Oxon Hill, MD Personal Injury Lawyer
Accidents that result in serious injuries happen every day. Victims of motor vehicle accidents, workplace injuries, and more are left with injuries that are expensive to treat and take a long time to recover from. These circumstances can be extremely frustrating for victims of accidents, especially if they suspect that the accident that led to their injuries could have been avoided.
If you were hurt in or around Oxon Hill, our lawyers can help you. We will work with you on your case to build the strongest legal argument possible to give you the best chance at getting the financial compensation you deserve.
To get a free analysis of your claim from one of our personal injury lawyers, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras by dialing (410) 694-7291.
What Happens in a Personal Injury Case in Oxon Hill, MD?
The legal process has a lot of steps that precede simply going to trial. In fact, the vast majority of time that our personal injury lawyers will spend on any given case is devoted to information gathering, negotiation, and preparation. This is so that everything is controlled and prepared so that when a case does go to trial, our lawyers know exactly what to expect and what to do. Many people are not familiar with the legal process before trial in a personal injury claim, so we will walk you through the important parts of that process.
Initial Meetings with Our Lawyers
The first step in any lawsuit is to retain legal counsel. When you call our lawyers, you will tell us about your situation generally, and we can offer some basic advice. However, we cannot start working on your case in earnest until there is a formal attorney-client relationship in place.
Filing Your Claim On Time
One of the reasons it is important to meet with our lawyers as soon as possible is that there is actually a limit on how long we have to file your case. This law is called the statute of limitations. Each state has its own statutory periods for filing various kinds of cases. In Maryland, the statutory period for filing a personal injury claim under most circumstances is three years under Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 5-101. If you try to file after that time is up, a court will not hear your case, and you will not be able to get any financial compensation.
A great deal of time early on in a case will be spent gathering evidence. Our lawyers can get evidence to support your claims from a variety of sources, including medical providers, eyewitnesses, police reports, and even opposing counsel. In fact, it is virtually required for attorneys on opposite sides of a lawsuit to exchange information through a process called “discovery.” Lawyers share important information about the case because doing so ensures that both sides of the case are using more or less the same set of facts. It also helps to mitigate potential surprises at trial, which are not desirable by either party.
Lawyers also spend a considerable amount of time appearing before a judge, even before trial. Lawyers meet with judges – either in their private office or in their courtroom – to discuss and work out logistics and other matters in a case before it goes to trial. One of the things lawyers do at this time is file motions with the court. A “motion” is a formal request by an attorney for a judge to do something in a particular case. For example, a motion to exclude is a request to have the court prohibit something from being shown at trial. This could be evidence that was obtained illegally, or it could be a motion to prevent an expert from testifying since one lawyer believes them to be unqualified. Attorneys can argue for or against these motions in pre-trial proceedings.
A lot of the time, cases do not make it to trial. Parties in a lawsuit can sometimes work things out beforehand through a settlement. A settlement is when both sides of a lawsuit agree to a resolution outside of trial, and the case is voluntarily dismissed.
Settlements can be beneficial for a number of reasons. First, the matter is wrapped up faster than having a case go to trial, so costs are kept lower. Faster resolution between the parties also means that plaintiffs can get on with their lives and put the legal battle behind them sooner. Second, the outcome is guaranteed. No matter how strong a legal argument may seem, a trial is always a coin toss because the decision is up to the jury.
Whether you accept a settlement offer or not is a serious decision that you should make only after carefully examining the offer with the help of our personal injury lawyers.
The final step in any personal injury case is going to trial. By this point, our lawyers and opposing counsel have a good idea of what the other side is going to say and do. They may not know the finer points of their opening statement and legal argument, but our lawyers will know enough about what the defense is going to do to not be surprised, and vice versa. The real goal of a trial is to present arguments and evidence to the jury so that they can come to their own factual conclusions and render a verdict.
Once the jury goes to deliberate, they return with their decision as to whether the defendant is liable or not, as well as the amount of damages they believe you are owed. If the outcome is not the one you wanted, you may be able to appeal the decision under some circumstances, but that is something you will need to discuss with our lawyers.
Talk to Our Oxon Hill, MD Personal Injury Attorneys Right Away
Do not hesitate to call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at the number (410) 694-7291 and speak to one of our personal injury attorneys about your case today.