How Personal Injury Attorneys Gather Evidence in Maryland

The Tools Available for Obtaining Factual Support for a Claim

How Personal Injury Attorneys Gather Evidence in MarylandTo successfully recover damages in a Maryland personal injury lawsuit, you must prove your case by a “preponderance of the evidence.” In essence, this means that your lawyer must demonstrate to a jury that your version of the facts is more believable than the defendant’s version. Your attorney will do that with factual evidence. But what tools are available to help your lawyer get the necessary evidence?

The Tools Available through the Court to Gather Evidence in a Personal Injury Claim

There are three specific tools available through the courts to help you assimilate evidence to support your case:

  • Depositions— A deposition is essentially an out-of-court examination of a witness, with a court reporter typically present to preserve all testimony. A party can be compelled to attend a deposition (by use of a subpoena). At the deposition, attorneys for all parties may ask questions. A party may give testimony that will not be admissible at trial. Attorneys will customarily voice an objection and instruct the witness to answer. The court will then hold evidentiary hearings to determine whether evidence will be admissible at trial.
  • Requests for production— A party to litigation may require that another party produce physical evidence for examination. That may include documents, electronic data or physical objects. A party may refuse to produce physical evidence, but must provide a legitimate reason to the court.
  • Interrogatories— The parties may submit a list of factual questions to any other party. The court will typically limit the number of interrogatories. A witness may be compelled to answer interrogatories in writing.

Results-Oriented Maryland Personal Injury Attorney

Maryland Super Lawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of injured people across the state for more than 30 years. A highly respected trial lawyer, Attorney Smith has been named a “Top-Rated Lawyer” by the American Lawyer Magazine, and has long been AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal professionunder Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System (the highest rating possible).The National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization, has identified him among the top 100 attorneys in the state of Maryland.

Smith has also earned the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), as well asa perfect 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Proven Baltimore, Maryland Accident Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you love has suffered any type of loss as the result of a personal injury, we can help. Contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is free. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

The Time Limits for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Maryland

What Is the Statute of Limitations? What Is Its Purpose?

The Time Limits for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in MarylandWhen you have been injured in Maryland in an accident or as a result of someone else’s careless or negligent act, you have a right to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses. You must, however, file your complaint within a limited period of time, as set forth in Maryland’s “statute of limitations.”

What Is the Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitations is a written law, enacted by the Maryland legislature, that sets forth the time period within which a lawsuit must be filed. As a general rule, if a complaint is not filed within those time limitations, the claim will be barred. Though many states require that a personal injury lawsuit be filed within two years of the date of the injury, Maryland allows an injured party three years to commence legal action.

What Is the Purposed of the Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitations seeks to ensure that legal proceedings take place while the memories of all parties are still fresh. It also minimizes the risk that witnesses will die or relocate, or that critical evidence will deteriorate or be destroyed.

For a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit, the statute of limitations prevents a potential claim from hanging over his or head for an unreasonable period of time.

Results-Oriented Maryland Personal Injury Attorney

Maryland SuperLawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has aggressively advocated for injured people across the state for more than three decades. Known and respected by his fellow attorneys for his trial experience, Attorney Smith has been named a “Top-Rated Lawyer” by the American Lawyer Magazine, and has long held an AV-rating under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System (the highest rating possible). The National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization, has identified him among the top 100 attorneys in the state of Maryland.

Smith has also earned the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Proven Baltimore, Maryland Accident Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you love has suffered any type of loss as the result of a personal injury, we can help. Contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is free. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Common Defenses to Personal Injury Claims in Maryland

Ways that Your Personal Injury Lawsuit May Be Challenged

Common Defenses to Personal Injury Claims in MarylandYou’ve been hurt because someone else wasn’t paying attention. The facts may seem pretty straightforward, so you may think your claim will be quickly resolved. There are, however, a number of potential challenges the defendant can raise during the legal process:

