Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury in Maryland

When you’re seriously hurt in an accident, many questions come to mind in figuring out how best to obtain compensation for your losses. In our personal injury practice at The Law Office of Christopher J. Smith, LLC, we often address the following questions:


How do I know whether I have a personal injury claim in Maryland?

The basis for a personal injury claim is that you were harmed because someone who had a duty of care breached that duty by behaving negligently or recklessly. As a plaintiff, you must be able to prove these elements by a preponderance of the evidence: duty, breach, causation and damages. Duty means that the circumstances required the defendant to act with reasonable care. Breach means the defendant wasn’t careful. Causation means the breach directly caused a chain of events that resulted in injury. Damages are the economic and noneconomic losses you suffered as a result.

Back to top

Should I accept my first offer of compensation?

Never. Insurance companies approach settlements as a negotiation, so they almost always offer much less initially than the case is ultimately worth.

Back to top

What are the chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit?

Your chance of success depends on several factors, including the strength of the evidence and the effectiveness by which it is presented. Litigation comes with risks, which is why it’s generally safer to settle the case without going to court. However, sometimes the difference between the defendant’s offer and a fair settlement is so great that going to court is the best option.

Back to top

How long do personal injury claims take?

Claims can take anywhere from a few weeks to several years. How quickly a case can be resolved depends on such factors as the strength of the evidence, the extent of the damages and the reasonableness of the parties.

Back to top

Who will pay my medical bills?

Medical bills are part of your personal injury damages. Initially, your own insurance may cover your medical expenses. If you have paid out of pocket or if you owe a balance, cash from the settlement covers the debt.

Back to top

What if I was partially at fault for an accident?

Maryland is one of four states that applies the contributory negligence doctrine. This means that if you were are fault for the accident to any degree, you cannot recover damages from another party involved. Insurance companies often invoke contributory negligence to block recovery but proving it is another matter. This is a very strong reason to consult an experienced attorney.

Back to top

How much is my case worth?

The value of a personal injury case is based on the extent and permanence of the injuries. Court cases that go all the way to verdict can give some indication of what a similar case is worth. However, most injury cases settle and many settlements are confidential. Only professionals who are actively engaged in personal injury negotiations can estimate the value of a potential settlement.

Back to top

Can I file a lawsuit on behalf of my child or spouse?

Children lack the legal capacity to sue, so their parents must file actions to recover damages for injuries suffered. As for adults, when injuries leave them incapacitated, a representative, such as a spouse, can sue on their behalf.

Back to top

Contact Us

Please fill out the form below and our attorney will contact you shortly.

!
!
!

Location

  • Rockville Office

    Address

    17 West Jefferson Street
    Suite 100
    Rockville, Maryland 20850

Choose a location to review

The Law Office of Christopher J. Smith locations:

Reviews & Ratings

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Had a peaceful experience with Mr. Smith, always answered my calls and emails. Assist me with any questions or concerns I had, he also helped me with settling a family dispute. And still servicing me for other cases.

    — Shanaya Hinton

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Chris called me 15 minutes after I posted. He was grocery shopping and gave me free advise. I will be sure to get back to him if my issue continues.

    — Clarence Briscoe

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I called and didn’t even leave a VM, he called me back right away and was extremely helpful. He wasn’t able to take my case but he led me in the right direction.

    — RSC

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    He was very kind and helpful even though at this time he could not provide me with any services. He explained everything to me in such a detailed way, and took the time out of his day to do so. I would be happy to have him represent on any ...
    Show More

    — Brittany

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Christopher Jones was very responsive and insightful with my legal question. He listened to me intently, and was very kind, considerate, and professional when he gave me legal advice. I would recommend him to anyone, young professionals esp...
    Show More

    — Pastel Rose