Crofton, MD Car Accident Lawyer
The vast majority of people in the United States go about their day driving their cars without any problems beyond possible frustration with traffic. Unfortunately, many Americans also get into car accidents every day. After a car accident, you are likely going to have many issues to address. These could be as simple as taking your car to a mechanic for repairs or as serious as many months of physical therapy to recover from grisly injuries. In many cases, victims of car accidents do not know where to start to get their life back on track.
If you were in a car accident around Crofton, MD, our lawyers can help. We are experienced attorneys who have represented plaintiffs in car accident lawsuits, and we are ready to lend our skills to assist you with your needs.
Schedule a call with Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s car accident lawyers at (410) 694-7291 to get a free case review.
The Process of a Car Accident Lawsuit in Crofton, MD
Car accident lawsuits, or any personal injury lawsuit, have the potential to take a very long time. The process can be difficult and demanding at times, but the alternative is the possibility of not getting the justice and compensation you deserve for your injuries. Our car accident lawyers can help you throughout the entire legal process from start to finish.
Talking to Our Lawyers
The legal process starts when our lawyers officially take you on as a client. By this point, you probably already had an initial case review where you told us some of the facts of your case. Once an attorney-client relationship is established, we can start to form a strong argument on your behalf to improve your chances of recovering damages.
Discovery is one of the most important and one of the longest parts of any lawsuit. It is the process by which both sides of a case get information and details about the events that transpired. Lawyers put out discovery requests to opposing counsel for information. There are two types of discovery requests: interrogatories and requests for production.
Interrogatories are requests for information and individuals. Interrogatories often ask for the whereabouts of individuals with important information about the case. For example, opposing counsel might ask for any individuals with knowledge or details about the accident. This could include important eyewitnesses but also might cover friends or family that you talked to about your experiences. A common interrogatory is a request for information about an expert witness. For example, if we are planning to have a car expert testify in your case, opposing counsel can ask for their name, where they work, and their “curriculum vitae” (CV) that details their work in the field as an expert.
Requests for production, on the other hand, ask for physical things that have information. This includes documents like medical records, vehicle shop repairs, and photographs and video of the accident. In the past, requests for production dealt only with tangible items. However, the scope has now expanded to include electronic correspondence like emails or phone calls.
Not everything the other side asks for needs to be handed over in discovery. When a lawyer gets a discovery request, they can deny part of it because they feel it is not relevant or because the other side is asking for information they already have. Additionally, some information is “privileged” and not allowed to be asked for in discovery. A common privileged thing in discovery is the details of conversations between lawyers and clients. The attorney-client privilege protects that information.
While you can deny some discovery requests, it is inadvisable to completely stonewall opposing counsel. Doing so could lead to sanctions from the court or, in serious cases of noncompliance, losing the case altogether.
Depositions are an incredibly important part of the legal process before trial. Depositions are sworn statements that can be used as evidence in court. In a deposition, the “deponent” – the person being asked questions – their lawyer, opposing counsel, and a registered recorder will all be present. The opposing lawyer will ask the deponent a series of questions, starting with simple ones to get them acclimated to the process, but most of the questions will be specific to the accident as well as the plaintiff’s injuries.
Once opposing counsel has finished with their questions, the deponent’s lawyer can ask follow-up questions. The two sides go back and forth until they feel they have no further questions.
It is virtually certain that you will be deposed in your car accident lawsuit. You should answer all questions truthfully, even if you feel the answer will hurt your case. Lying under oath in a deposition would hurt your case more than any bad fact ever could. If our lawyers feel a question is unfair, we can object, and you will not have to answer it.
At any point before a jury trial, parties in a case can offer to “settle” or come to an agreement without going through a full lawsuit. In a settlement, no one is found liable by a court, although the settlement agreement might include an admission of liability.
Our job as lawyers is to get you the best outcome in your case. In some instances, that might involve a settlement. If a settlement is a good idea in your case, we will advise accordingly. However, the final decision is always up to you.
The trial is the legal process most laypersons are familiar with. However, trials do not necessarily play out as they do in television dramas. Because of the lengthy preparation process, there are very few surprise revelations at trial. Both sides will present their evidence and argument to the judge and jury, and the jury will decide whether the defendant is liable or not and what damages to award the plaintiff.
Speak with Our Crofton, MD Car Accident Lawyers Today
Our car accident lawyers from Rice, Murtha & Psoras are ready to help with your case when you call (410) 694-7291.