Clarksburg, MD Personal Injury Lawyer
Serious injuries can seriously upend your life for a short time. Plaintiffs can be left reeling in the face of enormous medical expenses that can easily reach hundreds of thousands of dollars, inability to work while recovering from injuries, and the prospect that their lives may be permanently altered by their injuries. All of these factors and more can make dealing with an injury caused by someone else’s negligence extremely stressful.
If you get injured around Clarksburg and need legal assistance, our lawyers are here to help. We are experienced attorneys who will make sure you sue the right parties and have professional, competent representation in court so you can fight for what you are owed.
Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s personal injury lawyers at (410) 694-7291 for a free initial case review.
Discovery in Clarksburg, MD Personal Injury Lawsuits
After you are injured, chances are you will want to go to trial as soon as possible. However, the reality is that a great deal of preparation, planning, and work goes into a personal injury lawsuit between when you meet with our personal injury lawyers and when you argue your case before a jury in court. A tremendous amount of information needs to be documented and gone over by attorneys for both sides of a lawsuit so that the case is going off of the same set of facts. The process by which attorneys exchange information during a lawsuit is called “discovery.” Discovery is very important to the legal process, but it can be lengthy. It is not unusual for discovery to take years to complete in a personal injury case.
An “interrogatory” refers to lawyers asking for the whereabouts of certain individuals likely to speak at trial or otherwise be involved in the case. Lawyers will commonly ask for information about expert witnesses in interrogatories so that both sides can get in contact and interview them in a process called a deposition. Lawyers also may ask for the names of witnesses or other individuals involved in the injury in some capacity.
Discovery Requests for Production
A “request for production” is similar to an interrogatory, but it asks for physical things instead of people’s whereabouts. Virtually anything can be asked for in a request for production so long as it pertains to the case. Lawyers frequently ask for correspondence, emails, business records, and other documents in requests for production. It is not uncommon for multiple large documents to go back and forth between attorneys in requests for production.
Privileged Information in Discovery
Just because attorneys exchange information does not mean that they can ask for anything they want. Some information is “privileged” or protected from discovery. This includes irrelevant information as well as private information. For example, opposing counsel cannot ask for your criminal record if their client hit you with a car because it is likely not relevant to the case. Additionally, they cannot ask for conversations between you and our lawyers because that is protected by attorney-client privilege.
Depositions in Clarksburg, MD Personal Injury Lawsuits
Depositions are another incredibly important part of the pre-trial process in a personal injury lawsuit. A deposition is a formal interview with a lawyer before trial. The primary purpose of a deposition is to obtain statements under oath from plaintiffs, defendants, witnesses, and other individuals involved with the trial. Lawyers obtain these statements beforehand so as to not be surprised by unknown information at trial. Moreover, if someone contradicts their under-oath testimony from their deposition, the lawyer can rely on that deposition to put the new statement’s truth into question.
In your deposition, the opposing lawyer will ask you a series of questions regarding information about your case. Our lawyers will also be present in the room, as will be a registered recorder who will transcribe the deposition for use in court. You should answer these questions truthfully to the best of your ability because trying to hide information or “pull one over” on an opposing lawyer looks dishonest to the court at best and could make you lose the case at worst. However, this does not mean that every question opposing counsel asks is far. If our lawyers feel that a question is overreaching, irrelevant to the case, or otherwise not necessary, we can object, and you will not need to answer the question.
Once opposing counsel has asked their questions, our lawyers will likely cross-examine you to ask our own set of questions and clarify answers to opposing counsel’s questions. The lawyers can then go back and forth until they feel that they have the information they need.
It is not out of the ordinary for a single deposition to take hours, as the attorneys want to be as thorough as possible. Moreover, each and every witness who is expected to speak at trial will go through a deposition, so it can take quite a while for all depositions to be completed.
Pre-Trial Motions in Clarksburg, MD Personal Injury Lawsuits
In addition to discovery and depositions, lawyers can also ask the court to do certain things before trial through something called a “motion.” A motion is simply a formal way of asking the court to do something. One of the most common motions is a motion to suppress evidence. Motions can also be for more mundane things, like rescheduling the trial date to better sue the schedules of the plaintiff and defendant.
Trials in Clarksburg, MD Personal Injury Lawsuits
A jury trial is the last step in most personal injury lawsuits. While sometimes the plaintiff or defendant will appeal the case, the trial verdict is generally the last word on the issue.
At trial, the jury will be shown the evidence (apart from any excluded via pre-trial motions) gathered through discovery. The jury will also hear testimony from experts, eyewitnesses, and other individuals relevant to the case. The testimony will usually be consistent with what people said in their deposition.
After all the evidence and testimony have been presented, the jury will be instructed on the relevant law by the judge and then, after carefully weighing the facts of the case, return with a verdict as to whether the defendant is liable or not. If the defendant is found to be liable for your injuries, the jury will also determine what damages you are awarded for your injuries.
Speak with Our Clarksburg, MD Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Call (410) 694-7291 to discuss your case with Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s personal injury lawyers.