Howard County, MD, Serious Personal Injury & Tort Litigation Lawyers
At the Coover Law Firm we believe in justice for the injured. Over the years, our personal injury attorneys have worked within framework of Maryland law to resolve many personal injury cases through litigation and concerned professional settlement negotiation. Our firm has experience in car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, worker’s compensation, premises liability and products liability cases.
When you are in an accident, insurance companies want to settle your claim quickly, and keep the value of your claim as low as possible. Insurance companies hire hordes of lawyers, analysts and appraisers in an effort to save money and focus on profit. When you are injured, whether in an accident or on the job, you owe it to yourself to consult with attorneys who care about getting justice for your injuries. We at the Coover Firm serve those in Columbia, Maryland and the surrounding areas. When you are injured, place your trust in local attorneys who will be there when you need them.
Particulars of Maryland Personal Injury Law
Maryland law sets a deadline, known as a “statute of limitations” on the amount of time after an accident that an injured person has to file a personal injury lawsuit. In Maryland, this deadline is three (3) years after the date of the accident, in most cases.
Under Maryland law, when your claim for personal injury is against a state government agency, you have one (1) year to serve a formal “Tort Claims Act” Notice on the appropriate governmental representative and three (3) years to file a lawsuit.
After an accident, it is extremely important that you (a) do not talk to any insurance company representative or investigator; (b) immediately hire an experienced personal Injury attorney; and (c) let your attorney handle everything. Time lost can be evidence lost in a personal injury case and with deadlines for filing claims, you will want to give your attorney time to investigate your claim to the fullest.
Shared Fault/Contributory Negligence Rules in Maryland
Personal injury cases in Maryland can be different than those in other states. Maryland personal injury cases are governed by the rules of shared fault, generally known as “contributory negligence”. Under Maryland law, when it’s determined that an injured person shares any amount of fault for the incident that led to their injuries, Maryland courts apply a fairly harsh rule called contributory negligence, which prevents the injured person from collecting any amount of damages from any other at-fault party.
For example, you are driving exceeding the posted speed limit, when another driver turns left in front of you. Eventually, your total damages from the accident are calculated at $10,000. However, you are found to be 10 percent at fault for the accident (since you were speeding), and the other driver is found to be 90 percent at fault. Using the contributory negligence rule followed in Maryland, you would be prevented from collecting any money damages from the other driver. Even though the other driver bears most of the fault, your damages are zeroed out automatically, because your own negligence played a role in the accident.
Maryland courts are required to apply this rule whenever an injured party is found to be partly at fault for an accident. Insurance adjusters frequently assert the rule during settlement negotiations, so it’s wise to have the attorneys of the Coover Law Firm at your side every step of the way. Our skill and experience in negotiating personal injury claims, means that you can trust that you will have the help you need after an accident.
Maryland Auto Insurance Laws
Maryland’s auto insurance laws are based on a “fault” or “at-fault” model. This means that injured persons are free to file claims with their own insurer or another driver’s insurer, or go to court to prove fault and seek damages. Maryland requires drivers to carry a minimum of $30,000 in coverage for bodily injury per person; $60,000 in coverage for bodily injury per accident [2 or more injured persons] and $15,000 for property damage. In many cases, these limits (or the limits of an involved driver’s actual policy, if higher) may be enough to cover your damages.
Even in the event that your damages are within the minimum coverage amounts required by Maryland law, the personal injury lawyers of the Coover Law Firm can help negotiate for the maximum available settlement on your behalf or proceed to trial if necessary to provide justice in your case.
Damage Caps in Maryland
Maryland places financial caps on non-economic damages in all types of injury cases. These caps change on October 1st each year [non-medical malpractice injuries]and January 1 each year [medical malpractice injuries] to reflect the rate of inflation.
For non-medical malpractice injuries that occurred between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016, the caps on non-economic damages in Maryland are as follows:
- $815,000 limit on injuries arising from the same incident,
- $1,122,500 limit on wrongful death claims with two or more beneficiaries, and
- $2,037,500 combined limit on wrongful death and survival claims
For medical malpractice injuries that occurred between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015, the caps on non-economic damages in Maryland are as follows:
- $775,000 limit on all claims from the same medical injury [excluding wrongful death], and
- $943,750 limit on all claims if wrongful death case is filed with two or more beneficiaries.
Again, this is another area where it helps to have knowledgeable, local representation in your personal injury matter.
Maryland Personal Injury Claims Attorney
If you have been injured in a wreck, medical malpractice, slip and fall, or other personal injury situation, you need the right attorney fighting for you. The experienced attorneys of the Coover Law Firm will be there when you need them – fighting for justice on your side. If you have questions in a personal injury case and you live in or near Columbia, Maryland, call the Coover Law Firm at 410-995-1100, toll free at 866-425-9555, or contact the firm online to discuss scheduling an appointment with our attorneys.