Most people do not think about the possibility of filing a Maryland personal injury lawsuit until they need to—until they themselves get injured in an accident. A common catalyst for these lawsuits are Maryland car accidents, which are unfortunately all too common and occur every day. Some of these accidents are somewhat predictable and common—perhaps a driver runs a red light, or a drunk driver swerves into the wrong lane. While these accidents are tragic, they are also pretty usual and expected—driver’s education courses teach Maryland drivers to be on the lookout for these risky behaviors which would lead to accidents.
Other accidents, however, are less predictable and, frankly, quite unusual. Take a recent tragedy that occurred just last month. According to a news article covering the incident, a pickup truck was driving southbound one morning, around 11 am, when it unexpectedly crossed the median and northbound lanes before leaving the road and crashing into a house. Tragically, one person inside the house was killed. The driver of the pickup truck was also injured, and taken to the hospital in serious condition. It is unknown what caused the driver to leave the road and crash into the house—the crash is still under investigation.
Regardless of how the Maryland car accident happens—whether it’s a slight fender-bender or someone crashing into a house—the state allows those injured as a result to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover for the damages incurred. These lawsuits are civil, meaning the defendant in the case (usually the driver who caused the accident) will not face any jail time or criminal charges as a result. Instead, if they are held liable for the accident, they will likely be ordered to pay the plaintiff (the injured person who brought the suit) for the costs they incurred as a result. The goal is to make the plaintiff whole, as close to as if the accident had never happened as possible. So if the plaintiff had to pay $100,000 in medical fees and expenses as a result of the accident, then the court may instruct the defendant to pay the plaintiff $100,000. In tragic cases like the one described above, when someone dies, their family or estate may be able to bring the suit instead. In this circumstance, they can also recover for funeral and burial costs, in addition to any medical expenses or other costs.