Accidents and Personal Injury

Auto Accidents

Hochberg, Costello, & Baron has over 40 years of experience in litigating auto accident claims throughout Towson, Baltimore and Central Maryland and has recovered millions of dollars and substantial verdicts over our many years of practice. Let us put our experience to work for you.

When pursuing a claim for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle collision, there are two parts to the claim. First is liability and second is damages.

In Maryland, negligence is the basis for the liability claim. There are four factors necessary to prove negligence in Maryland in an auto accident claim. The four factors are

  • Duty
  • Breach
  • Causation
  • Damages (you do not have a claim in Maryland for negligence/liability unless you have damages)

Duty

Duty may be defined as that which a reasonable person is required to do under normal circumstances. In the Maryland Code, Transportation Article, there are numerous statutes regulating the operation of a motor vehicle. The mere violation of one of those statutes is not negligence. However, it is a strong indicator that a duty has been breached. We will perform the necessary research in order to prove this element.

Breach

A breach of duty is an element to be proven by the facts of each case. Failure to yield the right of way, failure to keep a proper lookout, failure to operate at a speed reasonable and proper under the highway, traffic and weather conditions are all breaches of a duty owed while operating a motor vehicle on the highway. These are factual disputes which are best resolved through evidence consisting of photographs and witness information.

Causation

Causation is a medical issue when dealing with injuries and when dealing with property damage, a certified repair shop. Usually, property damage is not an issue but when necessary, a company may need to be hired to pursue a diminished value claim for the vehicle. Most claims hinge on the medical evidence presented to prove causation of injuries to the accident. Medical providers must be able to state within a reasonable degree of medical probability that the injuries sustained were caused by the collision. Without such testimony, medical treatment and the bills incurred are not admissible into evidence.

Damages

The final element of the claim is damages. In Maryland, damages are measured by medical expenses, past, present and future, lost wages, past present and future, out of pocket expenses, and the largest part of the claim is usually physical pain and mental anguish. Medical records and lost wage verification forms are usually required in order to prove these damages.

Maryland Court Systems for Auto Accidents

In Maryland, we have two Court systems, the Circuit Court and the District Court. The Circuit Court is the higher Court in which the claim is usually tried before a jury with claim damages in excess of $75,000.00. These cases are usually more substantial in terms of injuries and damages. The District Court is the lower Court and may hear claims up to $30,000.00. These trials are only before a Judge and are much less expensive to pursue as live medical testimony is not necessary and medical reports and bills and other documents may be admitted into evidence without authentication and confirmation.

The attorneys of Hochberg, Costello & Baron have represented thousands of clients over the years and are well equipped to provide excellent representation in the field of auto accidents/motor vehicle collisions.