  • You contributed to the chain of events that caused the accident or injury—Maryland is one of a few states that still adheres to the legal principle of contributory negligence. In certain circumstances, if the defense can demonstrate that you engaged in actions that contributed to causing the accident, you may be denied any recovery.
  • The injuries you allege were suffered before the accident that is the subject matter of the lawsuit—This is known as a pre-existing injury. You can recover for any aggravation or re-injury, but not for any injury that existed at the time of the accident.
  • You signed a waiver—As a practical matter, waivers are unlikely to be enforced by a court if the language is vague or overbroad, or if the result would be unfair
  • You knew the activity was dangerous—There are some activities that are considered inherently dangerous, such that you will be deemed to have assumed the risk of possible injury
  • You did not file your lawsuit in a timely manner—In Maryland, as in other states, you have a limited time (pursuant to the statute of limitations) to file a claim or it will be barred

Results-Oriented Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer

Maryland Super Lawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of injured people across the state for more than three decades. Recognized by his fellow attorneys for his trial experience, Attorney Smith was named a “Top-Rated Lawyer” by the American Lawyer Magazine, and has long been AV-rated under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System (the highest rating possible).The National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization, has named him among the top 100 attorneys in the state of Maryland.

Smith has also earned the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Aggressive Prince George’s County, Maryland Accident Injury Attorney

If you or someone you love has suffered any type of loss as the result of a personal injury, we can help. Contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is free. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

What You Need Most in a Personal Injury Attorney

What to Look for When Hiring an Accident Lawyer

What You Need Most in a Personal Injury AttorneyWhen you’ve been injured because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you have the right to file a lawsuit to recover full and fair compensation for all your losses. You want the right lawyer, though, to handle your claim—your choice of legal counsel can have a significant impact on the result you get. So what are the most important traits to look for when hiring a personal injury attorney?

Experience is Essential

There’s simply no substitute for experience. You want a lawyer who’s been in practice for a number of years, who has focused his or her practice on personal injury and, ideally, who has handled personal injury claims like yours. If you’ve been hurt because of the carelessness of a medical professional, a commercial truck driver or the manufacturer of a dangerous or defective product, you’ll typically be better served by someone who has successfully handled those types of claims. With medical malpractice, you’ll want someone who knows how to establish the standard of care and who can work easily with medical experts. With commercial truck accidents or product liability claims, you’ll want someone who understands the unique causes and the specialized types of evidence often involved.

Results Matter, Too

When you’re interviewing potential personal injury lawyers, always ask them for examples of how they’ve obtained positive results in the past. You want a lawyer who knows how to get the outcome you want. You also want an attorney who can either negotiate an effective settlement or take your case to trial, if necessary (and who know when to settle or go to trial).

Proven Baltimore County Personal Injury Attorney

Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland SuperLawyer, has successfully represented injured people across the state for more than 30 years. Highly regarded by his fellow attorneys for his trial experience, Attorney Smith was named a “Top-Rated Lawyer” by the American Lawyer Magazine, and has long been AV-rated under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System (the highest rating possible). The National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization, has listed him among the top 100 attorneys in the state of Maryland. Smith has also earned the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Results-Oriented Howard County, Maryland Accident Injury Attorney

If you or someone you love has suffered any type of loss as the result of a personal injury, we can help. Contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is free. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Potential Sources of Recovery after a Maryland Motor Vehicle Accident

Who Can You Bring In as a Defendant?

Potential Sources of Recovery after a Maryland Motor Vehicle AccidentWhen you’ve been hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle accident in Maryland, your first thought is often to take legal action against the other driver, assuming he or she caused the crash. Sometimes, though, the other driver either doesn’t have insurance or has insufficient coverage to meet your needs. There are other potential sources of recovery after a motor vehicle wreck:

  • You may be able to turn to your own insurer, if you have uninsured or underinsured motorists coverage
  • You may be able to bring a lawsuit against the person or establishment providing the alcohol if you were injured by a drunk driver
  • You may have a claim against the designer, manufacturer or marketer of a dangerous or defective product (car part) that contributed to or caused the accident
  • You may have a claim against a municipality if the accident was a result of poor road maintenance

Proven Baltimore Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Lawyer

Maryland SuperLawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of injured people across the state for more than 30 years. Highly respected by his fellow attorneys for his trial advocacy, Smith was named a “Top-Rated Lawyer” by the American Lawyer Magazine, and has long held an AV-rating under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System (the highest ranking possible). The National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization, counts him among the top 100 attorneys in the state of Maryland

Smith has also earned the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Aggressive Carroll County, Maryland Car Wreck Attorney

If you or someone you love has suffered any type of loss as the result of a personal injury, we can help. Contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is free. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Failing to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Maryland

Can You Still Recover Damages after a Crash?

