Filing an Accident Claim in Maryland
Filing an accident claim in Maryland is generally not the first move we make. When handling a car accident case for a client, we will generally try to solve the matter amicably. This typically includes communicating with the defendant’s insurance provider. Ideally, a defendant has insurance coverage. In the event that he or she does not, they are not going to pay independent counsel to defend their case. The reason being, if they cannot afford or are unwilling to pay for car insurance, they most likely will not be willing to pay independent counsel far more money on an hourly basis. If we are unable to successfully and amicably settle your case outside of court, then we will initiate formal legal proceedings.
Mechanics of Filing an Accident Claim
After retaining a personal injury attorney and unsuccessfully negotiating a fair settlement with the defendant’s team, we will file a complaint in the proper venue and provide a summons to the defendant following the appropriate local rules. There are fees associated with filing a complaint with the state or federal court. However, our firm advances these costs on behalf of our clients. Then, in the event we are successful in our suit, those costs eventually come out of the recovery and reimburse our office. We file suit in either one of two counties, generally. The first available county is where the car accident occurs. The second option is the county in which the defendant resides. Your Maryland car accident lawyer will decide which county to file depending on a number of factors.
Given our decades of experience, we know which counties in Maryland generally award more favorable verdicts for plaintiffs. If one of these favorable venues are available, we will generally choose that. We also consider where the defendant lives as being favorable to the defendant. Accordingly, we may stray away from that county as an option. We also consider whether to file in District Court or Circuit Court. Each option also has advantages and disadvantages your accident lawyer can explain to you and relate it to your specific facts.
The trial following filing an accident claim in Maryland consists of much of what you see on tv procedurally. Each side gives an opening statement, although this is not a requirement. The plaintiff, our side, gives the opening statement first. We also will give the closing statements first. But again, neither side must give a statement. However, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. So, we almost always will give both an opening and closing statement to win the case. The trial process itself lasts about two days for an accident case with more minor injuries. The first day includes picking jurors, opening statements, and perhaps some examining of witnesses. Then, it gets wrapped up on the second day. However, if the case involves more serious injuries, especially like a death case, the trial may last longer.
Benefits of Filing an Accident Claim
Perhaps the biggest benefit to filing an accident claim in Maryland is you are more likely to meet or exceed the precise value of your claim. We have been practicing personal injury law for nearly 70 years. But even we cannot predict nor guarantee you will obtain a given judgment at trial. But a jury, generally speaking, is the best and most fair measurement our country has of receiving a fair recovery for our injuries. Of course, this does require excellent legal counsel to make a strong and convincing case.
Drawbacks of Filing
Unfortunately, there are more drawbacks than benefits. Although, if filing your accident claim in Maryland is the only way to obtain full and fair compensation, then we will absolutely recommend it to our client. The first and most obvious drawback is the time expense. Waiting for your case to go to trial can take roughly a year in Maryland. This does depend on what court we file in, and we can explain these details to you if applicable.
The second issue of filing an accident claim in Maryland is expense. For the client, the legal fee does increase. As attorneys, our goal is to get the best possible recovery for our client. So, we take the expense into account when determining whether to file suit or settle the case pre-litigation. However, this is a drawback to consider. There are also expenses such as paying expert witnesses, if applicable. One should note that expert witnesses are not always necessary to win a case or prove damages. However, when the case is not a more cut and dry case, such as a rear-end accident case where liability is more clear, an expert witness may be necessary to prove to a jury by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant acted negligently.
If you have any further questions on filing an accident claim in Maryland, please do not hesitate to contact our office. Our consultations are always free, and our phones are available 24/7. We look forward to speaking with you.