Over $150 Million Recovered For Our Clients “Roger K. Gelb is one of the area’s most respected and sought-after legal minds” – Washingtonian Magazine
Bowie Personal Injury Lawyer
Our Bowie personal injury lawyers have been practicing law in Maryland for 70 years. When speaking about a personal injury accident, the public generally imagines a car wreck. But we handle all accident claims ranging from a slip and fall, truck accident, wrongful death, and more. We will take a case if you have been injured due to another party’s negligence. Further, we have locations in Washington, DC, and Upper Marlboro, so we are always happy to meet with you in person. If you are unavailable for an in-person meeting, we handle many accidents exclusively over the phone and email.
A personal injury case in Bowie is subject to Maryland tort law and civil procedure. This affects several factors that have an impact on the outcome of your case as well as your total compensation. For example, in general, the statute of limitations in Maryland to file a civil lawsuit is three years. However, under Rule 2-101 of the Maryland Rules, you have 30 days after being dismissed for lack of jurisdiction to refile your suit in the proper venue. This is a very tight window of time to refile. So, hiring a Bowie personal injury lawyer who understands Maryland law and has handled these situations thousands of times before is essential.
Why Choose Gelb & Gelb, P.C.?
Your life is likely in disorder when you are hurt due to someone’s negligence. Whether you are injured in a motorcycle accident or pedestrian accident or have a family member who perishes, your life may be permanently changed. You may now have a treatment schedule that interferes with your everyday life, and your car may now be inoperable. In this unfortunate situation, you need someone who understands and cares about what you are going through. Our dedicated personal injury lawyers and our compassionate staff are there for you every step of the way.
This is one aspect that separates our legal representation from anyone else’s. We have been practicing in Bowie since 1954. So, we understand that details matter and understand how to maximize your compensation so that you get a fair and equitable recovery. But we also know this is insufficient to qualify as excellent legal representation. It would be best if you had someone willing to fight for you and make you their top priority. To us, you are not just another case. We go the extra mile to ensure you are comfortable and well-informed throughout this strenuous time.
Our Bowie personal injury lawyers have fought in the courtrooms and dealt with the insurance companies for decades. This valuable experience has taught us what a case is worth and how to get what clients deserve under these rights. Often, insurance companies try to settle a case quickly and for less than it is worth. And if you do not know better, you may take that settlement offer and seriously undercut your recovery. We do not settle for less than your case is worth. We fight to ensure you get every dime you deserve under Maryland law. These cases can be challenging to handle by yourself. Generally, when an insurance company sees an unrepresented plaintiff, they propose lowball offers and will only negotiate once you file suit.
Types of Cases We Handle
Car accidents are our bread and butter. We have handled over 10,000 car accident cases since our founding in 1954. As a result, we are exceptionally familiar with Maryland tort law, evidence, and civil procedure for these types of cases. In addition, we can anticipate many potential issues you may have in your case. For example, as a plaintiff, you must mitigate your damages. If your car is sitting in a tow lot, you cannot simply let it sit there and rack up further damages. While the defendant will be liable for the cost of towing your vehicle for the first day or so, you do eventually need to get it out of there. We can inform you about the next steps even if it is not drivable.
This is a contributory negligence jurisdiction in Bowie and in all of Maryland. While we are happy to help you with your case, you only have a valid claim in this state if you are not negligent yourself. This means if you are even 1% negligent in the accident, you will be unable to succeed in court. However, this burden is on the defendant as it is an affirmative defense.
Nightclub injuries are also something we handle a lot of in Bowie. Some popular bars in Bowie, Maryland, include Rips Country Inn, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, Blue Sunday Bar, and Old Bowie Town Grille. When evaluating these cases, we handle injuries caused by either a bouncer or security, another patron, or an injury due to some risk the bar must protect against. When someone injures you at a bar or club, you likely have a claim against the establishment. If it is the bouncer, you can claim against the bar by the doctrine of respondeat superior. In this, there is an exception for intentional conduct if it is generally acceptable or authorized by the employer. With a bouncer, physical conduct is a part of the job. Thus, it falls under an exception, making the employer vicariously liable.
Furthermore, intentional conduct in Maryland generally entitles a plaintiff to punitive damages. Unlike special or general damages, punitive damages act more as a punishment for the defendant. While special and general damages look to compensate you for your injuries and damages you incur, punitive damages operate on a ratio of your compensatory damages. A court calculates this number based on nine factors from Maryland common law.
