Will I have to go to court for my accident case?
This is one of the most common questions that we received from our accident clients, will I have to go to court for my accident case? It depends if the other driver’s insurance company is disputing either; 1) liability or 2) damages.
The idea of having to testify before a judge or jury makes most people nervous and anxious. We understand that at the Randolph Rice Injury Attorneys and we work to ensure that every case is settled or resolved outside of court.
Settlement vs. Verdict
Accident cases will resolve themselves through either a settlement or verdict. A settlement means that the case is resolved prior to court or trial. An accident case can settle at any point all the way up to right before trial or even during the trial.
A verdict is what the judge or jury gives the injured person after the trial. Such a receive a verdict in the case the clay must be filed in a lawsuit must be pursued against the negligent party.
Going to Court
If the negligent person who caused the accident denies that they were at fault then a case could go to court. That means that the injured party would have to file a lawsuit against the other person that was negligent or reckless.
In addition to disputing liability, the other driver through their insurance company and lawyer may dispute the damages or costs in the case. This means that they are not willing to pay for the medical treatment, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
The other driver’s insurance company may believe that the medical expenses are not related or that they are exorbitant in light of the accident or injuries. This is why it’s so important to hire personal injury lawyer that knows how to prove the actual damages and ensure that they are fully compensated by the insurance company.
What happens at court?
To get to court, the injured person through their attorney must file a lawsuit naming the responsible party as the defendant. This will start the process that will ultimately end in a trial. In Maryland a trial could be in either the district court before a judge or in a circuit court before a jury.
If the case is heard in the district court, that a judge will decide both liability and damages in the case. The judge or jury must first find that there is liability, in other words, that the defendant was at fault for the accident.
Maryland is a contributory negligence state, which means that if the plaintiff is even 1% at fault, then the plaintiff is unable to collect for their injuries and damages. If the judge or jury finds that the defendant is liable then they must move to the damages portion of the case.
They will consider all the evidence, including medical bills and lost wages as well as how the accident affected the injured person. After hearing all the facts and evidence, and finding liability, then the judge or jury will award a verdict.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer in Maryland
When looking for the best Maryland personal injury lawyer, one should look at their track record in the courtroom as well as their negotiations with insurance companies. A seasoned personal injury lawyer will know how to negotiate properly with the insurance company insuring the best result in compensation for their client.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident that was someone else’s fault, contact the Randolph Rice injury attorneys today to schedule a free consultation and to get the money you deserve.
Don’t let someone else’s negligence cause you years of heartache and pain.