Failing to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in MarylandIn the state of Maryland, you may not operate or be a passenger on a motorcycle on public property or thoroughfares unless you are wearing an approved helmet. What are the consequences if you are injured in a motorcycle accident, but were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash? Can you still file a personal injury claim for your losses?

Failure to Wear a Helmet Does Not Bar Recovery

The fact that you were not wearing an approved helmet at the time of a motorcycle accident will not prevent you from filing a lawsuit or from recovering compensation for any injuries sustained. In fact, the law governing the use of helmets by operators and passengers on motorcycles in Maryland specifically bans any evidence that an injured person was not wearing a helmet to prove negligence, contributory negligence or to reduce a potential damage award. That being said, while wearing a helmet won’t prevent an accident, it can minimize your pain and suffering when you are in a crash.

Proven Ellicott City Personal Injury Lawyer

Maryland SuperLawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has aggressively represented injured people across the state for more than three decades. Highly respected by his colleagues in the legal community for his trial experience, Attorney Smith was named a “Top-Rated Lawyer” by the American Lawyer Magazine, and has long been AV-rated under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. The National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization, counts him among the top 100 attorneys in the state of Maryland.

Smith has also earned the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Effective Montgomery County, Maryland Accident Injury Attorney

If you or someone you love has suffered any type of loss as the result of a personal injury, we can help. Contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is free. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

The “Seatbelt Defense” in Maryland Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

Can An Insurer Refuse to Pay If You Weren’t Wearing a Seatbelt?

Woman fastens a seat belt. Safe driving conceptUnder Maryland law, all passengers in a motor vehicle in motion on public property must wear a seatbelt. What is the impact, then, on your right to recover compensation for an injury if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident while not buckled in? With Maryland’s strict “contributory negligence” approach, will you be banned from recovering damages for your injuries?

Maryland Rejects the Seatbelt Defense

Though Maryland is one of only three states that still follow the principle of contributory negligence, where any carelessness or negligence by an injured party serves as a bar to recovery, Maryland has held that insurance companies may not refuse to pay an insurance claim because the injured party was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of an accident. This is based on findings that whether or not an injured party is wearing a seatbelt has nothing to do with what actually caused the accident. Under the Maryland statute governing liability in motor vehicle accidents where an injured party was not wearing a seatbelt, a defendant may not introduce evidence of such a failure in order to show contributory negligence or to reduce damages. In fact, the parties may not make any reference to seatbelts at trial unless the design, installation, manufacture, supply or repair of the seatbelt is an issue.

ProvenMarylandPersonal Injury Attorney

Maryland SuperLawyerJonathan Scott Smithhas fought for the rights of injured people across the state for more than 30 years.Highly respected by his colleagues in the legal community for his courtroom skills, Attorney Smith wasnamed a “Top-Rated Lawyer” by the American Lawyer Magazine, and has long held an AV-rating under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System.The National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization, lists him among the top 100 attorneys in the state of Maryland.

Smith has also earned theprestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), as well asa perfect10.0 Superb rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Aggressive Howard County, Maryland Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you love has suffered any type of loss as the result of a personal injury, we can help. Contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is free. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Exceptions to Maryland’s Contributory Negligence Approach

Situations Where Your Liability May Not Prevent Recovery for Personal Injury

Unlike most states, Maryland still follows the common law concept of “contributory negligence” when establishing liability for personal injury. That means that, should the jury find that you (as the injured party) were in any way responsible for causing the accident, you cannot recover anything. Most other states allocate liability based on degree of fault.

