Accidents usually take us by surprise, but they can happen any time—while driving, doing housework, enjoying a vacation, or just working at your job. Injuries can be caused by a vehicle, someone's pet, or something in the environment, like an uneven sidewalk. Common accident-related injuries include head/brain, neck/spinal cord, back, bone fractures, nerve damage or paralysis, pregnancy/birth, soft tissue, and joint/ligament injuries.
After suffering an injury caused by someone else's carelessness, your daily life can change significantly. You may suffer financial strain from missing work, accumulating medical expenses, or replacing destroyed property, such as a vehicle. You may suffer both emotionally and physically from chronic pain related to your injury.
For legal purposes, injuries are categorized as minor, moderate, severe, and catastrophic. Depending on the cause of the injury, you may be entitled to financial compensation under Maryland personal injury law. Retaining a personal injury attorney to secure that financial compensation allows you to focus on what's most important — healing and regaining your strength.
A work-related injury can leave you with huge medical bills. And those injuries can render you unable to work, resulting in lost wages at the worst possible time. Luckily, Maryland, like other states, has workers' compensation laws in place to make up for those losses.
Most workers' compensation claims involve a workplace accident resulting in a compensable injury. But repetitive stress injuries can be just as debilitating. Psychological injury might also be claimed if caused by a physical accident or a hazardous workplace environment. A trusted workers' compensation lawyer can assist you in seeking the benefits you deserve when you've sustained any injuries at work.
In Maryland, you can qualify for workers' compensation regardless of who was liable for your accident or injury. Your injury could be the result of your employer's negligence, the negligence of a co-worker, your own negligence, or simply an act of nature. It does not matter. As long as you were injured while working on the job, you can still file for benefits under Maryland workers' compensation laws.
Maryland awards benefits based on who or what caused your accidents, where the accident occurred, and how serious your injuries are. Common benefits awarded in Maryland workers' compensation claims are partial disability benefits, total permanent disability benefits, lost wage benefits, medical benefits, and vocational rehab benefits. If an on-the-job accident claimed someone's life, their estate may be able to obtain death benefits, funeral benefits, and survivor benefits.
If you have sustained an injury at work, the first thing you need to do is notify your employer. Your supervisor should then put together a report of the accident. This is an important step because it provides documentation that you were injured. You can then reference that document in your workers' compensation case. But make sure you report your injury as soon as possible. If you wait too long, your employer may question the accuracy of your report, and he/she may demand details about the injury that you no longer remember. This would allow your employer to shed doubt about your claim during court proceedings. A Worker's Compensation claim in Maryland should be filed within sixty days of the accident, but must be filed within two years.
If Your Employer Won't File a Report
While your employer is required to create a report of your accident, he/she may fail to do so. In that case, I recommend you send a letter to your supervisor confirming that your reported the accident to him/her. Include the date and approximate time of the incident in your message, and save a copy of the letter for your records. Your letter will provide evidence that you reported the accident, and your supervisor will be hard-pressed to stall any longer.
Your employer's report is only the first step, however. It is your responsibility to actually file your claim with the Workers' Compensation Commission. This is the government agency that oversees all workers' compensation matters in the state of Maryland. You will need to fill out Employee Claim Form C-1. Read the Employee Claim C-1 Form Instructions. Then proceed with the online Workers' Compensation Claim Form, or call 410-864-5100 to request a paper form that you can mail to:Workers' Compensation Commission: 10 East Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21202. When you file a claim with the Workers' Compensation Commission Board, they will notify your employer, as well as your employer's insurance companies, about your claim.
Can Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim Put Your Job at Risk?
Individuals who have been injured at work often fear that filing a Workers' Compensation claim could put their jobs in jeopordy. While this fear is understandable, the State of Maryland offers strong protections from hostile employers who would retailiate against injured workers entitled to compensation.
Maryland law stipulates that an employer cannot discharge an employee solely because he or she filed a claim for Workers' Compensation. However, an employer can terminate an injured worker's employment if the injury causes excessive absenteeism or renders that employee permanently unable to perform the job—based on the ruling in Kern vs. South Baltimore General Hospital in 1986 (66 Md. App. 441, 504A.2d 1154 (1986)).
