In an instant, a serious injury can change your entire life. In addition to severe pain and debilitating injuries, you may be facing high medical bills and time away from work that you and your family cannot afford.
You should not have to pay for the wrongdoing of someone else. If you were harmed because of someone’s negligent behavior, you deserve to be fairly compensated for your losses.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at The Bishop Law Group have more than 75 years of combined experience. We understand the complexities of Maryland law, and we are committed to helping our clients recover the maximum compensation to which they are entitled.
If you have been injured due to the careless or reckless behavior of another, contact our office today online or at (410) 390-3101 for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. The Bishop Law Group proudly serves clients from Baltimore, Ocean City, and other Maryland communities. We handle personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t pay us a penny unless we achieve a favorable outcome in your case.
What Is Personal Injury Law?
Personal injury law is a body of statutes and case decisions that determine legal liability for physical and mental injuries suffered in an accident. It involves injuries sustained in car wrecks, trucking collisions, slip and fall accidents, cases of medical malpractice, injuries caused by defective products, and other types of accidents.
Personal injury law is complex. Holding responsible parties accountable for their actions requires substantial knowledge, resources, and commitment. Without the assistance of a seasoned personal injury attorney on your side, the outcome of your case will be at the mercy of insurance adjusters and opposing legal teams. The Bishop Law Group has built a reputation for excellence in a wide range of personal injury matters. We aren’t intimidated by big insurance companies, and we won’t back down from a fight.
Personal Injury Cases We Handle
Personal injury claims can encompass a range of circumstances that lead to a catastrophic injury. The Bishop Law Group has substantial experience handling the following cases:
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Birth Injuries
- Cerebral Palsy
- Wrongful Birth
- Premises Liability
- Slip and Fall
“Attorney Brian Bishop was GREAT!!!!!I was referred to him by a friend who spoke highly of him and he definitely met my expectations by immediately getting rid of what could have been a very unfavorable legal situation. He’s sharp, knowledgeable and has the resources to get done whatever tasks he takes. Definitely a thumbs up in my book!!”
- Walt Vegas
“Brian helped me out of a bind and if I ever need a lawyer again Brian would be the first person that I call. Hands down the best of the best!”
- Brian Schott
“I had a case with The Bishop Law firm. The law firm help me settle my case fast, and I am able to get my kids Christmas stuff this year. I appreciated the way they went beyond to help me. Thanks a million!”
- Cynthia Bevans
“I owe Brian Bishop my freedom. I was wrongly accused of a shooting and he fought my case so hard that the prosecutors ended up dismissing my case after Mr. Bishop reviewed my discovery and found evidence that showed I was innocent. Thank you Mr. Bishop.”
- Justin Prestia
“Excellent law firm!! Everyone is very nice a professional yet down to earth. I highly recommend them!!”
- Michelle Stahl
“Brian Bishop, Esq. is honest, highly motivated and gets exceptional results for his clients in the areas of criminal defense and personal injury law. Highly recommended!”
- John Fisher
How Is Liability Determined In A Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury claims hinge on the issue of negligence. To recover your losses in a personal injury claim, you must prove that the other party’s negligence caused your injuries.
Determining liability depends on the specific details of your case. An experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyer can help your claim by investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident and your injuries, as well as identifying the party or parties responsible for the harm you have suffered. If the at-fault party carries liability insurance, the insurance company is held responsible for paying damages. In these cases, insurance companies conduct their own investigations to determine fault. However, The Bishop LawGroup conducts its own investigation in determining whether the case is viable under Maryland law.
If all of the parties involved are unable to agree, the personal injury claim may proceed to a personal injury lawsuit. This means that the case will be brought before a civil court to ultimately determine fault.
The term negligence refers to the failure to behave with the level of care that someone with reasonable prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. Negligence can involve reckless actions, but it can also include the failure to act.
