Hagerstown Personal Injury Lawyer

Whenever someone acts irresponsibly enough to cause physical injury to another person, that first person’s misconduct may give the latter party grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit and demand civil compensation. However, the legal concepts, rules, and restrictions that play into these sorts of cases can be confusing and difficult to work through during the actual litigation process, especially if you have little or no previous experience inside a civil courtroom.

Fortunately, you could boost your case’s chances of a favorable resolution significantly by retaining a knowledgeable Hagerstown personal injury lawyer. In addition to explaining the legal principles at work during the process of civil litigation, your dedicated attorney could also work tenaciously on your behalf to maximize the compensation available to you and mitigate the various legal obstacles that could impede your pursuit of fair recovery.

The Basic Elements of Civil Litigation

With a few exceptions for claims stemming from unique types of accidents, the vast majority of personal injury claims revolve around something called “negligence,” a legal concept that allows people to be held financially responsible for harm they did not intentionally cause. There are four parts to the legal definition of “negligence” as it pertains to personal injury litigation, all of which must be demonstrably present based on a “preponderance of the evidence” for a civil case to end in favor of the plaintiff.

First, the defendant that an injured plaintiff names in their claim must have had some kind of “duty”—explicit or implicit—to act reasonably and safely within a given set of circumstances. For example, motor vehicle drivers have a duty to follow traffic laws and stay aware of other cars, while store owners generally must inspect their property for hazards and remedy those they find. Next, the defendant must “breach” their responsibility by acting recklessly or carelessly in some way.

Third, the defendant’s irresponsible conduct must have been the direct cause of a physical injury to the plaintiff requiring medical care beyond basic first aid—in other words, treatment by a medical professional. Finally, the plaintiff must show that the “compensable losses” for which they are demanding compensation stemmed directly and solely from the accident in question. A Hagerstown personal injury attorney could provide irreplaceable help proving all these elements of negligence during settlement negotiations or civil court proceedings.

Deadlines for Filing Personal Injury Claims

There are a number of legal roadblocks that could trip up plaintiffs attempting to file personal injury claims without legal representation, including caps on recoverable damages and court precedent that prohibits plaintiffs from recovering any compensation if they are at all to blame for causing or contributing to their own injuries. Perhaps most importantly, though, a time limit applies to all forms of personal injury litigation thanks to a section of state law called the “statute of limitations.”

According to Maryland Code, Courts & Judicial Proceedings §5-101, accident victims usually have no more than three years after discovering they were hurt due to another party’s negligence in which to file a civil claim, or their case may be permanently time-barred. Once again, seeking assistance from a personal injury lawyer in Hagerstown may be crucial to filing a strong and comprehensive case in a timely fashion.

Consider Working with a Hagerstown Personal Injury Attorney

Given the uncommonly restrictive rules for civil litigation in Maryland, getting a positive result from any type of personal injury claim here can be a tremendously difficult task to accomplish. Even if you believe you have strong evidence of someone else’s fault for your injuries, you may struggle immensely to prove liability and effectively seek compensation on your own.

If you want a fair shot at the restitution you deserve following a serious accident, your top priority should be speaking with a Hagerstown personal injury lawyer. Call today to schedule a meeting.