Unfortunately, this situation is common. I have had some clients over the years who did lose their job after filing a Workers' Compensation claim. Mind you, this was not due to the actual filing of the claim but rather their inability to work for a substantial period of time as they recovered from their injuries. Eventually, their employers had to replace them. Of course, this would have happened regardless of whether they had filed Workers' Compensation claims or not. You can rest assured that filing a claim will have no impact on your job security. On the contrary, filing a claim will protect your legal rights and financial interests. So don't hesitate to file a worker’s compensation claim if you've been injured on the job.
Don't be surprised if your employer tries to minimize or even deny the legitimacy of your claim. Workers' compensation claims cost employers a lot of money, and they are likely to fight back. You need an experienced Maryland workers' compensation lawyer to aggressively defend your rights. I understand how devastating injuries can be, and I am dedicated to helping you get the workers' compensation benefits you deserve. I also handle workers' compensation appeals for clients who have been previously denied benefits.
I serve clients all over Maryland and Washington D.C., including Annapolis, Bowie, Essex, Gaithersburg, Glen Burnie, Hyattsville, Frederick, Bethesda, Rockville, Silver Spring, Clinton, Landover, Laurel, College Park, Baltimore, and Wheaton. And I maintain multiple offices to make it easier for you to get legal help when you're injured. Weekend appointments are also available.
Auto accidents include any kind of vehicle—car, truck, motorcycle, or tractor-trailer—and can be caused by negligence, distractedness, intoxication, or texting while driving. Collisions take everyone by surprise, and can even be caused by one vehicle swerving to avoid yet another vehicle.
Even a minor auto accident can be terrifying, and in severe cases, you may suffer life-altering injuries. These injuries may entitle you to medical benefits, damages, and financial compensation. But securing those benefits is a burden you shouldn't have to bear. Instead, consult an experienced Maryland auto accident lawyer. I have years of experience with accident, injury, and workers' compensation cases. For all injury cases, I work on a contingency fee basis to protect you from financial risk. I serve accident victims all over Maryland, as well as Washington D.C.
Injuries sustained in auto accidents are directly related to the type of collision (head-on, rear-end, side-impact), the kinds of vehicles involved (car, truck, motorcycle), and the speed of impact. Common injuries include whiplash, concussion, soft tissue, connective tissue, brain, spinal cord, and broken bones.
No matter how minor your injuries may seem at the time of an accident, it is critical that you seek medical care as soon as possible. This is true even if you experience no physical pain or discomfort at the time of the accident. Symptoms of many injuries, such as concussions, can be delayed and progressive.
Shortly after an accident, you may be approached by the insurance company of whoever caused the collision. One of their representatives may try to offer you a quick and easy lump-sum settlement. Do not accept this. A settlement benefits them—not you, not your family, and not your case—and their offer will fall short of the true value of your claim. But if you hire an experienced auto accident attorney, your claim will cover:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Current and future lost-wage compensation
- Pain and suffering compensation (if applicable)
- Vehicle repair costs
Maryland law allows three years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If an accident resulted in a wrongful death, the time frame is three years from the date of the death. But that doesn't mean you should take your time. The sooner you file your accident claim, the better your outcome is likely to be. And you can rest assured the insurance carrier of the guilty party will begin to protect themselves right away—so you should, too. The best way to do that is to hire an experienced Maryland auto accident attorney. Call 301-589-4597 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free initial consultation today.
For many people, the holiday season isn’t just for family celebrations, religious observances, and home-cooked meals. Heavy drinking and drug use are often intertwined with the usual festivities. Parties at work, with friends, or at family dinners sometimes offer a little too much “good cheer.” Unfortunately, not everyone thinks to designate a sober driver for the trip home. And once people have started indulging, their judgment is already compromised, and they may decide they’re perfectly fine to drive home when they really aren’t.
So what do you do if one of those drivers veers into your lane on the way home from your celebration?
Car accidents are sudden and can be terrifying, but keeping as calm as possible will help you think clearly.
Stay on the Scene
Do not leave the scene unless staying there compromises your safety. Check any passengers in your car to determine if they are safe and breathing.
Report the accident immediately. Let the dispatcher know if you or any of your passengers are injured.
Help any other drivers or passengers who are injured if you are able to. But avoid belligerent drunk drivers or passengers who threaten your well being. Document this behavior in the safest way possible.
