If it turns out that the case cannot be settled, a Baltimore auto accident attorney can be extremely helpful in pursuing the rest of a claim. The next part of the process, filing the claim in court, is done so that a judge and/or jury can determine the value of the claim. Baltimore auto accident attorneys are trained in preparing the necessary pleadings that need to filed in court. Cases less than $25,000 can be filed in the District Court. Prepare For District Court!
The initial claim that is filed in court is either a Statement of Claim, which is filed in the District Court of Maryland, or a Complaint and Election for Jury Trial, which is filed in the Circuit Court. Any claim up to $30,000.00 can be filed in the District Court. There are no jury trials in the District Court. District Court is a fast and efficient way to resolve claims in that cases can typically be resolved within six to nine months, sometimes even quicker.
After the District Court case is filed, it is then necessary to serve the person who will now be known as the Defendant with the suit papers. The case will not go to trial until the Defendant has been properly served. If the Defendant can be served on the first attempt, the case will come up for trial promptly. If the Defendant is difficult to serve, the case can sometimes take a much longer period of time because he trial date will not be set until the Defendant has been served. Once the Defendant is properly served in the District Court, the attorney will file an answer and the parties will exchange fifteen questions that are known as Interrogatories.
Included in these fifteen questions are questions concerning date of birth, social security number, place of employment for the last five or ten years, prior health history, medical treatment due to the accident, prior accidents and facts regarding the accidents, and any witnesses that may be called. After Answers to Interrogatories are exchanged, the case will be scheduled for trial.