Trial Process of a Prince George’s County Car Accident

While most injury cases are settled before ever going to trial, there are cases when courtroom litigation is necessary to get the strongest possible settlement. With that said, it is important that those involved are aware of what to expect at trial, and have a Prince George’s County car accident lawyer by their side to assist them on their behalf.

Typically, the litigation process begins through the filing of a complaint by the injured party. Once the complaint is filed, the next step is for the defendant to file an answer. Once the answer is filed, the court will issue the parties a scheduling order by which the course of the litigation will need to be scheduled. Ultimately, the parties will appear for a pretrial conference, and the case will go to trial approximately 18 months after the complaint is filed.

The Trial Process

The trial process for a car accident is the same as in all civil cases. The parties will select a jury, conduct opening statements, and the plaintiff will present his or her case. Ultimately, the defense will present its case through either cross-examination or rebuttal witnesses. All the cases are handled in the exact same manner, and it’s simply the individual pieces of evidence that are unique to each claim.

An experienced PG County personal injury litigation attorney knows how to present a case, and will do so in a manner that will not anticipate any objections from the other side. These objections are detrimental, because they could potentially exclude any information that the jury needs to know to make an informed decision.

The plaintiff’s number one priority will always be to get all of the necessary evidence to the jury, while understanding any objections that may be raised. The plaintiff will take all the necessary steps to comply with the court’s rules of what to move into evidence. They will also be sure to consider the specific facts of the case, and any and all exhibits that can be used to justly defend the individual.

Opening Statements

At the trial, the plaintiff, a.k.a. the injured person, goes first. This is because the plaintiff bears the burden of proof. Therefore, in presenting his or her case, the plaintiff always goes first in making opening statements. The plaintiff also goes first in making closing statements, or any other addresses to the court, such as the presenting of evidence.

If the plaintiff failed to meet his or her burden of proof, the defense does not need to do anything in order to be exonerated from the claim. The defense always presents their case second because they do not bear the burden of proof. The order in which the case is presented in Prince George’s County car accident trials is always the same.

Closing Statements

Both the plaintiff and the defense attorneys present closing statements. The closing statements do not constitute evidence. The evidence is merely the testimony of the witnesses and any documents or exhibits that are moved into evidence. Closing statements are an opportunity for the lawyers to argue their case to the jury.

The jury should, and often does concentrate on the information presented by the parties to the case, and utilizes that information to form the basis of their opinion. Opening and closing statements are summaries by the lawyers as to how they would like the jury to see and weigh the evidence.

Length of a Case

Generally, litigation will last 18 to 24 months from the time the complaint was filed until the trial occurs. A trial typically lasts two to three days in front of a jury at the circuit court for Prince George’s County, although the specific process may vary. A district court trial will take a few hours, and will be fully presented to a judge.

A case can vary in length depending on a number of factors including:

  • The facts and circumstances of the case
  • The necessary evidence needing to be moved for the jury’s consideration
  • The number of parties involved
  • The fact witnesses
  • The number of expert witnesses that are required

Thus, the length of time for a trial depends on upon the facts and circumstances of the case, and the necessary evidence that needs to be presented to a jury.

Jury Proceedings

Not all car collision cases are jury trials, many are dependent on the specific proceedings associated with a trial in PG County. There can be bench trials as well. Based upon the recommendations of the attorney, the client can determine whether a case is tried by a judge or a jury. Typically, when a case is eligible to be heard by a jury, it is always best to have the jury make the ultimate determination in these sorts of cases.

There can be circumstances in each individual case that require additional evaluation to determine whether it should be tried in front of a jury. It is important for a client to discuss these issues with his or her attorney, because of the complicated process associated with PG County car accident trials. The attorney and client should always be on the same page when it comes to how the claim will be handled.

Multiple Defendants

In PG County car accident trials, the litigation proceeds in exactly the same way no matter how many defendants are present. There must be some agreement by the defendants with the order in which they will present their cases. However, this is typically not an issue that the court addresses, and is simply something that the attorneys can deal with on their own. They will make every effort to obtain a judgment against any and all defendants involved in the case.

How a case is presented depends on the facts and circumstances of each individual case. A qualified and experienced personal injury attorney will present his or her case to the jury in a clear and concise manner, determining the best way to proceed in a Prince George’s County car accident trial.

Typically, having multiple defendants does not influence the outcome of a case. Multiple defendants are involved when the facts and circumstances require there to be multiple defendants named in a case.

Importance of an Attorney

It is always important for the injured person and their attorney to have an open dialogue. In order to maximize his or her recovery, an attorney and their client should communicate freely about any and all issues present in the case. Resolving these issues together is key in proceeding with a strong case.