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If you have been injured in an accident, such as a car accident or slip and fall, if a defective product caused your injuries, or if you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you can seek financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. These are just a few of the many types of harm which fall under personal injury.
Negligence, Strict Liability, and Intentional Wrongdoing
Your right to compensation is based on the other party’s negligence, strict liability, or intentional wrongdoing.
Negligence is the failure to exercise a basic level of care. The idea here is that we all have a duty to try not to harm each other. So, when someone is texting and driving and hits another car in the process, because they were not paying attention, they can be held financially responsible for the harm they caused by their negligence.
Strict liability may be applied in some defective product cases. In certain cases, you may not have to prove negligence on the part of the product maker or seller, if the project itself is deemed to be inherently dangerous.
Of course, you also have the right to seek compensation from someone who has intentionally hurt you.
If You Were Partly to Blame
Currently, in Maryland, if you were partly to blame for your injuries, you are barred from seeking compensation, even if you would not have been injured had it not been for the other person’s negligence. This is called contributory negligence.
Most states use some form of comparative fault, which allows injury victims to receive reduced compensation if they were partly to blame. The topic is very controversial in Maryland, and there is a chance that the state will get up to speed and start treating injury victims more fairly in the near future.
In order to have a case, you must have suffered damages. In Maryland, you can receive compensation for economic and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages are losses and expenses such as medical bills and lost income, which have a specific dollar value. Establishing the value of your past and current economic damages is pretty straightforward. Future losses can be more difficult to calculate and prove in court, especially when severe or catastrophic injuries are involved. Personal injury attorneys work with the appropriate experts to establish these values.
Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and diminished quality of life. Maryland has placed a cap on the amount of compensation you can receive for noneconomic damages.