Friday, September 30, 2011

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF MY BALTIMORE INJURY CASE? Are my lawyers' fees included in my damages?

Not surprisingly, courts in Maryland apply the 'American rule' when it comes to attorney's fees. A Baltimore personal injury lawyer handling the typical motor vehicle accident case will be paid by his or her client- absent a statute or rule to the contrary. Now, most personal injury attorneys handle these matters on a 'contingency fee' basis [i.e. "no costs if no recovery"], and the fee charged is a percentage of the overall recover. I offer my Maryland clients a reduced attorney fee program allowing them to retain a greater percentage of their overall award.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

HOW MUCH IS MY BALTIMORE PERSONAL INJURY CASE WORTH? Can I recover for the loss of use of my vehicle?

Most people are familiar with the idea of renting a car while theirs is in the shop. Indeed, Maryland law provides that the measure of damages for the loss of use of a vehicle due to an accident is the reasonable rental value of similar property. Baltimore personal injury lawyers know though, that a plaintiff has an obligation to 'mitigate' their losses, and needs to get that car fixed soon. You may also have 'rental coverage' on your own policy to which you may look. Experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyers have likely confronted the claim, from a self-employed person who needs a vehicle for their job, that "loss of use" should also include loss of profits or income from that self-employment. Even if the person may work form a medical prospective, creative personal injury lawyers have argued that the loss of a necessary vehicle, and the corresponding loss of income, should be cognizable as damages in a Baltimore personal injury case. Of course the duty to mitigate applies here, and likely with more force.

Friday, September 23, 2011

HOW MUCH IS MY BALTIMORE PERSONAL INJURY CASE WORTH? When Can I Sue? Is there time limit, redux ?

In a previous chapter, I discussed the general three year statute of limitations for a negligence action. The three years starts to run from the date of the wrongful conduct. A seasoned Baltimore personal injury lawyer is aware that this three years may be "tolled" for a time [i.e. it does not start to run], e.g. in the case of injury to a minor. But what is someone does not initially know they have been injured? Imagine a situation where the symptoms of the injury do not appear until years later. In certain circumstances, Baltimore personal injury lawyers have successfully argued that the limitations period should not start until the plaintiff discovered –or reasonably should have discovered- the injury and the wrongful conduct.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Maybe you can get one, but not from your lawyer. Baltimore personal injury lawyers practicing for any length of time have had a client ask them for a loan.  The Maryland Lawyers' Rules Of Professional Conduct prohibit a lawyer from providing any financial assistance to a client, no matter how much the client needs the money. The rule applies to loans, or even an advance on a case that is resolved where the funds have not yet arrived. Anyone that watches late night cable TV is aware that there are funding companies that will advance cash to client in a personal injury matter. Many companies offer the same "contingency" type agreement that personal injury lawyers offer. However, the knowledgeable Baltimore personal injury lawyer will always advise his or her client to scrutinize this option closely. The interest rates and fees charged by the funding companies can be enormous.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF MY BALTIMORE INJURY CASE? Who doesn't testify at a trial?

As noted in another chapter, in the typical automobile accident trial, in District Court, the driver[s] and other witnesses [if any], and anyone who is claiming injury testify. Baltimore personal injury lawyers also know that convicted perjurers never testify. The rules of evidence also contain "privileges" that may allow one to keep another from testifying about certain communications, while that person may be allowed to testify about the case generally.  A spouse may prevent the other spouse from testifying about confidential marital communications. A person may not be compelled to disclose communications with an attorney.  Seasoned Baltimorepersonal injury lawyers known that a patient of a psychiatrist may not be compelled to disclose communications, unless some exceptions apply. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF MY BALTIMORE INJURY CASE? Who actually serves on a jury?

The knowledgeable Baltimore personal injury lawyer will advise you that all adult Maryland citizens, who are also US citizens, have the opportunity and duty to serve. Certain individuals are excluded as a matter of law: those that cannot comprehend English; those who have served a sentence of 6 months or more incarceration [unless pardoned], who have a current charge pending and face a sentence of 6 months or more incarceration, among other reasons. Depending on the specific case, prospective jurors may also be excluded for other reasons. Baltimore personal injury lawyers know that the 'source pools' for prospective jurors are MVA records showing those with a driver's license of MVA ID, and the statewide voter registration list.