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Gaithersburg Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are injured due to a third party’s negligent or intentional conduct, you can contact a Gaithersburg personal injury lawyer for a free consultation.
What is Personal Injury Law?
There is a difference between having a valid personal injury case and a case worth pursuing with a Gaithersburg personal injury attorney. In all instances, a technical personal injury case involves injury to your person and is due to the fault of another. So, just because you are in a car accident that is not your fault, and there is damage to your vehicle, does not mean you have a personal injury case. You must still be hurt. And then, your injuries must be significant enough to be worth pursuing. If you are injured but the pain is mild and only lasts an hour or two, while it has some value, it is not worth pursuing. I cannot tell you what this hypothetical case is worth, but it likely would have no medical expenses, no lost wages, and minimal pain and suffering.
Meanwhile, a typical personal injury case worth pursuing involves soreness or stiffness in the neck and back region and can last a couple of months, even with consistent physical therapy. This is what the typical personal injury case looks like. Of course, injuries can be, and often are, far more severe. In such instances, your ultimate compensation will be proportional to the damages you suffer. However, the amount you receive in high-value cases may depend on the insurance coverage.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Gaithersburg?
There are many reasons why hiring a Gaithersburg injury attorney is worthwhile. From top to bottom, we handle each minute detail of your case. We make sure you are promptly receiving medical treatment following your accident. We do this because we understand the implications to a jury if you wait two or three weeks following your accident for medical care. Even if you have legitimate reasons for holding off on treatment, our job is to ensure you ultimately receive the compensation you deserve.
Our personal injury lawyers serving Gaithersburg also help you deal with insurance companies. From the top of your case, we send a letter of representation to all insurers involved, letting them know to go through us if they need to talk to you for whatever reason. In general, the only permissible reason for them to speak with you is to take care of the property damage on your car.
We have been handling personal injury cases throughout Maryland for over 70 years. We know exactly how much a case is worth and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. The reason you need a Gaithersburg personal injury lawyer to maximize your compensation is simple. 99% of the time, an insurance company will only make a fair settlement offer to you if you have leverage. They know that you need an attorney handling your case to take it to trial. Accordingly, there is no incentive to increase their settlement offer. If you never file suit on your case, the applicable statute of limitations will eventually run, and you will lose your right to your claim.
Meanwhile, a good personal injury lawyer understands how to negotiate a proper settlement based on your injuries and the relevant facts of your case. Settlement negotiation in a personal injury case can be achieved through several methods. The most common is a simple phone conversation detailing the facts of your case, the injuries you suffered, lost wages, if applicable, and the relevant and controlling law in the jurisdiction.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in Gaithersburg
Conceivably, a personal injury case may result from any form of negligence or intentional conduct, and it can take place in nearly any context. However, given that a mild or moderate injury is necessary to make a case worth pursuing, we commonly see several common types of personal injury cases. These are listed below.
Your injury, no matter the cause, marks the commencement of your personal injury case. Remember, we must prove each element of your cause of action by a preponderance of the evidence. We must also prove liability on the part of the defendant. So, at this stage, collecting as much evidence as possible at the accident or injury scene is essential. In a car accident case, could you take photographs? If there is a hazardous condition, this is particularly vital. If you get hurt by a slip and fall, try to determine how long the hazard has been there. Get the tortfeasor’s insurance information and witness information if you can. This will help us build your case and win you the compensation you deserve. Anything you can do to preserve evidence may be beneficial in the course of your case.
You will want to consult a Gaithersburg personal injury attorney after your injury. Our office provides free consultations for personal injury victims, which is always a good idea. We will first extract the essential facts from your case during your consultation. Then, we explain to you whether you have a case worth pursuing or not. Sometimes, you may have a valid case under the law but are entitled only to nominal damages.
If you go to trial and prevail, you may receive one dollar as a remedy. This is a court’s way of saying you won but are not entitled to monetary damages. We can just let you know whether your case is qualified for legitimate compensation, but we can’t promise a result or even estimate a dollar amount you are entitled to. To do so would be unethical and impossible, as it ultimately depends on the jury you get in court.
