Car Accident Trials

Car Accident Trials–Guide and Tips


Maryland Car Accident Trials.

If you are unable to resolve your car accident injury claim you must decide where to file the case and for how much. This is a guide designed to let you know the options for filing suit. The article primarily discusses the Prince George's County Court system as applied to car accident trials.  The Court structure is the same in the other Counties in Maryland as it is in Prince George's County.  The judges and jury pool for car accident trials in other Counties will be different.

Do I need a Lawyer for a Car Accident Trial?

Experienced Maryland Car Accident Trial Lawyers

As a general rule you should retain a lawyer shortly after a car accident. A car accident lawyer is able to gather evidence, protect you from the insurance company, and can offer important advice about how to properly document your damages. After a car accident, it is impossible to predict how long it will take for you to recover from your injuries. The good news is that most attorneys will take your case on a contingency fee. By retaining an attorney from the start on a contingency fee the attorney runs the risk of not being paid much if your injuries are minor. On the other hand, if your injuries are more serious you will be glad that you had an attorney protecting and building your case from the start.

Dealing with the Insurance Company

Former Insurance Defense Lawyer

Insurance companies are in the business of saving money and will attempt to negotiate minimal settlements. Some insurance companies designate certain adjusters to negotiate only with unrepresented car accident victims. Such car accident victims are at a disadvantage because they are unable to credibly threaten legal action and they do not know as much about the process as the insurance adjuster. If you find yourself in the situation of dealing with a difficult adjuster you should bring in an experienced car accident attorney. This alone, may result in the case being transferred to a new adjuster and one that may have more authority to resolve your case. Attorney George Patterson started his career as a private attorney hired by several different insurance companies to defend car accident trials. Maria Patterson worked for a private insurance defense law firm and worked as a trial lawyer for State Farm Insurance for a decade. Maria and George Patterson have witnessed the practices and procedures that car insurance companies followed that placed unrepresented car accident victims at a disadvantage.

In 2016 there were 104 reported civil verdicts in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County. 57 of those were verdicts in favor of the defendant.

Preparing the Maryland Car Accident Trial

A successful car accident trial requires evidence!

The most important step in preparing for a car accident trial is to not suffer silently. You need appropriate medical care and to be seen by doctors that will document your injuries in legible and detailed reports. A car accident case to an insurance adjuster is a stack of papers composed of medical records, property damage estimates, photographs of injuries, lost wage statements, and bills. If you do not seek appropriate medical treatment your injuries, incapacity and pain will not be documented. If the injury is not documented, it will not be fairly compensated. Insurance companies and the Courts require documentation from a doctor to show that you needed to be off work. Without this documentation your lost wage claim may be denied. An experienced Maryland car accident trial lawyer will make sure that your injuries and damages are appropriately documented. Car accident lawyers George and Maria Patterson have tried over 1,000 personal injury cases. The lawyers at Patterson Law know what evidence will be admitted by Maryland courts and more importantly what evidence will persuade jurors and judges.

I truly appreciate his knowledge, experience, honesty, compassion, dedication, & professionalism. He earns my deepest respect. Without reservation I have and will in the future recommend Mr. Patterson to anyone looking for an excellent attorney.

Vonnie P

Client in a Car Accident Jury Trial

The Small Claims Case

Car accidents with minor injuries

For most auto accident injury cases you should retain an attorney. In Prince Georges County, an injured party may decide to file suit without a lawyer in the District Court as a small claim. The maximum amount that a judge may award in a small claims case is $5,000. The rules of evidence are relaxed in small claims cases so a non-lawyer may present medical bills and records for the trial judge’s consideration. Lawsuits seeking more than $5,000 will be subject to the rules of evidence and the Judges in Prince Georges County routinely caution non-lawyers from bringing large claims. If you bring a large claim and do not know how to introduce essential documents and bills into evidence, you will lose the trial and your only recourse will be an appeal. The appeal will be based on the record. That means that evidence that you did not properly introduce during your car accident trial will not be considered on appeal.

The Car Accident Trial Where the Client Fully Recovers within Six Months.

The Most Common Maryland Car Accident Trial

These Maryland car accident trials usually involve medical bills of $2,000 to $7,500 and lost wages of $0.00 to $2,500. These cases are usually filed in the District Court for Prince George’s County for $15,000. By suing for $15,000 or less the defense attorney cannot remove the case to Circuit Court and request a jury trial. In District Court the car accident trial will be heard by a judge and your medical records can be introduced without paying a doctor to testify. These car accident trials can usually be heard by the judge within 6 months of the filing date and the trial usually will last between 50 minutes and two hours. If the judge finds liability the court will usually award the medical bills, the time lost from work that the doctor found to be related to the accident, plus an amount for pain and suffering. The District Court procedures permit many car accident trials to be resolved with minimal expenses in a timely fashion. Car accident trial lawyers George and Maria Patterson have tried hundreds of District Court trials. It is important to know the tendencies of your trial judge to value or minimize certain evidence. A District Court judge will expect and demand that any person trying a case seeking $15,000 knows the rules of evidence and more importantly how to try a car accident case. There is nothing more painful for a judge than to sit through a car accident trial led by someone that does not know the rules or how to question a witness.