There are, however, instances in Maryland where the contributory negligence rule does not apply:

  • Cases involving injuries to persons aged five and younger—The Maryland courts have concluded that children of such age lack the capacity to understand the inherent dangers or risks that are a part of everyday life
  • Product liability claims—The Maryland courts have held product manufacturers to a higher standard
  • Personal injury cases where the “last clear chance” rule may apply—This longstanding principle of tort law holds the person who had the last opportunity to avoid an accident to the higher standard

Proven Baltimore County Personal Injury Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland SuperLawyer, has protected the rights of injured people across the state of Maryland for more than three decades. Highly regarded by his colleagues in the legal community for his courtroom skills, Attorney Smith has long been named a “Top-Rated Lawyer” by the American Lawyer Magazine, and has long held an AV-rating under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. The National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization, has listed him among the top 100 attorneys in the state of Maryland.

Smith has also earned the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Proven Howard County, Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you love has suffered any type of loss as the result of a personal injury, we can help. Contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is free. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Common Defenses in Motor Vehicle Accident Lawsuits

Arguments a Defendant May Make to Minimize Liability

Common Defenses in Motor Vehicle Accident LawsuitsIn the aftermath of a car, truck or motorcycle accident, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit for lost wages, unreimbursed medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship or consortium. As a part of the legal process, you can expect the defendant to raise certain defenses in an attempt to escape or reduce liability. Those can include:

  • Allegations of contributory negligence—Maryland is one of the few states that still apply this legal theory. Under the concept of contributory negligence, if the defendant can show that you were in any way responsible for the accident, your claim may be barred.
  • The injuries you claim were pre-existing—This asserts that you suffered any alleged injuries in another accident or incident that happened before the car wreck
  • Your injuries were caused by the negligence of another defendant—There may be allegations of roadway defects, dangerous or defective products, or other factors outside of your control that the defendant contends caused the accident
  • You failed to take reasonable steps to minimize your injury or loss—If you waited to seek medical care or ignored the recommendations of medical professionals, the defendant may argue that you made your situation worse

Proven Marylan Personal Injury Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland SuperLawyer, has aggressively represented injured people throughout the greater Baltimore area and across Maryland for more than three decades. Known for for his courtroom skills, Attorney Smith has long been AV-rated under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System (the highest rating possible) and has also been named a “Top-Rated Lawyer” by the American Lawyer Magazine. The National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization, has called him one of the top 100 attorneys in Maryland.

Jonathan has also earned the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Proven Prince George’s County, Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you love has suffered any type of loss as the result of a personal injury, we can help. Contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is free. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

What Is Strict Liability in a Personal Injury Claim?

The Difference between Negligence and Strict Liability

Aggressive dog is barking. Young man with angry black dog on the leash.

In Maryland, most personal injury claims are based on a legal theory of negligence. To prove negligence, you must show that the person from whom you seek compensation (the “defendant”) failed to act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances, causing an accident that resulted in actual losses.

Some personal injury claims, though, such as dog bite lawsuits, fall under a legal principle known as “strict liability.” In essence, the concept of strict liability, usually set forth in a statute, or written law, allows an injured person to recover damages without the need to show negligence. Instead, an injured person need only show that the defendant met the requirements of the stature.

For example, under the Maryland dog bite law, a dog owner will be liable “for any injury, death, or loss to person or property” caused by a dog when the dog is “running at large.” There’s no requirement that the injured person show that the dog owner knew or should have known that the dog might engage in aggressive behavior. The only exceptions, as set forth in the Maryland law, are:

  • If the victim is trespassing on the dog owner’s property
  • If the victim is committing or attempting to commit a crime on the dog owner’s property
  • If the victim is committing or attempting to commit a crime against any person
  • If the victim is provoking the dog immediately before or at the time of the attack

Aggressive Baltimore Personal Injury Attorney

Maryland SuperLawyer, Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of injured people throughout the greater Baltimore metro area and across the state of Maryland for more than 30 years. Known and respected by his colleagues in the legal profession for his courtroom skills, Attorney Smith has long been AV-rated under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System (the highest rating possible) and has also been named a “Top-Rated Lawyer” by the American Lawyer Magazine. The National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization, has called him one of the top 100 attorneys in Maryland.

Smith has also earned the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.

Proven Howard County, Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you love has suffered any type of loss as the result of a personal injury, we can help. Contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is free. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

ADDRESS :

  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101