To win a negligence-based injury claim, you must prove four things:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care: This means that the defendant had an obligation to avoid exposing you to an unreasonable risk of harm. To a certain extent, we all share some duty of care to those around us, whether by following traffic laws or just using common sense to avoid hurting someone else. However, there are constraints on our liability to others. For example, you are not obligated to run into a burning building to rescue others inside. However, if you do choose to offer assistance in a situation, you must exercise reasonable care that any ordinary, prudent person would take when doing so to prevent further harm.
- The defendant breached this duty of care: Once you have proved that the defendant owed a duty of care, you must demonstrate that the defendant failed in this duty. In some cases, such as with speeding or intoxicated drivers, establishing this breach can be relatively straightforward. However, in more complicated situations( such as medical malpractice), proving a breach of duty can be difficult. The knowledge and resources of an experienced attorney is often essential to establish that a breach occurred.
- This breach caused your injury: You must be able to prove that the defendant’s actions or wrongdoing directly caused your loss or injury. In Maryland, this can involve two different types of causation: cause in fact and proximate causation. Cause in fact, also known as factual cause or actual cause, means that if not for the defendant’s actions, your injuries and damages would not have occurred. Proximate cause means that the actions of the defendant are sufficiently related to your injuries such that the law considers the defendant responsible for the harm.
- You suffered demonstrable injury or loss: The final condition of proving negligence in personal injury cases involves proving that you suffered actual harm, either economic or non-economic. This can include losses such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and wrongful death.
If all four of these conditions are met, you have a strong case for a personal injury claim on the basis of negligence.
Negligence Per Se
Negligence per se is a legal doctrine stating that when someone violates a specific provision of a statute, that action is presumed to be negligent. For example, drinking and driving is against public policy and is negligent because there is a public duty to abide by set rules.
The existence of a relevant statute makes it much easier to prove the at-fault party’s breach of their duty of care. Establishing negligence per se strengthens your case and improves the likelihood of recovering the full and fair compensation you deserve.
In some cases, a person’s behavior extends beyond the boundaries of ordinary negligence into extreme indifference to or reckless disregard for others’ safety. Gross negligence is more than a failure to act; it is conduct that is likely to cause foreseeable harm. It is the willful behavior that demonstrates an extreme disregard for the safety and health of others.
For example, if a driver runs a stop sign and causes a collision, it is usually a case of ordinary negligence. However, if that driver drank 15 beers before getting behind the wheel, he or she may be found grossly negligent.
Rulings of gross negligence often carry higher penalties than ordinary negligence. Gross negligence can increase the compensation amount and even result in punitive damages, which are payments mandated to punish and make an example of the wrongdoer.
Contributory negligence involves situations in which more than one party shares responsibility for an accident or injury. Unlike Maryland, many states use a doctrine of comparative negligence to address shared fault. Under this system, the courts work to determine the percentage of fault shared by the parties involved and calculate damages based on that percentage. For example, if one driver is found to be 25% responsible for a wreck and another shares 75% responsibility, both can claim damages against the other, but the compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
Maryland, however, uses a doctrine of contributory negligence. Under this rule, if a party is at any percentage at fault, even if you are only .000000001% responsible for your injury, you may not recover compensation from the other party for your injury. Because of this, it is absolutely critical that you seek the counsel of a seasoned personal injury attorney with extensive experience in these difficult matters.
Maryland’s strict liability doctrine specifies certain instances in which a defendant may be held liable for damage to property or injury – even if that person took precautions and did not act with fault or negligence.
Strict liability typically applies to three specific situations:
- Animal attacks: If you were bitten or otherwise harmed by someone’s pet, the pet’s owner may be found strictly liable for your injury unless the owner can prove that you were trespassing on their property, were committing or attempting to commit a crime, or taunting the animal.
- Product liability: If a drug manufacturer puts a defective product on the market and it causes injury, the company can be found strictly liable even if the manufacturer took every measure of reasonable care to sell a safe product.
