Process of a Maryland Pedestrian Accident Case

If an individual has been injured in a pedestrian accident and wants a consultation, they will call and give some very general information, such as their name, date of birth, insurance information, witness names, a brief summary of how the accident happened. The case then gets referred to a pedestrian accident attorney who reviews the facts and determines if there’s a viable case.

Lawyer’s Initial Steps

Once a lawyer agrees to take the case on, they will begin the next process of a Maryland pedestrian accident case. The attorney will typically obtain all of the medical records and bills and get them to the insurance adjuster.  A lawyer will review the case, make a determination as to how much it is worth, and try to work with the insurance adjuster to get a reasonable settlement offer on the table.  The client has the ultimate decision about whether or not to accept a settlement offer or to file suit.

Litigation Stage

If the case is accepted, the attorney gathers all medical records, bills, and other documentation, and submits this information to the insurance adjuster in the form of a demand package.  The attorney will then go back and forth with the adjuster to try to reach a settlement, assuming liability is accepted. The initial offers made by adjusters are usually very low, especially in cases involving soft tissue injuries only. If

If settlement is not reached, then the case is prepped to go into the next process of a Maryland pedestrian accident case, which is litigation.  The attorney usually goes through one or two more rounds of settlement negotiations, and if no settlement is reached, a suit is usually filed in order to provoke a reaction from the insurance company and to see if the insurance company will increase its offer.  Any time between then and the trial date, the case could settle, but an attorney prepares every case as if it is going to trial.

Once suit is filed and the defendant answers, the court issues a scheduling order which establishes dates and deadlines for the completion of expert designations, oral and written discovery, mediation (ADR), pretrial settlement conferences, and trial.

Filing in District Court

Suit in Maryland will be filed in either the Circuit or District Court, depending upon the amount of the damages being claimed and other factors, such as the likely costs and expenses, how much the case is likely to be worth, et cetera.

If, based upon the amount of the damages being claimed, there is a choice as to whether to file in Circuit Court or District Court, there are definitely some advantages to filing suit in district court.

Specifically, there is much less discovery work associated with a district court case, trial dates are set in more quickly, and, generally speaking, it is less costly to try a case in District Court rather than Circuit Court.

Also, in District Court, the lawyer can introduce the medical records directly into evidence without the need for live expert testimony, in accordance with Section 10-104 of the Maryland Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article.  Experts and their in-court testimony are expensive.

After a complaint is filed, it is served on the defendant who then refers the complaint to their insurance company, which then, pursuant to the defendant’s insurance policy, appoints an attorney to represent them. The defense attorney then files an answer (or Notice of Intention to Defend, in district court) to the plaintiff’s complaint.

Reaching a Settlement

Upon filing suit, the insurance adjuster may put a better settlement offer on the table.  This is the final process of a Maryland pedestrian accident case. If no settlement is reached, the case just continues forward through the litigation process, including written and oral discovery.

If no settlement is reached, the case may proceed forward to some type of alternative dispute resolution, such as a mediation session with a neutral mediator.  If settlement/ADR is not successful, the last step in the litigation process is to try the case.