Serving Maryland and Washington D.C. 301.870.1200

Will My Maryland Personal Injury Claim Settle or Go to Trial?

If you were injured in a car accident, bitten by someone’s dog, hurt due to a defective product, or suffered damages in another type of personal injury accident, you are going to want to file a claim with the at-fault party’s carrier. This can help pay for your medical bills, loss of earnings, any future medical treatment or time off work, as well as other related damages. This can include property damage to a vehicle as well as pain and suffering.

Disputed liability claims in Maryland tend to be complex. Part of the reason is because liability is almost always contested in a personal injury claim. Maryland follows the theory of contributory negligence, which means that if you are even 1% at fault, you cannot collect any compensation for your damages.

Factors Involved in Helping Settle a Claim

Both sides will look at the facts surrounding your case, including how the accident happened, your injuries, and were you at fault in any way, and then begin settlement negotiations. In many cases, the other side will deny liability since they do not have to pay if you are a percentage at fault. This is where having a Maryland personal injury attorney on your side is so beneficial. Your attorney will protect your rights and aggressively pursue the other side to make a settlement offer.

In the event the other side does extend a settlement offer, it is likely to be a lot lower than you were expecting or hoping for. This is where negotiations go back and forth. If both sides are not able to reach an agreement, the case will remain at an impasse and you will have to proceed with filing a complaint and preparing for litigation.

Deciding Whether to Go to Litigation

Your attorney can advise you, but ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not you accept a settlement offer. If your case does not resolve by the statute of limitations date, you will need to file a lawsuit anyway in order to keep negotiations open. Just because you are proceeding with litigation does not mean that you are forced to take the case to trial. Negotiations will continue throughout the initial phase of litigation, which is known as discovery.

Possible Advantages and Risks of Going to Trial

Going to trial can have both upsides and downsides. One potential upside is that you might get a larger settlement from a jury in a trial than the insurance company is offering you in a settlement. On the flip side, the biggest potential disadvantage is that you run a huge risk of no compensation at all. Taking a case all the way to trial can also raise your stress levels and delay the amount of time until you receive any compensation. Going to trial could mean your settlement is delayed by at least a year or more.

Contact a Maryland Personal Injury Attorney

If you have questions or need assistance with a Maryland personal injury matter, please contact the Law Offices of Robert R. Castro today at 301-870-1200 to schedule an initial consultation.

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