Washington, DC and Maryland Personal Injury Practice Areas
In Maryland, Washington, DC and across the nation, people are seriously injured every day. In some cases, you are injured in what people often refer to as an accident. While it is true that accidents happen all the time, if the accident is due to the fault of someone else, it is known as negligence, and negligence is the basis for most personal injury lawsuits in Maryland and Washington, DC.
Accident vs Fault in Washington, DC and Maryland Personal Injury Lawsuits
A common type of personal case in Washington, DC involves a car accident. Again, the term accident is commonly used, but the “accident” is typically someone’s fault. In the case of a car accident, a rear-end collision involves one driver crashing into the back of another driver. It is almost always the fault of the driver who collided with the vehicle in front of them so this would likely be considered negligence.
What is negligence in Maryland and Washington, DC?
Whether the accident occurred in Rockville or SW DC, the four elements in a negligence case are as follows:
Duty: this involves a duty of due care towards others. On the basic level, you have to act in a way that will not endanger others. In the case of a car accident, this at minimum involves following all the rules of the road.
Breach: a breach of one’s duty of due care involves acting in a such a way that is harmful to others. In terms of a car accident, if you commit a DC moving violation, for example, and that violation causes you to crash into another driver, you are likely going to be found in breach of your duty of due care.
Causation: The next element involves whether a breach of an already established duty of due care caused the injury. For example, if someone is violating a Maryland motor vehicle law by driving with an expired registration and is involved in a car accident, that violation would not generally be found to have caused the accident.
Damages: While it is often hard to calculate how you were harmed in a personal injury case in terms of monetary loss, there are ways an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer can make such a determination. The first thing to do is calculate actual bills such as the ambulance ride to the hospital, lost wages for time away from work, other medical bills, and the cost of physical therapy if needed. These specific types of damages are called “specials” by those who regularly handle personal injury cases. Then there are damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and many other types of loss that you may have suffered in a personal injury case.
In legal terms, negligence is a type of “tort” and the person who commits the tort is referred to as a “torfeasor.” The goal of our civil legal system is to place victims in the same position they had been in if they were never involved in the accident. This can include compensation for pain and suffering and specials as well as other types of damages. The goal is generally not to punish the torfeasor, but in some cases, where the conduct was extremely egregious to the point where it was reckless conduct that showed an extreme indifference to the safety of others punitive damages may be appropriate, though that is something you can discuss with your experienced Maryland personal injury attorney during a free consultation.
While a car accident is a common type of personal injury case, there are many other types of personal injury cases such as the following:
While personal injuries occur all the time, and many lawyers say they represent clients in these types of cases, when you have a free consultation with an attorney, make sure he or she regularly handles these types of cases and can explain the process step by step. By choosing an experienced personal injury lawyer, you will maximize your chances of obtaining the best possible recovery. You should also know that these cases are typically handled on what is known as a contingency fee arrangement. This means that you will not have to pay anything unless you collect either by reaching a fair and appropriate settlement or winning at trial.
Contact the Gross Law Firm, LLC today for a free and confidential consultation.
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