Annapolis, Maryland, is a wonderful, relaxing place to live. It is a quiet waterfront retreat, a vibrant city, and a picture-perfect capital for the great state of Maryland. Yes, all of the advertising copy is true, but Annapolis shares another darker reality with just about any population center of its size.
Bad things happen here, too–car accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, pedestrian accidents–you name it, it happens here. Never fear because our Annapolis personal injury lawyers have seen it all. There isn’t much that can happen in an accident claim in Annapolis, MD, that we haven’t seen before. We have been fighting insurance companies for clients just like you for more than 40 years now.
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How WGK Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You Win Your Annapolis Personal Injury Claim
We pride ourselves on the personalized, compassionate service we provide to all of our clients. We work to help you maximize your chances of success and let you continue to provide for your loved ones.
Here are some of the more specific ways our Annapolis personal injury lawyers can help you:
- Analyze and interpret statutes and regulations relevant to your claim to ensure a thorough understanding of the legal framework.
- Collect data from a truck’s ‘black box’ (event data recorder) to establish facts about the accident, such as speed and braking patterns.
- Consult with healthcare professionals to understand the full extent of your injuries and their impact on your lifestyle.
- Explore all potential sources of insurance coverage to maximize your compensation.
- Investigate the scene of the accident.
- Retain expert witnesses to reconstruct the accident and determine fault.
- Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
- Provide emotional support and guidance throughout the process.
- Subpoena cell phone records to prove the at-fault driver was texting while driving (if appropriate).
A skilled personal injury lawyer in Annapolis, MD can help you better understand the details of your claim.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
You have a personal injury claim if you suffer a physical injury that Maryland law holds somebody else responsible for. Typically, that’s because the person who caused the accident committed some form of misconduct, such as negligence.
In some cases, such as a dog bite claim, you can hold the defendant liable even without proving fault.
The most common types of personal injury claims include car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall claims, medical malpractice claims, and product liability claims.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death is what a personal injury claim becomes when the victim dies from their injuries. Certain close relatives of the deceased victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit for monetary damages.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Maryland?
In most cases, you have three years from the date of an injury to file a personal injury lawsuit for monetary damages. Your claim will probably die if you fail to file a lawsuit or finalize a settlement before this three-year window closes.
What Types of Damages Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Case?
You can claim many different types of damages, both economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
There are also other types of damages you can claim if you qualify for them. Under the right circumstances, you can even win punitive damages.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Personal Injury Claim?
You probably do. A lawyer is not necessary in every case, however. If your claim is of substantial value, you almost certainly need a personal injury lawyer. Even if you would have won your claim anyway, you can win more with the help of a personal injury lawyer.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Case Typically Take?
Each personal injury case varies. In some cases, it only takes a few weeks to resolve a personal injury claim. It can take years in extreme cases, especially if you go to trial. However, some cases can be resolved in months through settlements.
Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?
Your personal injury case will likely not go to trial. The majority of personal injury claims are resolved at the settlement table, with no lawsuit ever filed. Then there is the intermediate variety, where you sue the defendant but resolve your claim before trial. Occasionally, a personal injury claim actually goes to trial.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Annapolis?
It costs nothing upfront. Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means your legal fees equal a pre-agreed percentage of the total amount you win in court or at the settlement table. If you win nothing, then your legal fee is nothing. Since the lawyer doesn’t earn a dime unless they win your case, they won’t agree to take it unless they think they can.
What if I Am Partially at Fault for your Injury?
Maryland, unfortunately, applies a draconian principle to personal injury cases. You lose everything if you are even a little bit at fault. That means if your losses are $5 million and a court rules that the defendant was 99% at fault and you were 1% at fault, you will recover nothing. This system is known as “contributory negligence,” which bars you from recovering if you are partially at fault.
Can I Still Claim Compensation If the Accident Aggravated a Pre-Existing Condition?
Yes. You can claim compensation for the extent to which the accident aggravated your condition. As an evidentiary matter, however, it could be difficult for you to prove that the new accident aggravated your old condition. Suppose you have an old back injury, for example. In that case, the insurance company will almost certainly claim that the new accident did not aggravate it. You will need to provide evidence showing that you are not trying to collect new compensation to pay for an old injury.
How Do Insurance Companies Calculate Pain and Suffering?
An insurance company might use a software program called “Colossus” to calculate your pain and suffering damages. The estimate that Colossus will deliver is inevitably far too low. Treat a Colossus-assisted offer as a lowball offer and as a starting point for negotiations. Many lawyer-assisted pain and suffering awards amount to 150% to 500% of medical expenses.
What Is the Difference Between a Settlement and a Verdict?
A settlement takes place out of court, and a verdict is issued by a jury in court. Settlements are much easier and quicker to reach than verdicts. If you want punitive damages, however, you’ll probably need to insist on a trial and a verdict. Few defendants will agree to pay punitive damages.
What Happens If the Person Responsible for Your Injury Does Not Have Insurance?
There are several possible ways to handle such an uninsured party, including the following:
- Sue the defendant in their individual capacity
- File a claim against your uninsured motorist insurance if you have any (car accidents)
- File a claim against the defendant’s employer (a possibility if the defendant was on duty at the time of the accident)
- Find another defendant who is responsible for your injuries (the manufacturer of a defective product, for example)
Lack of insurance is a tricky situation that likely requires the assistance of a lawyer.
Can I Claim for Future Medical Expenses?
Yes you can, if you can reasonably expect such expenses to arise. Because these expenses have not yet arisen, however, they can be difficult to prove, especially without the assistance of a lawyer.
Contact an Annapolis Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Believe it or not, justice isn’t for sale here at WGK Personal Injury Lawyers. Instead, our legal fee amounts to a pre-agreed percentage of whatever amount we manage to win for you. That means our interests are aligned—we only receive compensation if you do.
That means you do not have to pay a dime up front to retain us. Instead, our legal fees come out of your winnings.
Our team is here for you after an accident in Annapolis, MD. Contact us online to schedule an appointment with an Annapolis personal injury lawyer today.