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Personal Injury FAQs

Brain Injury

Auto Accidents

Wrongful Death

General Personal Injury

Should I provide a statement to an insurance company without a lawyer’s help?

It is in your best interest to only provide basic information to an insurance company until you consult with a lawyer. The more significant your injuries, the more imperative it becomes to seek legal counsel before providing any statement.

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Will I have to go to trial to recover damages?

About 95 percent of personal injury cases settle prior to trial.

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What is considered “pain and suffering?”

Pain and suffering includes your physical, emotional, and mental pain and anguish as a result of your injuries and limitations.

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What determines the amount I might recover?

Every case involves three issues:

  • Liability-establishing someone’s negligence
  • Damages-the amount that will fairly and adequately compensate you for your injuries
  • Source of collection-insurance or other assets from which damages can be recovered

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What is a typical settlement amount?

An experienced personal injury lawyer reviews and interprets your case information to determine the appropriate value for your claim:

  • Incurred medical bill amount
  • Future medical bills
  • Loss of past income
  • Your age
  • Any permanent limitations caused by the injury
  • Impact on future earning capacity
  • Activities you can no longer do
  • Activities you can do but do not enjoy as much
  • Prognosis for further problems
  • Strength of lay witness testimony

The goal is fair and adequate compensation for your injury.

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How much is my case worth?

Many factors determine how much compensation you may receive, including the severity of your injuries, your past medical history, and the amount of Insurance coverage that the responsible person or company has. An experienced attorney can assess the potential value of your claim.

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Brain Injury

What are the most common types of brain injury?

Brain injuries fall into two categories-traumatic brain injuries and acquired brain Injuries.

Traumatic brain injuries occur when the brain is damaged by an external force, such as an accident or a blow to the head. Acquired brain injuries occur at a cellular level, such as by oxygen deprivation.

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What causes a brain injury?

A force or blow can cause traumatic brain injury by causing the brain to move inside the skull or by damaging the skull to the extent that it then damages the brain. Many traumatic brain injuries stem from motor vehicle accidents, a direct blow to the head with a heavy instrument, sports injuries, slip and fall accidents, and physical violence.

Some causes of acquired braininjury include starvation of oxygen to the brain and lack of blood flow to the brain. Other circumstances under which one might suffer an acquired brain injury include near drowning, choking, stroke, disease, and toxic exposure. Hypoxia or anoxia (deprivation of oxygen) to a fetus around the time of birth is often seen in birth injury or cerebral palsy cases.

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Are some injuries milder than others?

The level of brain damage can vary with traumatic and acquired brain injuries. A person may suffer a mild brain injury, which impacts the person for a short period and with minor symptoms.

Symptoms of a moderate brain injury can last longer, and the effects can be more profound. A serious brain injury can lead to life-changing and debilitating problems and can result in such conditions as coma, vegetative state, minimally responsive state, locked-in syndrome, brain death, and many other conditions.

When the brain injury is hypoxic or anoxic in nature it can cause developmental delay in the baby and profound lifelong disability.

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Am I entitled to compensation for my brain injury or one suffered by a family member?

A qualified brain injury lawyer can best evaluate your case for possible compensation. He or she must thoroughly review the facts of your case with experts and advise you regarding all options.

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Auto Accidents

Can the insurance company refuse to pay my medical bills if my car was not damaged?

While the insurance company might try to draw a direct correlation between damage done to your car and the severity of your personal injury, it is possible that the body sustains damage even if the car did not. The reverse may also be true-a car might experience major impact but the people might only suffer minor cuts and bruises. Dealing with insurance companies can be difficult and frustrating following a car or auto accident injury, as often insurance companies will deny a claim or try to delay payment. Our Bowie car accident lawyers can help guide you through the process if you have been in a car accident in Maryland, Virginia,or Washington,D.C.

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Wrongful Death

What is wrongful death?

The idea behind a wrongful death lawsuit is the wrongful death, in addition to injuring the person who died, also brought harm to the people who depended on that individual for financial and/or emotional support. The wrongful act might be:

  • A negligent or careless act (e.g., careless driving)
  • A reckless act
  • An intentional act such as deliberate murder

Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. have statutes permitting a lawsuit to be brought by the decedent’s relatives in the event of a wrongful act.

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What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim?

Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. law sets different deadlines for filing wrongful death lawsuits. If a lawsuit is not timely filed, the opportunity to recover damages for the family will be forever lost. Therefore, prompt consultation with an experienced attorney is very important.

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Successfully serving Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

The attorneys at Hartel, DeSantis & Murray, LLP vigorously represent individuals and their families who have been victims of negligence or other wrongful acts in. If you need a personal injury lawyer or DUI attorney in Bowie, Annapolis, College Park, Greenbelt, Glen Burnie or anywhere in Maryland, Virginia or Washington,D.C. Hartel, DeSantis & Murray, LLP today.

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