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Prince George's County Personal Injury Lawyer

Maryland Personal Injury Law: A Few Highlights

The objective of the Law Office of Robin Rucker Gaillard, LLC, is to help clients get financial compensation for the loss suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence. If you or a family member have been injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident or because of a medical mistake, or if there has been a fatality, learn about your legal rights from an experienced Prince George’s County, Maryland, wrongful death and personal injury attorney by calling the Law Office of Robin Rucker Gaillard, LLC, at 301-363-2933, for a free, no obligation consultation.

Know how Long You Have to File a Claim so You Won’t be “SOL”

In Maryland, there are specific time periods set out by statute that claimants have to bring a lawsuit for damages depending on the type of case. This is the statute of limitations (SOL) for a given claim. There are also statutory notice deadlines by which claimants planning to file suit must give formal notice of a claim to particular categories of defendants (e.g., cities, municipalities, and government entities, etc.) before a lawsuit can be filed.

When death occurs as a result of someone else’s negligence, this circumstance is broadly referred to as “wrongful death” and in Maryland there are a number of categories of wrongful death addressed by statute. To recover damages in a wrongful death case, you must file your claim before the end of the statute of limitations period (SOL) for the specific circumstance of wrongful death as set out in the statute. If you miss the SOL then your wrongful death claim may be barred.

When injury occurs as a result of someone else’s negligence, this circumstance is broadly referred to as “personal injury”. In Maryland, personal injury cases (e.g., slip-and-fall accidents, motor vehicle accidents, etc.) have a three-year statute of limitations within which a claim must be filed. To recover in a personal injury case, you must file your claim to recover compensation within three years of the date of the injury. The discovery rule typically applies when a victim did not or reasonably should not have known of the negligence and resulting injury and in some cases this may extend the time for filing.

In instances of medical malpractice (e.g., nursing home injuries, medication errors, cancer misdiagnosis, etc.) there is a three-year statute of limitations. In circumstances involving medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is typically five years from the date of the negligence. All claims must be filed within five years of the date of negligence (except for minors who have until one day prior to their 21st birthday to file a claim). Sometimes wrongful death cases can be grounded in negligence cases. These types of claims also have a statute of limitations and must be filed within three years of the date of death. This is so that the family (i.e., spouse and children) may file a claim, as their right to file a claim for damages does not begin until after the death of the victim.

Knowing the notice requirements and statutes of limitations in your case can be essential to success. That’s why it’s critical to timely consult Attorney Robin Rucker Gaillard, a knowledgeable wrongful death and personal injury attorney, about your claim. By waiting, you the run the risk of missing the notice period or of missing the filing deadline under the applicable statute of limitations. Your lawsuit may be barred and the negligent person or entity will have no obligation under the law to pay you the compensation you deserve. Call the Law Office of Robin Rucker Gaillard, LLC, at 301-363-2933 today and get the facts to help you get the best result in your personal injury case today.

Your Rights When Death Occurs at the Hands of a Negligent Person

Essentially, when your loved one dies as a result of someone else’s negligence (e.g., in a car, truck or motorcycle accident; or because of a mistake by a medical professional; or in a nursing home), the laws in Maryland provide that two distinct types of claims may be filed-- (1) a survival action; and (2) a wrongful death action – so long as each is filed pursuant to the respective statutory provisions, including within the statute of limitations.

A survival action is brought on behalf of the personal representative of the victim’s estate and seeks compensation for the pain and suffering (along with other damages and actual expenses) incurred by the victim up to the moment that he or she died. In other words, damages in this type of suit are measured in terms of the harm to, or suffered by, the actual victim in the case (who is now deceased), and the personal representative of the victim’s estate is the agent. Compensation (or damages) can be sought for most physical pain suffered before death (and the agony and anguish of knowing that death was imminent); for medical bills; and for funeral services.

The other claim under the Maryland statute is a wrongful death action brought by the relatives of the victim. These parties are entitled to seek compensation for the victim's accidental death. In these types of suits, the victims, on their own behalf, seek compensation for harm they have suffered as a result of the victim’s death (e.g., the tremendous grief and suffering that comes with the loss of a loved one, whose death was the result of someone else’s mistake). Damages are measured by the harm to loved ones as a result of the loss of the victim.

What Type of Compensation is There in Personal Injury Cases?

In personal injury cases and wrongful death cases, there are two basic areas for which the law in Maryland compensates claimants: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic damages or compensation for loss of earnings and medical expenses, to include considerations for past and future medical expenses; and past and future loss of earnings. Non-economic damages (in a personal injury case) are compensation for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of consortium, or other non-pecuniary injury; and (and in a wrongful death action), for mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, comfort, protection, care, marital care, parental care, filial care, attention, advice, counsel, training, guidance, or education, or other non-economic damages authorized under the statute. Claimants can recover damages in wrongful death cases due to fatal accidents or due to medical malpractice.

There is no cap on the amount of economic damages in Maryland however there is a cap on the amount of non-economic damages that can be awarded in a survival action (i.e., where claimants are asking for damages for the time that the victim survived before ultimately expiring). The cap amount is designed to gradually from year to year so calculations vary from case to case depending on the year being considered. The amount of damages which can be recovered also depends on the number of beneficiaries for whom damages are sought. The damages calculus is further influenced by whether the wrongful death aspect is considered; by whether damages are sought on behalf of one beneficiary or two or more beneficiaries; and by whether the case involves medical malpractice or not.

Attorney Robin Rucker Gaillard understands the highly emotional and trying times that victims who have lost loved ones from an accidental death or who have had family members harmed by the negligence of those charged with caring for their loved ones. If you live in Anne Arundel County, Charles County, Howard County, Montgomery County, or in Largo, Upper Marlboro, Mitchellville, Prince George’s County, Maryland, get the best lawyer you possibly can to fight for you by calling the Law Office of Robin Rucker Gaillard, LCC, at 301-363-2933, for a no obligation, free consultation.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Robin is always the smartest person in the courtroom. She’s alway ten steps ahead of everyone else. I was always well-informed and made a very active part of the process. She never did anything without my knowing or without my full approval. I will undoubtedly continue to recommend her for as long as she is practicing. Sadie Groves
★★★★★
I want to thank Attorney Robin Rucker Gaillard from the bottom of my heart for all she has done for my daughter and I. The Prince George’s County Bar Association referred me to the Law Office of Robin Rucker Gaillard, LLC, for representation in a contested custody matter. She built a very strong case for me and showed the Court the flaws in the opposing party’s case. Her representation, led me to getting custody of my daughter and there is no price you can put on that. Kimeola Cato
★★★★★
Attorney Gaillard represented me in a DUI/DWI case where I was facing points and jail time. I thought about trying to go it alone but a friend recommended Attorney Gaillard. Thanks to her good advice early on, she put me in the best position possible and when it came time for my hearing, she was excellent in the courtroom and got a good result for me. Highly recommend her and thankful for her knowledge and experience. K. P.
★★★★★
When I was contemplating leaving my abusive husband of 15 years, I was referred by a friend to Attorney Robin Rucker Gaillard, who had helped navigate her ugly divorce. From day one, Attorney Gaillard understood my situation and was very compassionate and insightful. She patiently walked me through the entire process and helped me analyze all my options. As my advocate, she remained calm and focused and put together a strategy that was fair and effective. Phyllis E. Lewis