These are the typical questions asked in a District Court case and these questions may also be asked in a Circuit Court case. After your Baltimore auto accident attorney asks you questions on direct examination, the defense attorney will then ask you questions on cross-examination. Dealing with Defense Attorneys requires an experienced attorney in your corner.
The job of a good defense attorney is to try and confuse you on how the car accident happened and to convince the court that you were either 100 percent at fault or at least partially at fault. As was previously explained, in Maryland if you are even 1 percent at fault, you cannot recover as a Plaintiff. As part of his tactics, a good defense attorney will try to convince the judge or jury that you at least contributed partially if not totally to the fault in the accident.
The defense attorney will try to get you to admit that you were either speeding, not paying attention or otherwise distracted. He will make an effort to get you to admit that you in someway violated one of the rules of the road. The defense will go through similar questions that your attorney asked; however, he/she will ask them in a different manner.
Defense attorneys are allowed to ask leading questions that suggest the answer inside the question. The defense attorney will put words in your mouth and try to get you to agree with questions he/she asks that are in the form of statements or admissions. Examples of these suggestive questions designed to catch you off-guard include:
Weren’t you looking directly at the light at the time of the accident? Were you not looking at your speed at the time of the accident? Do you really know how fast you were going at the time of the accident? Weren’t you talking to the passengers in the vehicle at the time of the accident, therefore, not paying attention? Wasn’t the sun in your eyes?
In many of the cases filed in the District Court who is at fault is not necessarily the predominant issue, but rather the value of the case. In those cases, the defense attorney will focus his questions on your injuries to try and minimize what, if any, injuries you received and whether your medical treatment was necessary or not.
The defense attorney will ask questions about prior injuries to try and make it look like an injury you are now having is from something other than this particular accident. He/she will also try to make it look like you have filed many claims in the past, casting doubt on your credibility and attempting to prove that you file a claim every time you are in an accident, whether you have been injured or not.
The defense attorney may also ask you why you called your lawyer before you received any medical treatment, what doctor you consulted, why you did not go to your family doctor and how you were referred to that specific doctor.
Below is a list of typical questions posed by the defense when liability is agreed upon and the only issue is damages.
Have you been involved in any other accidents? If so, when, what parts of your body did you injure? Where did you receive your medical treatment? Did you have any continuing problems after you completed your treatment? Were you having any problems with those parts of your body prior to this particular accident? Have you had any other medical problems and who treated you for those problems? What caused those medical problems? Were you having any problems with those areas of your body prior to this particular accident? Have you filed any other claims before? If so, what parts of your body were injured? When were those claims, what treatment did you receive for those claims and did you recover any money for those claims? With regard to the accident you are suing for, what doctor treated you and who referred you to that doctor? When did you see that doctor? Why did you choose that particular doctor? What treatment did you receive? How long was each treatment? Why is there a gap in your treatment? Why did you miss your appointments? Did you get your prescriptions filled and if not, why not? Did you keep all of your medical appointments and if not, why not? How long did your treatment last? Did the treatment help? If the treatment didn’t help, why did you keep going? Do you have a criminal record?
After presenting your case, your medical expenses and medical reports will be submitted in District Court. In Circuit Court, the doctors must actually come into court to testify, while in District Court, the doctors are rarely called to testify. In matters under $15,000.00, medical reports and bills are automatically admissible as long as they are submitted when the original suit is filed, or up to sixty days prior to your court date.