Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers in Maryland Protecting Your Rights
A premier personal injury law firm serving clients in Baltimore, Howard County and throughout Maryland
A car accident. A work-related illness. An act of medical negligence. In the blink of an eye, a single event like one of these can leave you with a serious bodily injury. Aside from your pain and suffering, you may find yourself worrying about your lost time at work, or the damage to your vehicle, or the number of medical bills that keep coming to your door.
At Plaxen & Adler, P.A., our Maryland personal injury attorneys fight for justice on behalf of clients whose lives were changed by a serious injury. For more than 30 years, we have upheld the rights of negligence victims throughout the state, taking on the types of complex cases other firms may not feel equipped to handle. Our willingness to take cases to trial often results in insurance companies offering a more just and fair settlement offer right from the beginning; when they do not, we are prepared to fight for our clients’ futures in front of a judge and jury.
Common causes for personal injury claims in Maryland
To obtain a successful verdict in any Maryland personal injury lawsuit, you must be able to prove negligence. This means you must be able to show that the defendant had a duty to exercise a certain amount of care toward you, that the defendant breached that duty, and that you suffered harm because of this breach.
At Plaxen & Adler, P.A., we routinely handle complex claims arising from:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Defective products
- Premises liability
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home neglect
- Wrongful death
Our team of Maryland injury attorneys is committed to seeking justice for the injured and their families. Traumatic brain injuries, vision loss, burn injuries, loss of limb and spinal cord damage: these are the types of injuries our clients sustain through no fault of their own. A catastrophic injury such as this could require full-time caretaking, a lifetime of medications and therapies, and adaptive technologies. We work with your doctors, document all evidence of your injuries, speak with witnesses and bring in accident reconstructionists to help bolster your claim for compensation, so that you can focus on healing. If you were hurt at work or now require Social Security Disability, we can help you with those claims, too.
How long do you have to file a personal injury claim in Maryland?
The amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim – called the statute of limitations – depends on what kind of claim you are filing. Generally speaking, under §5–101 of the Code of Maryland, “A civil action at law shall be filed within three years from the date it accrues unless another provision of the Code provides a different period of time within which an action shall be commenced.”
Personal injury claims, product liability claims, uninsured motorist claims, property damage claims and wrongful death actions must be filed within three years of the date that you were injured or from the date that you knew or should have known that you were injured. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. For example, a wrongful death claim may end up taking more than three years to file, because a victim’s death may occur more than three years from when the original act of negligence happened. Medical malpractice victims may also have up to 5 years to file a claim, depending on the circumstances.
Conversely, there are times when you may have less time to file a claim. Maryland only gives you one year to file a PIP claim, and you can only seek damages for any expenses incurred within three years of the incident.
Accepting a settlement vs. going to trial
One of the questions we hear the most from clients is, “Do I have to take my personal injury case to trial?” The answer varies from case to case. We have earned a reputation with our peers, the judiciary and with national insurance companies and local hospitals for aggressive advocacy on behalf of our clients. We prepare every case for a trial, because you never know if it will be necessary. This preparedness and determination to see our clients through to the end often results in the insurance company offering our clients a better settlement offer right from the start. If you feel the amount you have been offered is fair and just, then you can avoid a trial altogether.
In some cases, however, a trial may be necessary in order to recover damages. When your claim has been denied, or you have been offered an unfair settlement amount, then we are prepared to file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.
Know the insurance company is not on your side
The goal of every insurance company is to make profits for its shareholders. This means that an insurance company will do everything it can to deny or delay payments to you. An insurance claim adjuster will try to get you to admit fault, lessen the extent of your injuries, and employ other tactics so you do not get the personal injury compensation you deserve.
The first few steps you take after an accident can make or break your insurance claim. Do not accept a quick personal injury settlement offer, and do not give an insurance company any excuse to deny you coverage. Speak to an attorney before you make a statement to an insurance company.
What damages am I entitled to?
It’s really quite simple. You are entitled to economic damages, as well as noneconomic damages. Economic damages are things that can be measured in terms of money. It would be your lost wages as a result of the accident. It would be your medical bills as a result of the accident. It would be your prescription receipts. Anything that you can measure in dollars, we can get you reimbursed for.
And then we also negotiate what’s called noneconomic damages, which is commonly called your pain and suffering. We get you compensated for pain, suffering, aggravation, inconvenience, and those are the elements of your total settlement.
Having limited my practice for almost 40 years to personal injury cases, at Plaxen and Adler, we know best how to negotiate your case.
Types of damages available in injury cases
Compensatory damages “provide a plaintiff with the monetary amount necessary to replace what was lost, and nothing more.” They fall into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages in personal injury cases can be quantified, such as medical bills or lost wages. Non-economic damages, such as loss of companionship and pain and suffering, cannot be quantified as easily as economic damages, but depending on the case may be the more significant loss. Typically, compensatory damages in personal injury claims include:
- Medical bills. Current and future medical expenses arising from the injuries suffered in the accident, including: the cost of medications, rehabilitation and therapy, surgical procedures, doctor visits and hospital costs.
- Lost wages. You may be entitled to collect compensation for the salary or wages you could not collect while you were injured. This could also include any loss of future earnings and diminished earning capacity due to the injury.
- Funeral costs. These only apply in wrongful death cases, but if your family member dies as a result of an accident, you may be entitled to collect compensation to cover the funeral expenses.
- Pain and suffering. Your physical pain and emotional distress may be compensated as well. There is no set amount of compensation you can obtain for your pain and suffering; however, Maryland law does place a cap on how much money you can recover for your pain and suffering. As of October 1, 2015, an individual personal injury claimant is entitled to no more than $815,000 in damages for pain and suffering, though the amount will increase in cases of wrongful death and when more than one claimant is named to a suit.
- Loss of companionship/ consortium. This compensation is for the spouse of the injured party when the nature of their injury changes the nature of their relationship and renders the injured party incapable of physical intimacy or has other negative effects on the relationship. It is possible for both the injured party and his or her spouse to claim loss of consortium in two separate lawsuits.
Statute of limitations for Maryland personal injury claims
Maryland has a three-year statute of limitations, but we have to be careful for accidents where Maryland drivers are injured in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, because states around us have a two-year statute of limitations. However, we recommend that you never even get close to the statute of limitations, and let us get involved in your case as early as possible, so we can investigate your case, we can preserve the evidence, we can make sure you get the proper medical attention, we make sure your car is fixed properly, and we do all the things that are so important to put you at ease at the beginning of your case.
Schedule your free consultation with an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney
Dealing with the effects of a serious injury is hard; choosing the right attorney to represent your best interests shouldn’t be. Plaxen & Adler, P.A. has fought for justice for injury victims throughout Maryland for more than 30 years. With offices in Columbia, Baltimore, and throughout the state, we are able and ready to clients throughout the region. To find out more about our services, or to schedule your free consultation with a Maryland personal injury lawyer, please call 410.988.4449, or fill out our contact form.