- Abnormally dangerous conditions: When a person participates in an inherently dangerous activity or creates hazardous conditions that lead to injuries, he or she may be found strictly liable even if precautions were taken to keep others safe. This may apply to situations such as explosive demolitions or toxic waste disposal.
Types Of Damages Available In Personal Injury Cases
Often used interchangeably with the term “compensation,” damages are the financial payments injury victims can recover from negligent parties as a legal remedy for the physical, emotional, and financial losses they have caused.
There are three types of damages: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. The damages to which you may be entitled under the law depend on the specific details surrounding your case. A personal injury attorney can help determine the full value of your claim.
Economic damages involve the tangible losses you incurred or will incur as a result of the accident. The economic damages that can be recovered after a serious injury may include your current and future:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Physical and psychological therapy expenses
- Expenses for medical and adaptive devices
- Home and vehicle modification costs
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
The process for calculating your current financial losses is relatively straightforward. Essentially, you gather all of the bills and receipts for your medical care and other costs related to your injury. Once the figure of your injury-related expenses has been established, you add the total of the wages and benefits you lost as a result of being unable to work during your recovery. The total of these costs represents your current economic damages.
Calculating the value of your future financial losses is more difficult. To accurately determine these damages, your lawyer will work with medical experts, and possibly life care planning experts to assess the extent of your future medical needs.
Your attorney will also determine the amount of income you will likely lose as a result of being temporarily or permanently unable to work.
Non-economic damages are more subjective than economic damages. These types of damages involve types of harm that do not come with a receipt or other objective documentation.
While your financial losses may be extensive, the current and future non-economic cost of your injury could be even more impactful.
The non-economic losses can include your immediate and long-term:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Emotional distress, such as grief, depression, and anxiety
- Scarring and disfigurement
To place a dollar value on your current and future non-economic losses, your attorney will consider a number of factors, including:
- The severity of the accident
- Your overall health, employment status, and financial condition
- Your age
- How long you will likely experience these impacts
- The physical impacts of your injury
- The psychological impacts of your injury
- Other day-to-day impacts of your injury on your ability to engage in the activities of daily living
- Future medical treatment needed
Quantifying fair compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering can be difficult. Because of this, Maryland has imposed a cap on non-economic damages.
For example, the maximum compensation you can recover for pain and suffering in a medical injury claim is $860,000. This cap increases to $1,290,500 in wrongful death cases that involve more than one beneficiary, although you may be eligible to pursue an additional $830,000 in a survival action. The caps increase by $15,000 each year, as stipulated in the Maryland Code of Courts and Judicial Proceedings.
Punitive damages are different from economic and non-economic damages. Rather than covering the expenses of an accident victim, they are awarded to punish the at-fault party and set an example that such behavior will be harshly penalized.
Punitive damages are not as common as economic and non-economic damages. They are only awarded when someone’s actions are so grossly negligent that the court determines that additional punishment is warranted.
How A Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
Personal injury cases can be very complex. They require the knowledge, skill, and resources of an attorney with extensive experience in these matters. At The Bishop Law Group, our lawyers can help you by:
Explaining Your Rights And Legal Options
Facing the prospect of legal action can feel overwhelming, especially when you are recovering from a serious injury. A personal injury attorney understands the laws that apply to your situation and the hardships you may be dealing with during this difficult time. Your attorney will listen to your side of the story and explain your rights and legal options.
Each decision during the course of your case is ultimately yours. Your lawyer will offer the guidance and information you need to make informed decisions throughout the process.
Conducting An Investigation
A personal injury lawyer will gather as much information about the accident and your injuries as possible. This includes documentation, witness statements, and other evidence that relates to how your injuries occurred and the impact the injuries have had on your life.
During the investigation, your attorney may collect evidence such as:
- Medical bills
- Documentation of lost wages
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Photographs of scene
- Photographs of injuries such as cuts, bruising, and swelling of injured body parts.
