Filing a Car Accident Case in Bethesda 

Car accident cases are no easy undertaking. There are many steps involved and lots of details that can easily get lost in the shuffle. That is why if you have been injured in a car accident, it is important that you contact a lawyer. An experienced legal advocate could examine the facts of your case, collect the necessary evidence, and then help you use that evidence to construct your case. If you want to know more about filing a car accident case in Bethesda, speak with a knowledgeable car accident attorney today.

What Does it Mean to File a Claim, Case, or Action?

Filing a car accident case in Bethesda can mean different things. Filing a claim is something completely different than filing a court action. A person files a claim with the insurance company for the negligent driver. The injured party, with the help of their attorneys, presents a claim to the company showing that the at-fault driver that they unsure, caused their injuries. The accident victim might include medical records, lost wages, and bills, and then ask for compensation for those injuries. All of that happens outside of court.

The injured party has three years to file an action or court case. Their attorney can do that by filing an initial complaint against the person who was driving and/or the owner of the vehicle, or both. The person states the facts regarding what happened in the accident, why they are filing a suit, the fact that they have sustained injuries and that the at-fault party’s negligent operation of a vehicle has caused their injuries, loss of income, and/or damages.

Process of Filing a Car Accident Case

There are two separate trial courts in Maryland and each county, including Bethesda. These are the District Court and the Circuit Court.

Filing a Case in District Court

District court is a judge-tried case. A person’s amount in controversy will not exceed $30,000. For example, if the person has soft tissue injuries and has recovered relatively quickly, that is probably the court that the person would want to file in because the person is allowed to put in their medical records, bills, and lost wages without the testimony of any expert, which actually saves the person money in the long run.

Filing a Case in Circut Court

If a person is seriously injured, the person most likely would want to file in a circuit court for Bethesda and that is a case that gets tried before a jury. That process can last anywhere from 18 months to two years from the time that the person filed the complaint.

When filing a car accident case in Bethesda, the person has to have facts set forth in the complaint sufficient enough to show that the other party was negligent and that the negligence was the proximate cause of the person’s injuries and/or damages.

The person files a complaint and then they engage in what is called paper discovery, interrogatories, and requests for production of documents. Essentially, the person exchanges information with the defendant, the negligent driver, and then the person takes depositions and proceeds through the discovery process. This can take anywhere from 18 months to two years before the case would go to trial. In district court, it takes about three months to go to trial.

Important Steps to Take Before Filing an Action

Before filing a car accident case in Bethesda, there are important steps that you need to take. Through your attorney, you should conduct an investigation to get all of the necessary information. That includes securing a copy of the police report, documenting things like medical bills, and lost wages, and speaking with witnesses.

If the accident occurred at an intersection with a traffic light, you probably want to ask for the traffic engineering report to make sure that the light sequencing was working correctly that day. You could try to get all of that information to present the claim and a settlement demand to the insurance company to try to resolve the case rather than going to trial. Work with a skilled car accident lawyer that could help you determine what options are available to you.