Man has evolved with hard wired defenses to guard against the most dangerous threat to their safety. That danger is other people. Jurors know if someone is not telling the truth or embellishing. A good trial lawyer learns the truth of the case and shares that with the jury.

George Patterson, Maryland Car Accident Trial Lawyer

The Mid-Level Maryland Car Accident Trial

Experienced Maryland Car Accident Trial Lawyers

If you were involved in a car accident where you did not recover within a few months or you sustained an injury such as a modest laceration or minimal fracture you still may want to take advantage of the efficient resolution offered by the Prince George’s County District Court. In cases like these, your attorney can file suit for up to $30,000 and submit the medical records to the Court without paying a doctor to testify. The defense may request a jury trial and transfer the case to Circuit Court. If this happens, your car accident trial attorney will still have the option to introduce the medical records into evidence without paying a doctor to testify. In Circuit Court the defense attorney will take your deposition, subpoena your prior medical records and subject your case to the scrutiny of a jury. The Prince George’s County Jury system is one of the more favorable jury pools for car accident cases in the State of Maryland. You will need the advice of an attorney who has tried many cases in the County to guide you through this process. Maria and George Patterson have tried over 150 jury trials. They have each tried car accident jury trials when they practiced as insurance defense lawyers and for those who have been injured. Patterson law exclusively try cases for injured parties.

Maryland Car Accident Jury Trial

Nationally Recognized Lecturer on Car Accident Trial Skills

If you have sustained a serious fracture, a chronic injury, had surgery, or suffered a serious scar your car accident case will require a jury trial, if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached. Prince George’s County has a reputation for jury verdicts that are fair to those who have been injured in car accidents. Nevertheless, a jury trial requires the skilled services of an experienced car accident trial attorney to obtain the testimony of your treating doctor, to cross examine the doctor hired by the insurance company to oppose your case, and to properly present your case. It usually will take about one year from the time that suit is filed until your case is heard by a jury. The jury will decide who was at fault for the accident and assuming a favorable liability decision the jury may award medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. A car accident jury trial is a daunting experience to most plaintiffs and to some lawyers. Choosing the best guide to lead through the process is critical. George and Maria Patterson have tried over 150 car accident jury trials and over 1,000 car accident District Court trials. George Patterson has been certified and re-certified as a civil trial advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy based on passing a board exam, actual trial experience, recommendations from judges and lawyers that presided over or tried cases against George Patterson. Both lawyers have received the highest honors for their trial and legal skills by several legal organizations. George and Maria Patterson have both been selected by legal organizations to present seminars on trial skills and techniques. George Patterson has been selected a faculty member for the National Business Institute to teach national and local seminars on car accident trial skills for practicing lawyers.

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Our Successes

Patterson Law takes pride with every client that recovers. Recovery is more than the settlements and verdicts obtained for our clients. Each and every one of these clients had been shepherded through a process where powerful insurance companies fought to defeat or minimize their claims. Each result represents a client’s dignity being affirmed.

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Bowie Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer

George Patterson is board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.  This certification is limited to lawyers that have substantial civil trial experience, passed a board exam, demonstrated a sustained commitment to continuing legal education and have been favorably reviewed by opposing lawyers and trial judges.  

The Bowie car accident lawyers at Patterson Law serve clients in Prince George's, Montgomery, Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's, Howard, Anne Arundel, Queen Anne's and Baltimore Counties. The Bowie car accident lawyers represent clients from Silver Spring, Upper Marlboro, Bowie, Forestville, Prince Frederick, Leonardtown, Annapolis, Edgewater, Rockville, Mayo, Bethesda, Germantown, Olney, Beltsville, Deale, Bethesda, Severna Park, Largo, Landover, Oxon Hill, La Plata, Waldorf, Crofton, Columbia and Riverdale.

Get Started Today

If you or loved a one has been involved in a car accident please contact George Patterson or Maria Patterson to arrange for a free consultation at Patterson Law in Bowie. After a very serious car accident it may be difficult for you to come to our offices in Bowie. The best car accident lawyers offer initial consultations at homes and hospitals. The top rated Bowie car accident lawyers may be reached at 301-888-HURT during office hours and at 240-893-7474 24 hours a day.

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