Takoma Park, MD Personal Injury Lawyer
Automotive accidents, bad falls, dog bites, and other injuries often result in what are called personal injury lawsuits. Also known as personal injury claims, these lawsuits allege that someone, through their negligence, injured you and that you are entitled to financial compensation as a result.
If you are thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit for an accident near Takoma Park, our lawyers can help you out. We can collect evidence, form an argument for you, talk to opposing counsel and insurance companies, and advocate for you in court.
For a free case analysis from one of our personal injury lawyers, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.
How Do Personal Injury Lawsuits Work in Takoma Park, MD?
In any personal injury case, you do not just go to trial right away. In fact, there are a lot of steps that need to happen before a case goes before a jury. Preparation for trial frequently takes many times longer than a trial, and it is not unusual for more than a year to pass between when a lawsuit is filed and when a verdict is rendered.
You may be wondering, then, what exactly our personal injury lawyers are doing during all that time. The answer is that we will be working hard on making the best case possible for you, and we may even be able to resolve the issue favorably before it ever gets to trial at all.
Talking with Our Lawyers
The first step in any personal injury lawsuit is getting in touch with legal counsel. We can talk with you about your situation in general right away, but you will need to be a client in order for us to examine your case in great detail and prepare to represent you in court. Once an attorney-client relationship is created, we can really get to work on fighting for the compensation you deserve after an accident.
A lot of time before the trial will be spent collecting information to use in your case. Things like medical records, photos of the accident and surrounding area, pictures of your injuries/condition after the accident, and more are all critical for forming a strong case and legal argument.
We will also get information from opposing counsel to help with your case, and we will give information to them. This is a formalized process called “discovery” that is very important to ensure that both sides are operating off of more or less the same set of facts and that nothing surprising happens at trial.
Another way to get information is through what are called depositions. These are formal interviews where the person being questioned by lawyers is under oath and must answer as truthfully as possible. Depositions are also made part of the record of the case. So, if you say one thing in a deposition and contradict it later, the lawyer can bring up what you said under oath in the deposition as evidence that you may not be telling the truth. While you will certainly be deposed in your personal injury case, other parties, like witnesses or subject-matter experts, will also be deposed so that lawyers know what they are going to say on the stand.
Pre-Trial Negotiations and Procedures
During the lead-up to trial, our lawyers will also be communicating with the judge and opposing counsel. There will be many meetings and negotiations between these parties for a lot of different reasons.
One possible reason for negotiating with opposing counsel could be working through a possible settlement. A “settlement” is when both parties in a lawsuit mutually agree to a solution to a case outside of a trial. The matter is then resolved with there being no need for a finding of liability or trial – although some settlements will include an admission of liability in their terms.
When looking at a settlement offer, it is important to take a step back and look at what you will get from it. If it meets your needs, it may be worth accepting, even if a trial would be more cathartic. However, the decision to settle is a serious one you should discuss with our personal injury lawyers before making your final choice.
Another thing that can happen before trial is what are called pre-trial motions. These are formal requests by lawyers to the judge to do a certain thing at trial. For example, a common pre-trial motion is a motion to suppress evidence. This motion is made when a lawyer believes that evidence was obtained illegally or showing it would hurt the integrity or impartiality of the jury. If the lawyer is able to successfully argue that their request makes sense in a pre-trial motion, the judge will grant it.
Of course, some cases will make it all the way to trial. At that point, most of the groundwork had already been laid, and all that was left to do was present arguments and evidence to the judge and jury. After hearing all testimony, examining all evidence, and weighing the merits of the case, the jury will return a verdict, and if the defendant is liable, you will be awarded damages.
The side that gets a verdict they do not like has the option to appeal the case under some, but not all, circumstances. So, either the defendant or your yourself may want to appeal the case depending on the outcome, and our personal injury lawyers would be happy to assist you either way.
Call Our Takoma Park, MD Personal Injury Lawyers and Talk about Your Case
To get a free, zero-obligation case review, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 and talk to our personal injury lawyers.