Take Photos, Videos, and Notes
Take photos and/or videos of the scene. Include images of the whole area, weather and road conditions, road signs, any obstructions that impact visibility, construction sites, etc. Take pictures of the vehicles, where they were damaged, and any obvious injuries to you or your passengers. Some injuries are undetectable at first. Document descriptions of non-visual information, such as pain, confusion, disorientation, drowsiness, or dizziness.
Actively search for anyone who may have seen the accident, and do your best to get their contact information and a description of what they saw. Police may not talk to all witnesses and may not include any witness testimonies in their report.
Save Medical and Auto Bills
Hold on to all bills for medical treatments and car repairs related to the accident. Prescription drugs, medical devices and supplies, and even transportation to and from doctors appointments are all compensable.
Keep an Accident Journal
Keep a journal of your appointments with doctors, medical specialists such as chiropractors, and the instructions you’ve received for rehabilitation. Note your progress during healing, how your injuries have slowed you down or prevented you from earning income.
Attend Court Hearings and Trials
Attend all court proceedings for the drunk driver—both traffic and criminal courts. The evidence you provide is critical.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner you’ll be compensated for vehicle repairs, medical bills, and the impact of your pain and suffering.
If someone’s decision to overindulge during the holidays outweighed your safety and the safety of your passengers, don’t hesitate to file your claim for justice. You owe it to yourself, and you owe it to others who may drive with that person in the future. Making sure your drunk driver pays makes the roads safer for everyone.
If you’ve suffered an injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you should be compensated for medical bills, lost wages from work, and future lost earnings. These things are easy to tally up and are referred to as special damages. But injuries cause more than stress to your wallet. How do you put a price on missing your niece’s wedding because you were in the hospital? How do you recoup the losses of not being able to knit, drive at night, or hold your grandchild, on account of your injury? These types of losses are called general damages, and are included in the determination of what’s known as “pain and suffering.” So how can you put a price tag on pain and suffering?
Calculating Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is usually calculated by multiplying your economic or “special” damages by a factor of anywhere from 1.5 to 5. For example, if you’ve suffered a minor accident with a quick recovery time, your pain and suffering might be two times whatever your medical bills and lost wages totaled. Conversely, if you’ve suffered a very serious injury with a long recovery time, your pain and suffering may be worth five times that amount.
So how do you determine what factor to use for calculating your pain and suffering? Details about your case make the difference. For example:
- How much of the accident was the other party’s fault? Was there anything you could have done to avoid the accident?
- How obvious are your injuries? Are they indisputably related to the accident? Might they have been caused by an underlying condition or another accident?
- How severe are your injuries? Did they require major surgery or other procedures?
- Were you diagnosed by a medical doctor or a practitioner, such as a chiropractor?
- How much recovery time is needed for your injury? More than 6 months?
- Has your injury caused permanent, debilitating consequences, such as paralysis, loss of sensation, disfigurement, or blindness?
- Has a medical doctor indicated that even after you recover, you will have recurring and/or degenerative problems from the injury.
General damages are sometimes awarded according to the “per diem” (Latin for “by the day”) method. When this method is used, the plaintiff is awarded a certain dollar amount for each day spent in recovery until the maximum payout on the insurance policy is reached.
Proving Pain In Court
In a personal injury case, the insurance company of the defendant will cover no more than what that defendant’s policy is valued at. Naturally, the insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible, so don’t be surprised if your assessment of your injuries is questioned by an insurance adjuster. And of course, the defendant’s attorney will do everything he/she can do to discredit you to a jury. To that end, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to fight for you to get the most compensation possible for what you’ve suffered.
If you have been the victim of an injury due to another person's negligence, contact me for a free consultation. I am a skilled and experienced Maryland trial attorney, and I am more than willing to take your case to trial if a settlement isn't obtainable. Let me help you get the medical benefits and compensation you are entitled to by law. I handle all personal injury, auto accident, and workers' compensation cases on a contingency fee. This means you are protected from any unnecessary financial loss.
I have offices throughout Maryland and Washington D.C., and I am prepared to help accident victims all over the state, including Collumbia, Baltimore, Annapolis, Glen Burnie, Salisbury, Clinton, Frederick, Silver Spring, Wheaton, Gaithersburg, Bethesda, Rockville, Upper Marlboro, College Park and Bowie.
Call 301-589-4597 or email me at email@example.com to discuss filing your Maryland personal injury claim. With more than two decades of experience handling personal injury cases throughout Maryland, I have the expertise to get you the compensation you and your family deserve.