injury case involves meeting with your lawyer, filing the lawsuit and gathering evidence, entering the discovery phase, undergoing a few pre-trial resolutions and (most often) reaching a settlement. If you’re unhappy with the settlement, then the case can be brought to trial, where you will receive monetary payment when the case is won or an appeal if it is not. One of the key factors necessary to win a personal injury lawsuit is to prove that the other party caused the accident that resulted in your injuries due to negligence.
What is Negligence?
Negligence is defined as when a person does not practice a reasonable amount of care for the safety of others. When someone gets hurt or killed as a result of negligent behavior, then the at-fault party will be held liable; as mentioned above, proving negligence is the key to filing a successful personal injury case.
How Much Will I Be Compensated?
The amount of money you are compensated will be based on several factors. As mentioned above, the first step is establishing the negligence of the other party that resulted in the accident that caused your injuries. The amount of money you receive as compensation depends on:
- Lost wages;
- Medical expenses;
- Estimated future wage loss;
- Estimated future medical bills;
- Emotional and physical pain; and,
- Trauma sustained.
What is a Contingency Fee?
Usually, a personal injury case is taken on a contingency basis, meaning your lawyer will be paid a small percentage of your settlement; simply put, a contingency fee means you will only pay your lawyer if there is a settlement with the insurance company, or from the court if the case goes to trial. The percentage that will be charged as a contingency fee depends on whether the insurance company settles or not. If they do not, then the case will have to go to trial. Bear in mind that the attorneys will foot all expenses associated with building the case to either seek compensation or win the case in court on your behalf.
Do I Need To File A Lawsuit Before Collecting Compensation For My Personal Injury?
In most cases, no. Under most circumstances, as long as there is a police report and witness testimonies to clearly show that you are the victim of the at-fault party’s negligence, the defendant’s insurance company will most likely accept responsibility (called liability); from that point forward, the only negotiation between your lawyers and the insurance company that will occur is the amount they will pay for your damages and your medical expenses, also known as compensation.
What Are The Expenses Associated With A Personal Injury Case?
As mentioned earlier, most attorneys in Maryland take on cases based on a contingency basis, so most of the expenses associated with the case are paid for by the attorneys themselves. Common expenses associated with a personal injury case include:
- Obtaining medical records;
- Court filing fees;
- Depositions; and,
- Expert witnesses.
What Does “Contributory Negligence” Mean, And How Does It Affect My Personal Injury Case?
The state of Maryland is one of five that practices contributory negligence instead of comparative negligence when deciding who the “at-fault” party is in a personal injury case. Comparative negligence means that if both parties were found responsible for the accident, the amount of compensation the victim will receive will be determined by the percentage of fault accorded to the victim. Under contributory negligence, however, if the victim is found to have failed exercising “reasonable degree of care and caution” in any way, this may serve as a bar to recovering any form of compensation. Our lawyers at Otway Russo will, however, make sure your personal injury case is rock solid so that you are able to be compensated for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation and to discuss your legal options.
What Am I Expected To Do In A Personal Injury Case?
The most important action you could take is to retain the services of a top-notch personal injury lawyer. Discuss your injuries with your lawyer and let them know what damages you intend on claiming. If you get offered a settlement, you will be required to discuss this with your lawyer and decide if you want to take the settlement or move the case to trial. Moving the case to trial can yield more monetary rewards, but could take longer to resolve. Know that if you decide to move to trial, you will be a key part of the litigation process, so if you are shy or do not want to be in the public eye then this should be considered.
The Law Office of Otway Russo have decades of collective experience in resolving complex Maryland personal injury cases. We have successfully represented people who have been injured in car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, and more. Contact us today for a free, no-strings-attached consultation.