We treat every case as if it is going to move forward with a full trial on the merits. This means that we prepare your case for a lawsuit from the very beginning. This works to your advantage because it reduces any unnecessary delays with recovering full and fair compensation. In some instances, the only way to recover fair value for your case is to move forward with a trial in which we would ask the judge and/or jury to listen to the facts of your case, and decide what amount of money you are entitled. As a normal part of this process, you will come to our office, and we will discuss the Court process, and what to expect on your day of court. The Maryland Judiciary has produced a great video providing useful tips for your day in court. You can view it here:
Circuit court trials are handled much differently than District court. Circuit court civil trials are heard by a jury made up of 6 individuals that are randomly selected by the motor vehicle records and voter registration. Through voir dire, you will be allowed (through myself) to ask the jury questions that would elicit bias from the potential jury member. They will listen to what happened, and decide how much, if anything to grant for your case. In District Court, the process is different. A judge alone will listen to the facts of your case and decide whether to grant a money judgment. Cases in which the plaintiff is suing for 30,000 or more qualify to be filed in the Circuit Court of Maryland, while Cases in which the plaintiff is suing for up to 30,000 must be brought in the District Court of Maryland. (Technically the rules allow a lawsuit to proceed in Circuit for less than 30,000.00 but that would not make any practical sense for the plaintiff. Either way, both parties must complete discovery and are required to be prepared and present in Court on the trial date; unless a settlement is reached and a stipulation of agreement has occurred. The cap on non economic damages is $905,000 for an injury case and $2,262,500 for a wrongful death case with 2 or more survivors.
Maryland consists of 23 counties, plus Baltimore City. Depending on the location of the accident, and the residence of the parties, the lawsuit may be initiated in potentially more than one location. Issues of jurisdiction, forum and venue are case specific requiring a careful analysis by a qualified attorney. Additionally, there are various factors to whether one forum would be more advantageous than another. It just requires experience and knowledge. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you regarding the specifics of your case.
There are many factors that play into whether or not a case goes to trial. For some, the offer is grossly unfair based on the true pain and suffering, while for others, the insurance company has denied paying all together. Regardless of what is going on, give us a call and speak with an attorney as soon as possible to effectively prepare your case.