- 911 Recordings
- Surveillance footage
- Police body-worn camera footage
- Preservation Letters to Adverse Drivers/Owners of vehicles
The Bishop Law Group has the resources necessary to thoroughly investigate the facts in your case. The evidence gathered in these investigations can make a significant difference in the strength of your claim and the justice you receive.
Calculating Your Losses
In the absence of a skilled attorney, many injury victims accept insurance settlements that do not adequately represent the extent of their injuries and the impact those injuries have on their lives. A seasoned lawyer can calculate the compensation you need to cover your losses and move forward with your life.
Depending on the details of your case, you may be able to pursue damages for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Home modifications
- Assistive devices
- Loss of companionship (in a wrongful death claim)
Insurance companies typically offer far less than injury victims need. In order to negotiate a fair settlement with an insurer, it is crucial to understand the extent of your current and future losses.
The legal team at The Bishop Law Group has more than 75 years of combined experience calculating damages and pursuing maximum compensation in a range of personal injury cases. We know what injured people deserve, and we are committed to fighting for every penny.
Dealing With The Insurance Company
The insurance company will likely attempt to limit the amount of compensation you recover in a number of ways. They may offer a lowball settlement, twist your statement against you, or try to intimidate you into accepting less than you deserve. An experienced attorney is familiar with these tactics and will fight back to protect your best interests.
Negotiating A Fair Settlement
A good personal injury attorney is a skilled negotiator who will make sure that you aren’t intimidated into accepting a lower settlement than you deserve. Without a lawyer in your corner, an insurer may offer to cover your past medical bills but not the expensive physical therapy and prescription medication that you will continue to need after the case has ended. Insurance companies know which attorneys and law firms are known to settle cases instead of going to court. This is why here at The Bishop Law Group, we pride ourselves on being a trial attorney law firm. We get higher settlement offers than other firms because when we say we are going to file a lawsuit, insurance companies know that we mean it.
Taking Your Case To Court If A Fair Settlement Cannot Be Reached
The best personal injury lawyers are successful trial attorneys. If a sufficient outcome cannot be achieved through negotiations, your lawyer may recommend bringing your case before a judge or jury. During the trial process, your attorney will ensure that all court documents and other paperwork are filed correctly and on time.
Personal injury lawyers level the playing field against big insurance companies and their extensive legal teams. By handling every aspect of your claim, an attorney gives you your best opportunity at obtaining the full and fair compensation you need to move forward. At The Bishop Law Group, we pride ourselves on being a trial attorney law firm. Insurance companies know which law firms have a reputation for settling cases instead of going to trial. Our personal attorneys achieve higher settlement offers because insurance companies know that we are fully prepared to fight in court on behalf of our clients when settlement offers are too low.
Why Choose The Bishop Law Group?
There are many law firms in Baltimore that handle personal injury cases, but many prioritize fast settlements over the well-being of their clients. At The Bishop Law Group, our clients are the reason we are passionate about personal injury law. We work tirelessly to ensure that every case is given the individualized attention it deserves.
We know that the keys to successful cases lie in hard work and determination. We don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to legal counsel. We take time to understand the unique details in every case and tailor a customized legal strategy that is specific to our clients’ needs.
The Bishop Law Group has more than 75 years of combined experience in a wide range of complex personal injury matters. We are proud of our record of success and the positive difference we have made in the lives of our clients.
Contact Our Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyers Today
The experienced personal injury lawyers at The Bishop Law Group are committed to helping accident victims move forward after a serious injury. We believe every person has the right to knowledgeable counsel, and we are dedicated to helping our clients recover the maximum compensation they need and deserve.
If you have been harmed due to the reckless or careless actions of another, we can help. Our attorneys have substantial experience with a range of complex personal injury claims. We will fight diligently on your behalf to protect your rights and best interests.
How We Can Help
The clock may already be ticking on your case, so it is important to act quickly. Call the personal injury lawyers at The Bishop Law Group today at (410) 390-3101 to discuss your case for free. We serve clients throughout Maryland, including Baltimore, Ocean City, and other areas.