With the advent of the evidentiary law embodied in Md.Annotated Code CJP 10-104, the number of Maryland car and truck accident injury cases being filed and tried in Maryland State District Court has multiplied.
This makes an abundance of sense as court dates come much sooner and the need for costly expert testimony is virtually eliminated. Yes, the jurisdictional limit of $30,000.00 may be too low for more serious crashes but the world of Maryland vehicular accident injury cases is heavily populated by a multitude of cases worth less.
Thus we offer Five Strategies calculated to enhance your Maryland District Court injury results.
1). Be familiar with what 10-104 says regarding what is required and when. The best practice is to attach your 10-104 and its exhibits to the summons when served on the defendant. You can always amend it more than 30 days out from trial if your client is contnuing to treat or new records turn up.
2). Make sure your healthcare providers offer their opinion that the conditions they treat for are related to the car accident you are trying the case over as District Court judges " may attach whatever weight to a record that they deem appropriate" This is particularly important when your injured client has injured the body part or parts in question previously or has a delayed onset of a condtion requiring treatment.
3). Read the medical records! The judge theoretically will have to do so in a comparatively short period of time and if you expect them to understand the records and fairly compensate your client, you better pepper your opening, trial examinations and closing argument with salient medical details.
4). Know the total economic damages you are claiming accurately. If the medical bills are $5,764.32 don't say around $5,000.00. Merely saying my client makes $19.94 per hour doesn't help the judge do the math with off-work notes from healthcare providers spanning different time periods. Have a cumulative calculation sheet and understand the interplay between it and the supporting medical records.
5). Make some effort to familiarize your client with what the medical records say and when they say it. Yes, it would be desirable to have them read and understand the records including those points where you recognize that the defense lawyers may make hay, but not every injured person is equipped to do so. Some clients have finite capacity so pound into their consciousness what they first reported to healthcare providers and when symptoms for some of their conditions ceased in those instances where other condtions persist and require ongoing treatment.