5 Keys to Win a Personal Injury Case in Baltimore
A personal injury case is absolutely about money. It is the very purpose of our civil justice system to give people money compensation for their injuries. Why money? It is the only remedy we have. The system cannot take away the harm that was done. It can only give you money to try to make up for the harm that has been caused.
Baltimore is a favorable jurisdiction for wrongful death and serious injury cases. Our law firm has never lost a case – or receive a verdict less than the settlement offer – in Baltimore City in our 13-year history. There are five keys to maximizing the value of your claim in Baltimore:#1 Get Jurisdiction in Baltimore for Serious Cases
If you have a serious injury case, Baltimore City is a substantially better jurisdiction than any other Baltimore metropolitan area jurisdictions. There are some cases where the value of the claim arguably doubles it the case if filed and kept in the City. The rules for determining the appropriate venue in Maryland are complex. Plaintiffs need some geographical nexus to Baltimore City to assert a claim in the City. There is great wisdom in turning over every possible stone to find such a nexus exists in your case. This issue requires legal and factual research and creativity.
#2 Stay Out of Baltimore in Smaller Cases
If you have a personal injury case that is worth less than $30,000, throw the advice in Tip #1 out the window. In District Court cases where the damages sought are $30,000 or less and tried before a judge instead of a jury, Baltimore City might just be the worst jurisdiction in Maryland. Why?
There are a lot of theories that bandied around as to why Baltimore City District Court judges are so tight fisted with their verdicts. The best theory argues that Baltimore City District Court judges see so many – for lack of a better word – bogus claims that it becomes harder to discern between a real victim or someone who is trying to milk the system for a payday. So the judges have a harder time discerning between the meritorious and the undeserving and the answers results in lower verdicts.
The reverse logic applies to the venue in smaller cases: you want to find a way to get out of Baltimore City. In cases of this size, insurance companies are usually not fighting nuanced venue battles. So if you have some legal justification to file your claim outside of Baltimore, the insurance company lawyers who hate driving downtown anyway, are likely to let it pass.#3 Leverage Baltimore City
Tell the insurance company know that you know that your case has more value because the suit will be heard in Baltimore City. Insurance companies belabor the point when the case is in a more difficult jurisdiction. We settled a few medical malpractice cases in Carroll County a few month ago, and all we heard from the defense lawyers and insurance adjusters was that we should ignore the facts because we were not in a “pro-plaintiff” jurisdiction. Insurance companies are afraid of Baltimore City because they fear fair juries. Remind them of this. Repeatedly.#4 Watch Out for Yuppie Jurors
Yuppie jurors are appealing on their face because they seem smart and attentive. You think they will understand the nuances of your case. More often than not, they are a trap. These jurors are usually fair when it comes to determining responsibility but often have the low vote when it comes to awarding money damages. Bright line rules when it comes to picking jurors are a mistake.
Picking a jury is an incredibly complex process, particularly in Maryland, which allows for an extremely restrictive inquiry into prospective jurors. But unless there is a striking reason to keep the juror, strike the Federal Hill and Canton yuppies on the jury panel.
#5 Get to the Point
Baltimore juries want authenticity and they want it quickly. Save the histrionics unless the facts truly call for them. Check you legal vocabulary at the door. Do not put an expert witness on the stand for 3 hours when the jury can surmise what they need from the witness in 30 minutes. Make your case interesting, show your client is a real human being and make it as quick as possible.Hiring a Lawyer
If you have a personal injury case in Baltimore and want to maximize the value of your claim, call us today at 410-779-4600 or fill out this free claim evaluation form.