Personal Injury Cases in
Montgomery County, Maryland
Montgomery County is usually viewed by most Maryland personal injury lawyers as a relatively conservative jurisdiction to try auto accident, truck accident or medical malpractice cases.
By reputation, juries in Montgomery County are generally more skeptical of a personal jury victim's damages and will often find in favor of the defendant in auto or truck accident cases or in medical malpractice cases if liability (fault) is at issue so that damages will not have to be considered.
In cases where the injuries are more objective, i.e. can be seen on a radiograph or other standard diagnostic test that is verifiable, Montgomery County juries are typically less conservative and generally give awards that are approach, if not reach, other jurisdictions in Maryland. Still, most experienced Maryland injury lawyers try to avoid filing a case in Montgomery County if venue is proper in Baltimore City or in neighboring Prince George's County which is considered perhaps the best jurisdiction in Maryland for personal injury lawyers seeking fair compensation for their Maryland injury clients.
Pace of a Lawsuit in Montgomery County
One of the best things about representing injury victims in personal injury accident cases in Montgomery County is that it has a "fast track" for Maryland personal injury cases. Most auto and truck accident cases with average damages go to jury trial within six months of the date the lawsuit was filed. Medical malpractice cases take a bit long, typically a year. When a personal injury case is filed in Montgomery County, the court, in a smaller case, issues a scheduling order with a discovery cutoff in approximately 90 days and a pretrial conference following shortly thereafter. In a medium to large damages case, the court in Montgomery County orders a scheduling conference where the scheduling order is given, which typically ends the discovery within six months and sets a pretrial conference date.
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is generally ordered in these cases at the pretrial conference of a personal injury case. The ADR is usually in the form of a mediation before a randomly selected attorney in the community who is on the court's list of approved attorney mediators. The attorneys who serve as mediators of Montgomery County personal injury cases are typically experienced attorneys in Maryland and typically work very hard to settle the cases. The attorney mediator must report back to the court the results of the mediation and can order the parties to attend more than one session of mediation if the case does not reach a settlement. Unlike many other jurisdictions in Maryland, in Montgomery County, if a personal injury case does not settle at mediation, the trial almost always goes forward on the assigned trial date, making it easy to schedule expert and fact witnesses for trial.
For smaller cases in Montgomery County in District Court, judges typically give accident victims compensation that is in line with the compensation given by judges in other jurisdictions in Maryland. (Note: our law firm only handles serious injury cases that tend to find themselves in Circuit Court so our experience in recent years is largely antidotally.)
Sample Montgomery County Personal Injury Verdicts
Here a few plaintiffs' verdicts in Montgomery County cases. We put these up to shed some light on the value of cases with similar fact patterns and give some idea of what you can expect, in relative terms, in this jurisdiction. That said, these results are not necessarily predictive of any case. Why? Because, trite as it may be, every case is different and the most important factor in the case might we one not included in this summary.
2012 Wrongful Death Verdict Verdict for $2,884,500. A 41 year-old pipe layer/laborer is run over and killed when a dump truck backs down a hill in neutral, instead of in reverse which would activate the backup warning sound. Decedent is dragged at least 40 feet. Defendant truck driver and truck owner are sued by decedent’s family. Defendants claim that the decedent was contributorily negligent in that he was standing in the wrong place at the construction site and that the driver would have no reasonable expectation that decedent would be in that location. Plaintiffs are awarded $725,000 (capped) for the estate; $1,087,500 for wrongful death; $750,000 in economic losses; and $322,000 for loss of household services.
2012 Car Crash Verdict for $194,568. Plaintiffs, husband (driver) and wife (passenger), are rear-ended by a company truck while stopped for traffic. Husband suffers a cervical injury requiring an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at C3-4, C4-5, and C5-6. Wife suffers soft tissue cervical and lumbar injuries. Plaintiffs sue Defendant driver and employer. Jury awards husband $89,483.87 for past medical expenses; $10,080 for past lost wages; and $75,000 for non-economic damages. Jury awards wife $20,000 for non-economic damages. Our firm law handled this case.
- 2012 Car Crash Settlement for $235,000. Plaintiff, a 50 year old electrical contractor, is hit head on by a driver who falls asleep and crosses the center line. Plaintiff suffers a torn meniscus requiring surgery to his knee. He also suffers a relative minor head injury. Plaintiff also had post surgical complications following the surgery, developing blood clot. State Farm insured takes responsibility for the car wreck but argues, as State Farm always does, that the plaintiff was not as seriously injured as he claims. Plaintiff has $22,000 in medicals bills and $30,000 in lost wages.
- 2012 Car Crash Verdict.$55,365. A 40 year old surgical nurse, is driving on a major thoroughfare when Defendant enters from a side street, resulting in a collision. Plaintiff suffers nerve impingement of the arm/shoulder requiring a surgical release. Plaintiff claims ongoing pain and surgical scarring, as well as difficulty performing her job due to the injury. Defendant maintains that the plaintiff’s damages are limited as the surgery was successful. Defendant further claims that snow had accumulated at the intersection of the side street and major thoroughfare, and claims he is entitled to an exception of the Boulevard Rule. Plaintiff asked the jury for $120,000. Defendant’s insurer is State Farm and the UIM carrier is GEICO.
2012 Truck Accident Verdict $2 Million. Elderly couple are pedestrians walking in a closed traffic lane near a construction site. Dump truck backs up over them, killing them both. Plaintiffs' attorneys alleged that the contractors did not provide a alternative path for walkers and that they knew walkers would be passing through and, either way, the dump truck has a duty to make sure it is not running over people while making up. Truck driver argued the couple was contributorily negligent and made no settlement offer.
- 2011 Verdict in Wrongful Death Medical Malpractice case for $2.5 Million. Jury verdict for the children and wife of a man who died after his doctor failed to notice and treat the signs of hemorrhagic shock. Miller & Zois handled the case; you can read more about it here.
- 2011 Settlement $300,000. A man with a great family was stopped at a red light and was rear ended. He was was flown by helicopter to Prince George's Hospital Center but was likely killed at the scene. The case settled for the policy limits after an research revealed the at-fault driver had no personal assets that would warrant getting an excess verdict. Our law firm, Miller & Zois, handled this case.
Hiring a Lawyer for Your Montgomery County Case
Our lawyers handle a substantial number of our personal injury cases in Montgomery County, including Silver Spring, Bethesda, Germantown, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Olney, Wheaton and Burtonsville. If you have been injured in an accident in around Montgomery County, call us at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.