Sometimes, we can recommend you to a doctor we know and trust that previous clients highly recommend; other times, you may choose to use a doctor you already know. Regardless, the amount of treatment you receive makes up a large portion of the ultimate value of your case. Medical expenses are compensable in a personal injury claim so long as your doctor relates the treatment to your injury in question and it is not excessive. Suppose you want compensation to make you whole for your medical expenses. In that case, the doctor must say that the injury they are treating you for is related to your accident to a reasonable degree of medical certainty.
In general, the less you treat for your injuries, the less convincing it will be of a jury that your injuries were genuinely severe. At that point, it will be your testimony that you were in a lot of pain but very little evidence otherwise unless you broke a bone or something tangible. On the other hand, if you go out of your way to receive physical therapy for two months, a jury will be more likely to believe you were in pain and grant you an appropriate pain and suffering award. Of course, we only recommend you treat if you are in pain and at the direction of your medical provider.
Once you complete treatment, we will immediately request your bills and records from all medical providers. Upon receipt, we will evaluate the doctors’ opinions of your injuries and assess the value of your claim. Only at this point will we have some idea. We construct a demand package to send to the adverse insurer from here. Upon receipt by the adverse insurer, we generally give them four weeks to evaluate your claim as that is the industry norm, although it may take six weeks for them to assess your claim.
While this sounds like a long time, and it is, it is far quicker than filing suit. Filing a lawsuit in Gaithersburg can take several months to a year to get into court. Moreover, the cost of litigation can quickly exceed a layperson’s expectations. Filing suit, paying expert witnesses, deposition costs, and a higher legal fee are all expenses to consider.
Our lawyers are well-practiced at facilitating settlements between plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury cases. Generally, the insurance companies we deal with will begin a negotiation by offering below the actual value of the case. Then, we will slowly inch up their offers until they meet a fair representation of your damages. During this process, we will inform you where we are in the settlement negotiation and relay offers to you. However, we will recommend whether to accept or reject an offer, giving you the information you need to decide. Ultimately, despite what we think, this decision is yours.
File Suit With a Gaithersburg Injury Lawyer
There are three primary instances in which we must file suit. First, if the defense denies liability in your case. If their insured is at fault, they will rarely deny liability. But if they do, then, of course, they will not make settlement offers or at least not good ones. We must go to trial to prove each element of the alleged cause of action. The second instance in which we need to file suit is if the settlement offer does not represent the damages you had. We will explain the damages you suffered, even ones you may not have thought of but are undoubtedly legitimate.
Example of Damages That May Surprise You
An example of this may be a future medical expense for pain medications related to your accident. In this example, you are entitled to the total cost of the medication, even beyond your copay. This is because your insurer may eventually seek indemnification out of your recovery. A second example may be your loss of future earning capacity. For example, if you have permanent back pain and you work in construction, your ability to work in such a role may now be stunted, whereas it was not before. The law recognizes this as damage in the personal injury context.
The third instance in which we must file suit is if you, the client, decide you want to. You have the right to have your day in court. While we may not recommend it to you, the option is yours. Of course, you may win less than what is offered during settlement talks and receive nothing. That is a risk you run with a jury of your peers. However, we have over 70 years of experience and have handled thousands of these cases. So, if you decide you want a trial, that is where we will go.
We must collect if we win your case by settlement or judgment. Generally, you must sign a release of liability form submitted by the defense, releasing them of further liability for the same incident, and in turn, they will issue a check. It is relatively easy to recover directly from an insurance company. They issue countless checks daily, which is a part of doing business. However, recovering from a bar, nightclub, restaurant, concert venue, or other private company or individual outside their insurance may prove more difficult. Of course, we do have methods of recovering even from these parties. For example, with a bar, we can have a sheriff, with a court order, go in and retrieve the liquor license from a bar until they pay a court judgment. But of course, this could be more convenient.
Contact a Gaithersburg Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury cases in Gaithersburg, Maryland, can be complex. Fortunately, we are here to help. Please feel free to contact our office today for a free consultation.
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