A wrongful death lawsuit is often a long and complicated process. Depending on how the death occurred, whether liability is questioned, and the number of parties involved, a lawsuit could be time consuming. As with other cases that go to court, depositions often play a vital role in obtaining evidence and critical testimony in wrongful death claims. Below, our Maryland wrongful death attorney from Rice, Murtha & Psoras reviews how a deposition works and what happens after they have been completed.
How Wrongful Death Lawsuits Work in Maryland
It is essential to know something about an actual lawsuit works to understand the role depositions play in a Maryland wrongful death lawsuit. In many ways, a wrongful death lawsuit is similar to a personal injury claim. A wrongful death lawsuit is based on harm that was caused by another party’s negligent or intentional conduct. the most significant difference is that a personal injury claim is brought by the person who was injured by the defendant’s conduct. In a wrongful death claim, the action is brought by an eligible family member who was harmed by the death of their loved one.
Just like a personal injury lawsuit, there are some necessary steps that will take place in a wrongful death claim – no matter whether the death was the result of a car accident, medical malpractice, or another incident that resulted in fatal injuries.
Usually, the first step is to try and negotiate with an insurance company. With the assistance of our Maryland wrongful death attorney, a demand letter will be sent requesting the compensation desired. it is important to remember that an insurance company does not have your best interests in mind. it is attempting to limit its liability. If your claim cannot be resolved through direct contact with the insurance provider, a lawsuit will likely be filed.
A wrongful death lawsuit begins just like any other lawsuit – with the filing and service of the complaint. the complaint states the facts of the case, the legal grounds for recovery, and the requested compensation. Once the complaint is served, the defendant will have a specific amount of time to file a response. After an answer is filed, more motions and discovery will follow. Discovery is a set of legal tools that our Maryland personal injury attorney will use to gather information and evidence from the opposing party. Typically, this is done through a formal request for documents, interrogatories, and depositions.
Depositions in a Maryland Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Just like in any other lawsuit suit, a deposition in a wrongful death case is a proceeding that takes place outside of court that allows attorneys on both sides to record testimony from the parties involved, along with any witnesses in the case. This testimony is given under oath and is used in future court hearings or proceedings. While there is no judge present, attorneys for both sides take part in a deposition.
In a wrongful death case, attorneys for both sides will depose the parties and various witnesses that have information regarding the incident. All testimony is recorded by a court reporter, who will take down everything that is said, verbatim, and later provide written transcripts of the full deposition.
During a deposition, both sides will have the ability to question the witness. Through this process, each side is attempting to investigate what occurred through the recollection of the available witnesses.
Even though a deposition does not occur inside a courtroom, each attorney is entitled to object to questions that are asked. In most situations, our Towson wrongful death attorney will resolve any issues revolving around objections with the opposing counsel. However, there are times when a request for a ruling from a judge is sought because the attorneys are unable to come to an agreement.
What Followed a Wrongful Death Deposition in Maryland?
Depositions are standard tools used by attorneys in wrongful death lawsuits. They are an essential part of the discovery process – allowing our Maryland wrongful death attorney the ability to question a witness and get their testimony before going to trial. Many lawsuits will swing on the information given and discovered during depositions.
It is not uncommon for a wrongful death case to have numerous depositions as both parties gather their witnesses, medical experts, and other professionals. In many cases, a deposition could lead to additional discovery, such as amended document requests, because more information regarding the case is learned. After all the depositions and additional discovery is completed, an insurance company might offer a new settlement based on the strength of the new evidence available.
However, it is impossible to predict precisely what will occur after the depositions in a wrongful death lawsuit are completed. How your case moves forward will depend on what the witnesses said and what evidence came to light. If either side struggled during the depositions, or if the information presented negatively impacted either side, it could increase or decrease the odds of a settlement. After the depositions are over, our Maryland wrongful death attorney will have a better idea regarding your case’s strength and whether it is advisable to seek a settlement or proceed to trial.
Call Our Maryland Wrongful Death Attorney for a Free Consultation
Losing someone unexpectedly and because of the negligence of another is an emotionally devastating event. While you are entitled to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit, the process could be long and complicated. Our experienced Columbia, MD wrongful death attorney will guide you through the process, helping you understand everything from the complaint to depositions and what comes after. If you lost a loved one and have questions regarding a wrongful death lawsuit, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.