It can be challenging to cope with the emotional aftermath of a car accident. This is due not only to the possibility of physical injuries but also to the stress involved in deciding whether to have a trial by jury to address your car accident.
In most cases, claims are settled with insurance companies. However, some cases end up in trial instead. A car accident case might go to trial because there is a disagreement between you and the insurance company regarding who is at fault or if neither party is satisfied with the proposed compensation. If your case goes to trial, it gives you the opportunity to present evidence that supports your claim to the court, which might lead to better compensation. However, it is crucial to understand that if you are found to be at fault, it might negatively affect your case.
For a free case evaluation with our Maryland car accident lawyers, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.
Should I Have My Car Accident Case Heard in a Jury Trial in Maryland?
When taking a car accident case to trial, the jury is an unknown variable in determining the amount of compensation one will receive. However, our experienced Baltimore car accident attorneys can determine the best course of action to receive the compensation you deserve in your case. During the trial, the jury will gather information and listen to arguments from both sides before coming to a final decision.
However, juries are not always predictable and can vary greatly from case to case. This unpredictability can cause the outcome of the trial to no longer be in your favor, potentially leading to a much lower settlement than anticipated or even a complete loss of the case. This is why attorneys carefully select cases to go to trial and try to avoid it if possible. Pressuring your attorney to take a case to trial unnecessarily can result in significant financial loss.
If your case goes to trial, there is a chance that you could receive a significantly higher amount of compensation than what was originally offered. This is especially true if the judge rules in your favor. Insurance companies often try to settle for the lowest amount possible, which is why many people urge their attorneys to take their cases to court.
Taking a case to trial can be an extensive and time-consuming process. It involves a lot of effort to resolve the matter being discussed in the courtroom, for those who have experienced significant pain or trauma from the incident, speaking about it in court might be uncomfortable.
Furthermore, there is always a possibility that the trial might not yield a favorable outcome, putting the money at risk. In some cases, people are offered even less than the initial settlement amount when the trial does not go their way.
Should I Settle My Car Accident Case Before Going to Trial in Maryland?
In comparison to trials, settlements can be much faster. Typically, cases are settled within six to twelve months, while taking a case to trial can take years. During settlement negotiations, you have the option to accept or reject any offer made by the other driver’s insurance company. Additionally, you might request a higher amount if you are not satisfied with the initial settlement offered.
Once you accept a settlement offer, you cannot change your mind. Insurance companies often make lowball offers in hopes that you will accept them out of desperation. If your injuries worsen after accepting an offer, you cannot go back to the insurance company to request more compensation. Sometimes, taking a car accident case to court might result in higher financial compensation.
It is important to note that settling too early might result in not receiving enough compensation for the injuries sustained. If injuries continue to worsen after settlement, you will not be able to receive any additional compensation from the insurance company.
What Elements Need to Be Proved in a Maryland Car Accident Case?
Determining who is at fault in car accidents can be a difficult process. Accidents often happen suddenly, and eyewitness accounts can be inconsistent and conflicting. In order to win a personal injury case, it is essential to have an experienced attorney. Our Aberdeen, MD car accident attorneys will work diligently to gather and analyze all available evidence, including police reports, medical records, witness testimonies, and expert opinions, to establish the four key elements required to prove negligence.
Duty of Care
Demonstrating that the driver had a duty to refrain from subjecting the victim to an unjustifiable risk of injury is essential. In Maryland, drivers are obligated to operate their vehicles in a manner that is safe and does not unreasonably endanger others.
Breach of Duty
In order for a claim to be successful, it must be proven that the driver breached their duty of care. This means that the defendant’s actions created an unreasonable risk. In some cases, this is easily demonstrated. For example, if a driver is driving at 90 miles per hour in an area where the speed limit is 45, it is obvious that they are not operating their vehicle safely. The standard imposed is typically what a prudent driver would do in similar circumstances. Our team will carefully examine all the evidence related to your accident to help determine if there was a breach of duty. Although a police report is not conclusive evidence of fault, it can often be helpful in establishing reckless conduct.
Once we establish that the defendant breached their duty of care, the next essential element to prove in a personal injury case is causation. We will have the task of demonstrating that the defendant’s actions were the direct cause of your injury. While it can be a complex legal question, if your injury was a direct result of the defendant’s actions, then it is probable that this element of the case is present.
In order to successfully make a claim in a car accident lawsuit, there are a few key components that must be met. One of these is actual damages. This means that any harm or injury you experienced must have resulted in a measurable loss, either economic or non-economic in nature. Economic damages are generally straightforward, such as medical bills or lost wages. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or loss of companionship, can be more difficult to quantify but are still valid grounds for a claim.
What Evidence is Used to Prove a Maryland Car Accident Case?
To support your account of a car accident, there are several crucial pieces of evidence that can be utilized. One critical element is the police accident report, which includes vital information about the accident gathered right at the scene, as well as statements from victims and witnesses who recall the events while they are still fresh in their minds.
In court, photos of the accident and the damage to the car can vividly illustrate how the accident happened and the actual damages incurred. Additionally, taking photos of your injuries on or around the day of the incident can accurately capture the extent of your injuries in a more understandable way than words.
To obtain an accurate financial assessment of your damages, it is also important to include your medical records as evidence. Records from specialists you visited, such as the emergency room or physical therapy, are especially helpful.
Moreover, surveillance footage has become increasingly popular as a source of evidence due to advancements in camera technology and security. Dash cams found in many cars and surveillance cameras maintained by businesses can capture car accidents as they happen. Such footage can be used to support your account of the accident.
Our Maryland Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291 for a free review of your case with our Ocean City, MD car accident attorneys.