Were you recently injured in an accident in Columbia, MD, due to another person’s negligence or wrongful conduct? If you were, you may be dealing with injuries, medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and more. Fortunately, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries from the responsible party.
An experienced Columbia personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the personal injury process and fight for the compensation you deserve. Our dedicated Columbia personal injury attorney will handle your case so you can focus on your recovery and what matters most to you.
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How WGK Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Personal Injury Accident in Columbia
WGK Personal Injury Lawyers consists of three generations of Columbia personal injury lawyers. Our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience practicing personal injury law. We have the expertise you deserve to recover compensation for all of your accident-related injuries and losses. To date, we’ve recovered tens of millions of dollars for our injured clients.
When you hire one of our highly-skilled Columbia personal injury lawyers, we’ll manage your case from start to finish, so you don’t have to.
We’ll take the following specific steps in your Columbia, MD personal injury case:
- Investigate the accident
- Identify at-fault parties
- Gather evidence to support your claims
- Assess the extent of your damages
- Explain your legal options and develop a case strategy
- Contact the insurance providers on your behalf to negotiate a settlement
- Vigorously represent you in court, if necessary.
Learn more about how WGK Personal Injury Lawyers can help you by contacting our office today. Your first consultation with us is free of charge.
How Common Are Accidents in Columbia, MD?
Many personal injury accidents occur each year and go unreported or are resolved through confidential settlements. However, traffic-related accidents are an exception to this, because detailed records of traffic incidents are often kept.
In 2022, there were 108,365 car accidents in Maryland. Of those, 532 crashes involved fatalities, in which a total of 564 people died. Further, 28,015 crashes caused injuries alone, and a total of 40,707 people were injured. The remaining 79,818 crashes caused only property damage.
What Is My Columbia Personal Injury Case Worth?
It’s impossible to pinpoint what your personal injury case is worth without poring over the specific details of your case.
Several factors will influence what your case may be worth, including:
- The extent of the injuries
- The amount of property damage
- The amount of missed wages if you could not work after the accident
- Whether you were partially at fault in the accident
- The extent of non-economic injuries in the case, such as pain and suffering
- The insurance policy limits
Clearly, there’s no simple formula for calculating the value of a personal injury case. However, your personal injury lawyer will discuss the amount of damages you may be entitled to after reviewing your case.
What Kind of Damages Are Available to Personal Injury Victims
Compensatory damages are the primary remedy available to personal injury victims in Maryland. Their purpose is to compensate victims for their injuries and losses. Compensatory damages can be divided into two main categories: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages, as the name suggests, relate to the financial consequences of an accident or injury. You also may hear them referred to as special damages or tangible damages.
Economic damages include:
- Past and future medical costs
- Vehicle repairs
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Economic damages are fairly straightforward to calculate. They can usually be supported by invoices, receipts, and other forms of documentation. However, the opposing party is still likely to challenge your calculation of economic damages.
Non-economic damages, in contrast, relate to the emotional, psychological, or otherwise intangible consequences of an accident or injury. Thus, they are sometimes called intangible damages or general damages.
Economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of companionship or loss of consortium by a loved one
- Diminished quality of life
It’s harder to calculate non-economic damages as placing a price tag on things like one’s emotional suffering is difficult. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be especially helpful if you have non-economic damages in your case.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Columbia?
When you’re dealing with medical bills, property damage, and other unexpected costs, paying an attorney is the last thing you want to consider. Fortunately, most personal injury lawyers work for a contingency fee. A contingency fee is collected at the end of the case as a percentage of the client’s ultimate recovery.
This means you don’t have to pay attorney’s fees upfront. It also means that the attorney doesn’t get paid unless you do.
Can I Recover Compensation if I’m Being Blamed for an Accident in Maryland?
Maryland is one of the few states that adheres to the doctrine of contributory negligence. Under this doctrine, an injured party cannot collect any compensation for their injuries if they share any fault for the accident or injury. So, even if you were 1% at fault in the accident, you will not be able to collect any compensation for your injuries.
Because Maryland follows the strict contributory negligence doctrine, you must minimize the risk of being deemed partially at fault after an accident. Insurance company representatives will point to any statement you make that could indicate you were partly at fault. Consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer early on in your case. Your attorney can contact the insurance providers and try to shield you from being found contributorily negligent.
How Do I Prove Negligence After an Accident in Columbia, MD?
Most personal injury cases are based on negligence. This means that you must prove the at-fault party was negligent and that this negligence caused your injuries. Essentially, negligence means failing to exercise reasonable care and caution under the circumstances.
To prove negligence, you must establish the following four elements:
The Defendant Owed You a Duty of Care
A duty of care is a legal obligation one owes toward others. The default duty of care is to act the way a reasonably prudent person would under the same circumstances.
The Defendant Breached the Duty of Care
Often, this requires proving that the defendant failed to act reasonably under the circumstances.
You Suffered Damages
You must show that you suffered injuries and losses in the accident.
The defendant’s conduct must be the factual cause and legal cause of your injuries or losses. The “factual cause” means that your injuries would not have occurred without the defendant’s conduct. The “legal cause” means that your injuries were a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s conduct, such that they should be held legally responsible for them.
To succeed in your negligence claim, you must prove each of these elements by a preponderance of the evidence.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After an Accident in Maryland?
In Maryland, you have three years from the date of an accident or injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time limit on filing your case is called the statute of limitations. If your case isn’t filed on time, you won’t be able to bring a lawsuit seeking compensation for your damages.
Many personal injury cases settle before a lawsuit is filed or before it goes to trial. However, having the ability to file a lawsuit is an essential strategic tool. It’s important to understand the deadline for filing your case.
Contact Our Columbia Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation
If you were injured recently in a personal injury accident in Columbia, Maryland, don’t become overwhelmed. Our Columbia personal injury attorneys are here to help you navigate the complexities of the personal injury claim process. WGK Personal Injury Lawyers will work to help you recover compensation for all of your injuries and losses. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.