Unfortunately, truck accidents occur in Bowie with unfortunate regularity. What sets truck accidents apart from other motor vehicle accidents is the weight and size difference of an 18-wheeler with any other vehicle on the road. Because of this, truck accident cases are among the most catastrophic cases we handle.
Like car and truck accidents, pedestrian accidents occur when a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian. Of course, the pedestrian cannot be negligent in what they are doing either. This means if a pedestrian steps out in front of a vehicle, the pedestrian cannot claim if he does not have the right-of-way.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost in Bowie?
The cost for a Bowie personal injury lawyer will vary from law firm to law firm. However, most firms do charge the same amount. At Gelb & Gelb, we operate on a contingent basis. Our fee is contingent on when you receive your compensation. So, if we do not win your case, we do not charge a fee. Our fee is typically one-third of the recovery. However, if we file suit on the case, our fee increases to 40%. But again, we will only charge you if we succeed. So, there is no risk to you.
Another benefit to our contingent fee arrangement is you do not have to front any costs. At the most expensive, this can include deposition costs, mediation costs, and expert witnesses. However, you can be reassured if you have the resources to pay for this. We would like to advance these costs for you. Unfortunately, these costs will only be reimbursed if we succeed in your case. At that point, the costs come straight out of the recovery.
What to Expect With a Bowie Personal Injury Lawyer
You receive peace of mind when you hire one of our Bowie personal injury lawyers. Given we have 70 years of experience practicing injury law in Maryland, it should come as no surprise that we are confident in providing top-notch legal representation in Maryland. We handle your claim from beginning to end, so your only concern is getting healthy. Below is a general timeline of what to expect when working with a Bowie personal injury lawyer.
Initial Consultation With a Bowie Personal Injury Lawyer
This free consultation determines whether you have a viable claim against the would-be defendant. The consultation can take place in person or over the phone. We are familiar with the defenses the defendant might use and will analyze your claim against them. So, we take this time to explain what your process will look like for your unique facts. We will also be sure to advise you on things to do to reduce your damages as necessary and maximize the value of your claim cleanly and ethically. We also explain to you in detail each form you will have to sign.
Typically, this is a part of your first consultation. However, we may need to research the most up-to-date law in Bowie for more complex cases. If this is the case, we will tell you the current law and what we expect and hope to see in the most recent case law. Remember, some aspects of the law change with every case that gets decided. Thus, a prudent lawyer stays current with the latest law in the jurisdiction.
Acceptance of Representation by a Bowie Personal Injury Lawyer
This generally will occur during the initial consultation. Once we accept representation, we send over forms for you to sign, which we explain in detail. Typically, this includes a medical authorization form, which allows us to access your bill and records from your medical providers. Reading through your medical records is an integral part of our job as it enables us to make arguments regarding your medical expenses and pain and suffering. We also sent over a police authorization form allowing us to request a copy of the police report from the Bowie Police Department or any other police department that may have been involved at the scene of your accident.
The third form we send over is our retainer agreement. We have a standard retainer that we send over to all Maryland residents for personal injury work. We have a separate retainer if you are a D.C. or Virginia resident, but your injury occurs in Bowie. But, the general principles remain the same.
We investigate your injuries, speak with witnesses, and create a narrative as to what occurred at the scene of your injury. This stage may involve enlisting our private investigator if necessary, though this is uncommon in most cases.
We reach this stage only when you complete your medical treatment. Then, we compile a list of your damages, both economic and non-economic, and send a demand to the adverse party for settlement. Settlement is worthwhile because it benefits both parties in a lawsuit. Going to trial is more financially expensive for both sides, and it takes several months to get to trial.
Settlement Negotiations With a Bowie Personal Injury Lawyer
After we send our demand letter, it typically takes about a month for the defendant’s insurance provider to evaluate your case and make an offer for settlement. Keep in mind that the first offer could be better. They do this in case we have an eager plaintiff who will jump at the first offer they throw out. But remember, if you can remain patient, we can usually bump up the first offer by several thousand dollars. We can file suit on your claim if we cannot come to a reasonable settlement.
Ideally, we will be able to succeed on your settlement or a judgment in court claim by either settlement agreement. At this point, we must collect the amount. With an insurance company, this is generally easy. However, we may have more difficulty if we do have to sue someone in their capacity. Of course, this is why we typically will only stick to doing so if we run an asset check prior and determine that they can afford to pay you for your injuries.
Contact a Bowie Personal Injury Lawyer
Having an experienced and skilled personal injury lawyer can make all the difference. You can call us today for a free consultation.
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