Elkridge, MD Personal Injury Lawyer
When you are seriously injured, there are a lot of things to deal with. Most immediately important is your convalescence and recovery from your injuries. However, your thoughts may soon turn to potentially filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for your injuries. This could be because you feel you deserve financial compensation, justice under the law, or a combination of both.
If you were injured around Elkridge, MD, our lawyers are here to help. We are experienced attorneys who have represented many injured plaintiffs, and we are now ready to lend our skills to your case.
For a free case review, call our personal injury lawyers from Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.
The Process of an Elkridge, MD Personal Injury Lawsuit
Personal injury lawsuits have many steps. In fact, lawsuits have so much work and preparation that go into them before a trial that actually arguing a case before a jury constitutes far less than half of the whole process. Our personal injury lawyers, and no doubt any opposing lawyers, put countless hours into preparing for trial so that it can go off without a hitch. We will go into a breakdown of the important steps of the personal injury lawsuit process so that you have an idea of what to expect in yours.
Initial Meeting with Our Lawyers
The first step in the process of getting a personal injury lawsuit off the ground is scheduling a meeting with a lawyer. When you call our personal injury lawyers, we can go over your case and give you some pointers, but there are a lot of things that our lawyers cannot do unless there is a formal agreement to have us represent you. However, once that agreement is in place, we can start really getting into the weeds of your situation. During your initial discussion with us, we can get a good understanding of your situation and come up with a plan to build you the strongest case possible.
One of the most important parts of the legal process that happens before trial is something called “discovery.” Discovery is the process by which lawyers get information about the case from various sources. This could include people like witnesses and subject matter experts or things like documents, videos, and other tangible pieces of evidence.
During discovery, lawyers will not only work to get information from their own side. There will also be formal requests from the other side’s lawyer to get information from your side of the story. Likewise, our lawyers will ask opposing counsel for their information. While it may seem counterintuitive, it is actually standard practice for lawyers on opposite sides to share information and evidence during discovery, and it is a critical part of the legal process. One of the primary purposes of sharing this kind of information is to have a common set of facts between the judge and both lawyers so that the playing field is “even” and everyone is on the same page. It also helps to guard against any surprises that may appear at trial if lawyers do not share information. Unlike in most fictional depictions of trials, it is very rare that a shocking revelation comes to the forefront during the trial portion of a lawsuit. Most of that is dealt with beforehand so everyone knows what is going on.
In addition to collecting information from sources like documents or records, another important part of preparing for a personal injury trial is something called depositions. Depositions are essentially formal interviews by lawyers to get information from relevant parties. These interviews are under oath, so anything said in them can be relied on during a trial.
At a deposition, the person being interviewed, their lawyer, the opposing lawyer, and a professional recorder will be present in usually a conference-type room. The opposing lawyer will ask the deponent – the person being deposed – questions that are relevant to the case. After they are done asking questions, our lawyers will ask follow-up questions, if necessary. This can go back and forth until both lawyers feel they are satisfied with what information they have obtained.
You and any other relevant party are likely to go through a deposition at some point before trial. It is important that you tell the truth in a deposition since you are under oath, even if you think it may hurt your case. This is because getting caught in a lie is one of the worst things you can do in a legal context, and it almost instantly makes your case worse. That being said, opposing counsel can only ask questions that are within the rules of a deposition and relevant to the case. If our lawyers feel a question is not fair or out of line, we can object, and you do not have to answer it.
Depositions can take quite a while and will happen for each and every individual who is expected to testify at trial. It is not unusual for the deposition process to take months to complete.
Pre-Trial Motions and Procedures
Following, and sometimes concurrent with, discovery, there will be many pre-trial motions and procedures. For example, one side may offer to settle the case before trial, saving money and time for both parties. However, this offer does not need to be accepted, and if you get a settlement offer, you should talk to our lawyers about it before making a decision. Another common pre-trial motion is a motion to exclude evidence because it is not relevant, inappropriate for the case, or some other reason.
The final capstone of a personal injury lawsuit is a jury trial. It should be noted that not all cases go to trial, and many are settled or resolved before this point in a manner that is acceptable to both parties. At this stage, the jury hears the argument for both sides and renders a verdict. If the defendant is found liable, the jury also determines what you should be awarded in damages.
Talk with Our Elkridge, MD Personal Injury Lawyers Right Away
Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s personal injury lawyers at (410) 694-7291 for a free case review.