Personal Injury Claims—Proof Requirements—Part One

Demonstrating the Defendant Acted Unreasonably

Personal Injury Claims—Proof Requirements—Part OneWhen you suffer physical injury and/or property damage in an accident, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. If you aren’t able to get adequate relief from insurers or the at-fault party voluntarily, you may need to file a lawsuit in civil court. To succeed with such a claim, you’ll have to prove that the defendant acted negligently. That requires you to show that:

  • The defendant did not act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances;
  • The failure to act reasonably caused an accident; and
  • You suffered actual losses as a consequence of the accident.

Let’s look at the first element of proof—the breach of the duty of care. Under the accepted principles of personal injury law, every person in society has a duty to act reasonably in all pursuits. That applies to driving a car, designing and manufacturing products, and maintaining the premises of property, as well as other activities. To have a claim for damages after an accident, you must show that the defendant (the person you want to pay for your losses) breached the duty to act reasonably. That breach may take many different forms. Examples include speeding or running a red light, failing to test a product for safety, and improperly maintaining walkways on property.

The determination whether a defendant met the standard of care is made by the finder of fact (typically the jury) at trial. There’s no specific standard set forth in the law. Whether or not conduct was reasonable is ascertained on a case-by-case basis, based on the unique facts of each lawsuit.

Proven Maryland Personal Injury Attorney

Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of injured people throughout the Baltimore area and across Maryland for over three decades. A Maryland SuperLawyer, he’s AV-rated (the highest rating) by fellow attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. He’s also been called a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. A successful trial attorney known for getting results, he’s received the 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 litigator.

When you hire attorney Smith to handle your claim, he’ll start by conducting a thorough investigation of the accident, visiting the scene if necessary. When necessary, he’ll work with expert witnesses, including accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and financial planners, to present the most compelling arguments to help you get full and fair compensation for your losses.

Experienced Baltimore County, Maryland, Accident Recovery Lawyer

If you have suffered needless injury in Maryland because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

The Most Common Defenses to a Personal Injury Claim

Know the Arguments a Defendant Might Raise against You

Contribute-to-Causing-Your-InjuriesWhen you’re hurt in an accident and file legal action to recover for your losses, there are a number of potential defenses you can anticipate. Knowing what they are can help you and your lawyers effectively prepare your case

  • Comparative negligence—This defense alleges that you contributed, to some degree, to either causing your accident or the extent of your injuries. For example, the defendant may argue that you were exceeding the speed limit or not wearing a seat belt.
  • Assumption of risk—This defense contends that you knew there was a risk of injured before you engaged in a certain activity and therefore voluntarily assumed that risk. For example, when you go to a baseball game, you assume the risk that you might be hit by a foul ball. If you are, you may be unable to recover compensation for your injuries.
  • Pre-existing condition—You might not be able to recover compensation if a defendant’s negligence aggravates a condition you had prior to the accident. The defense is that your injuries are all attributable to the pre-existing condition.
  • Waiver or liability—If you signed a waiver of liability (also known as a “release”), you may have to show that the defendant was grossly negligent or intentionally harmed you in order to recover.
  • Statute of limitations—There’s a time limit for filing a personal injury claim, known as the “statute of limitations.” If the time period expires before you file, you may be without a remedy.

Proven Baltimore Accident and Injury Lawyer

Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of injured people throughout the Baltimore area and across Maryland for over three decades. A Maryland SuperLawyer, he’s AV-rated (the highest rating) by fellow attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. He’salso been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. A successful trial attorney known for getting results, he’s received the 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 litigator.

Experienced Prince George’s County, Maryland, Personal Injury Attorney

If you suffer needless injury in Maryland because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland

The Time Limits for Filing a Maryland Wrongful Death Claim

What Is the Statute of Limitations for an Accidental Death Claim?

The Time Limits for Filing a Maryland Wrongful Death ClaimWith any personal injury claim, including wrongful death, there’s a time limit for filing a lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses. This time limit is established by a law known as the statute of limitations.

There are good reasons for a statute of limitations. First, it’s in the interests of justice for the lawsuit to proceed when memories are fresh and evidence can still bepreserved. The more time that passes, the greater the risk that witnesses will die or move or that recollections will fade. In addition, it’s generally deemed unfair or inappropriate for a potential defendant to live in perpetual fear of a potential lawsuit.

Every state sets its own statutes of limitations, and the time limits vary based on the type of claim. In Maryland, if you want to bring a lawsuit to recover damages forthe accidental or wrongful death of a loved one, you must file your complaint within three years of the date of death. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, any wrongful death claims filed after the expiration of the statute of limitations will be dismissed by the court.

Proven Maryland Wrongful Death Attorney

Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland Super Lawyer, has more than three decades of experience successfully handling personal injury claims, including wrongful death actions. A proven trial lawyer with a reputation for getting positive results, he’s earned the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible) and a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator. Scott Smith is AV-rated by other attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and has been named a Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyermagazine.

Contact an Experienced Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer

Let attorney Jonathan Scott Smith protect your rights after the accidental death of a loved one. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101 to arrange a meeting. Your first consultation is free. We take wrongful death claims throughout the state of Maryland, including Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations in a Personal Injury Claim

Making Certain You File Your Complaint in a Timely Manner

Understanding the Statute of Limitations in a Personal Injury ClaimIn Maryland, as in all states, there’s a written law, known as the “statute of limitations,” which requires that legal action be filed within a certain period of time. The statute of limitations varies, based on the type of legal matter. For personal injuries in Maryland, you must file legal action within three years of the date of the injury. There are some exceptions, however—situations where the time period may be suspended or extended:

  • If the person who suffered the injury is a minor or is otherwise legally incompetent at the time of the injury
  • The person who caused the injury attempts to conceal their involvement or liability

Proven Anne Arundel County Personal Injury Lawyer

Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland Super Lawyer, has effectively advocated for personal injury victims in and around the Baltimore metropolitan area for more than three decades. He is a skilled, experienced and respected trial lawyer with reputation for getting positive results at trial.

Smith has been AV-rated (the highest rating possible) by his fellow attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System every year since 1988 and has also been honored with Martindale-Hubbell’s Client Distinction Award, an award given to less than 4% of all attorneys listed there. The National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization, has named him one of the state’s top 100 attorneys.

Attorney Smith has earned a 10.0 (Superb rating) as a litigation attorney from AVVO, as well as AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars. Smith has been named one of the top 100 lawyers in Maryland by Super Lawyers, and was listed as a Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine in 2012. The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys listed him as one of the “10 Best Attorneys in the State of Maryland in Client Satisfaction.” He belongs to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, given to less than 1% of all American lawyers who have obtained million dollar judgments, awards or settlements.

Proven Columbia, Maryland Personal Injury Accident Attorney

If you have been hurt because of the wrongful act of another person, we can help. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. 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