Trial Process for a Maryland Car Accident
The trial process for a Maryland car accident can be intimidating and confusing. If you are at this stage, it is likely that your legal team has been unable to settle your case up to this point. It is important to note that this does not mean that your case will not be settled before the completion of trial. In fact, it is in the interest of both sides to settle the case before a jury comes back with a verdict. The reason for this is that juries can be unpredictable. No matter how strong your case is, and no matter how great of a job your lawyer does throughout the trial process, you never truly know who is on that jury.
Even if you are on the defense side for the adverse driver and tortfeasor, there is a benefit for them to make an offer for settlement larger than before trial. And our side may be willing to take it. In fact, you may be surprised to learn how frequently settlements during trial between the attorneys happen. A prudent attorney generally prefers to make decisions with certainty of the outcome. The only way to have this in court is to strike a deal. But, what if neither side is willing to concede? While this is rare, it does happen. Below, we will discuss what the typical trial process for a Maryland car accident looks like.
While this is not technically part of being in court, it is arguably the most important stage. It also lasts the longest. During this stage, we gather evidence, prepare witnesses, and prepare for oral arguments. We will also prepare you for trial as necessary.
This state of the trial process for a Maryland car accident involves a combination of a summons served on the defendant and a complaint filed with the court. There are filing fees and potentially service fees at this stage.
The purpose of discovery in a civil action is for there to not be surprises once both parties arrive to court. In order for there to be a fair trial, the legal system believes it is important for both sides to prepare sufficiently and discovery assists with this.
Trial Phase of Maryland Car Accident
Once the trial process begins, we begin with voir dire. At this stage, lawyers question potential jurors to determine whether they are fit to serve on the jury for that trial. This may also involve the questioning of witnesses.
This phase of the trial process for a Maryland car accident is critical as first impressions last. We describe to the jury or judge in the case of a bench trial the course of the trial and the arguments we will make. At this stage, we set the tone and present themes to the fact finder.
This involves questioning witnesses by both sides and examining exhibits. This stage carefully follows the rule of evidence applicable to the court system and local rules. There is direct examination of witnesses, cross-examination, and examination of exhibits such as photographs of your car. This is where the mastery of your attorney is at play.
Here, we reiterate the most important points made at trial. This is a great opportunity to repeat the theme that has been involved throughout the trial, and leaving the jury or judge with something solid to think about going into deliberation before a verdict is returned. Once the trial concludes, the jury presents a verdict to the judge. From there, we receive a judgment which may be appealable. If necessary, we can make appeals of post-trial motions.
For further questions regarding the trial process for a Maryland car accident, contact us anytime.