The Maryland Malpractice Injury Suit ProcessJune 7, 2012
The civil litigation process in Maryland is a complex series of steps designed to help litigants flesh out the issues of a case and collect the information necessary to go to trial. The length of this process can vary greatly, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case and the characters of the parties involved. The vast majority of cases settle prior to going to trial. However, in order to effectively negotiate a settlement, it is important for the defense to know that the plaintiff’s medical malpractice attorney is ready and willing to take the case to a jury if necessary.
After satisfying initial administrative requirements that are unique to malpractice cases, the court litigation process begins when a plaintiff files a lawsuit in a Maryland trial court. The plaintiff’s attorney usually does extensive investigation beforehand to determine the facts of the case, the parties involved, and an idea of the damages the plaintiff suffered. The plaintiff’s attorney then incorporates these facts into a court document called a complaint, files it with the court, and serves a copy upon each defendant. Each defendant files an answer that admits or denies each allegation in the plaintiff’s complaint, thus identifying the issues that are in dispute.
The parties then begin the lengthy process of discovery, during which they each obtain evidence to support their respective positions. This can include asking each party to answer written questions called interrogatories, requesting documents or other records, or taking live testimony from parties, experts, and other witnesses during depositions. Discovery can be a lengthy process during which the parties continually try to negotiate a settlement or other resolution. If issues remain unresolved at the conclusion of discovery, the case usually goes to trial. Contact a skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorney at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. for legal assistance with your injury lawsuit.