What Happens When You File a Personal Injury Case?

If you have been hurt in an accident and have a personal injury claim in Annapolis , your first step should always be to contact a personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience with the Maryland court system. After you meet with your attorney, he or she will initiate a case on your behalf, conduct fact-finding and discovery, decide whether or not to go to trial, and help you collect any damages. Read on to find out more about the different stages of a personal injury case.

Initiating a Case

After you explain your accident and injuries to your lawyer, she will create a contract explaining the terms of your agreement and allowing her to represent you in court. Next, she will file a personal injury claim, or complaint, with a judge. The complaint explains all your charges against the individual or company and the legal basis for those charges. It also provides the defendant with notice that he is being sued.

Preparing for Trial

Next, your lawyer will gather evidence, including medical records, police reports, and other important documents. She will also ask the defendant to produce documents that pertain to your case and may request written admissions to certain questions called interrogatories. These answers can help the court get a better idea of how the defendant’s negligence caused your injuries.

Considering the Options

When the fact-finding process is complete, your lawyer will meet with you to discuss whether or not to proceed to trial. While some cases go to trial, many plaintiffs and defendants are interested in settling to avoid the lengthy and sometimes expensive process of litigating a case. Sometimes, clients with serious personal injuries prefer to settle and have their medical and other expenses paid rather than risking a jury trial.

Collecting your Damages

If there is a judgment in your favor, the defendant is usually punished by having to pay damages. This money is also intended to cover your current and future medical bills, reimburse you for any time you had to take off work due to your injuries, and compensate you for general pain and suffering.