Articles Posted in Personal Injury Law

On March 23, 2020, when much of the state of Maryland shut down due to the COVID-19 crisis, Governor Larry Hogan deemed law offices to be essential businesses. We are grateful for this decision, which has allowed us to continued serving the public during these extraordinary, challenging times. Though the courts have been physically closed to the public, accidents and injury on the road and at work do not take a break.

Throughout the pandemic, the Law Offices of Butschky and Butschky have continued to serve our clients with their Maryland personal injury claims. We have consulted with them by phone, email, and through virtual meetings to gather timely information and build their cases—including motor vehicle accidents and Maryland Workers’ Compensation claims.

Now, the Maryland courts have announced a plan to gradually open in five phases.

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We’d like to reach out to our Maryland clients and the greater community to provide some guidance on personal injury lawsuits and claims during the COVID-19 emergency. On March 25, Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera issued a new order extending the length of statewide restricted judiciary operations.

Due to the extended order, all Maryland courts and court offices have been restricted to emergency operations and are closed with limited exceptions from March 17, 2020 through April 3, 2020; in addition, the courts are closed to the public with limited exceptions through May 1, 2020. As with other court systems in states around the country, this decision was made to limit exposure to and spread of the COVID-19 virus among members of the public as well as court personnel and law enforcement.

So what does this mean for your Maryland personal injury claim, whether related to an auto accident, a work accident or Worker’s Compensation claim, a slip and fall accident, or some other cause of injury?

If you’re the victim of a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident in Maryland, don’t assume the legal odds are stacked in your favor. Like our neighbors in Washington, D.C., Maryland has something called a contributory negligence law. This means if you are found to be even one percent responsible for the accident — your insurance claim may be denied and you may be barred from collecting damages or compensation for your injuries.

Contributory negligence is the primary reason you need an experienced accident injury lawyer if you’re hurt in a motor vehicle crash in Maryland.

The law sounds unfair. And victims’ rights advocates would agree it is unfair. However, contributory negligence laws here in Maryland and Washington, D.C. have yet to be overturned.

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Last fall, we reported on a Maryland case involving a seriously injured soccer coach — a case that called into question the state’s contributory negligence law. As Baltimore, Maryland Personal Injury lawyers, we’re very familiar with the nuances of this law and how it can affect our clients’ cases.

The gist of the law is this: If you are injured or killed in an accident in Maryland — and you’re found to be even 1 percent at fault — your insurance claim may be denied and you may lose your accident injury case in court. That means you will not collect any compensation. (The Maryland Contributory Negligence Law applies to nearly all types of accidental injury and death cases, including motor vehicle crashes.)

Now, the Maryland High Court has upheld the contributory negligence law as it relates to the story of the injured soccer coach, first reported late last year. According to newspaper reports, Kyle Coleman, age 20, a part-time soccer coach, sustained serious head and facial injuries when a bar from a collapsed soccer goal fell on him. Coleman sued the Soccer Association of Columbia, Md., which was running the practice when he was injured.

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