The real key to long term success in personal injury practice comes in getting your cases ready. You can’t take every single case to trial, but if you want to leverage the best possible results you need to at least be ready and able to litigate every case. Being prepared to file suit and immediately start serving discovery requests on the defendant(s) can be an invaluable weapon in settlement negotiations. Doing this on a regular basis will significantly boost your negotiating power and get better settlement offers. The insurance adjusters are fully aware of which firms are “settlement mills” and which firms are willing to roll up their sleeves and start litigating. The resources below are provided to help get your litigation gun fully loaded and ready to fire if you don’t like the offer you get.
The first important piece in getting any person injury case ready to go and packaged for settlement is a good, effective demand letter. The demand letter is really your first opportunity to tell the insurance carrier how strong your case is and impress them with how prepared you are to file suit. As explained in more detail on our demand letter strategy page, there are a few key points to follow when writing demand letters. First, the length of your letter should be consistent with the size of your claim. Second, a good demand letter highlights the strongest points of the case without crossing the line of exaggeration and explains what makes the case unique. Finally, be sure to include ALL possible damages in your demand and be careful to make a specific demand amount other than policy limits. Below are some sample demand letters we have used in prior cases:
- Auto Accident Case
Sample demand letter for a typical auto tort cases involving moderate injuries and damages.
- Truck Accident Case
Example of a demand letter in a truck accident case seeking policy limits of $500,000.
- Medical Malpractice Case
Advice for demand letters in medical malpractice cases, along with a sample malpractice demand letter.
- Wrongful Death Case
Sample demand letter in a motorcycle accident case involving a wrongful death claim.
- Legal Malpractice / Accident Case
Sample demand letter from a complex multiple defendant case involving product liability and legal malpractice.
- Eve of Trial Demand Letter
Sample of last effort demand letter sent just prior to trial in an auto accident case.
A good, well-pled complaint is a form of art in Maryland personal injury cases. There are certain things that need to be specifically alleged in a complaint to avoid problems down the road. A complaint needs to lay out the factual and legal justification for the lawsuit and properly name the appropriate parties. It also needs to state the jurisdictional basis for that lawsuit in the court. Another important but often overlooked requirement is that the complaint must carefully allege the necessary elements for each tort claim. Below are some of our favorite sample complaints for various types of tort cases.
- Auto Accident
- Truck Accident
- Survival/Wrongful Death Case
- General Negligence Case
- Industrial Death Case
- Product Liability (Medical Device)
- Uninsured Motorist
- Underinsured Motorist
- Birth Injury Malpractice
- Failure to Diagnose Malpractice
- Surgical Error Malpractice
- Hospital Malpractice
- Nursing Home Wrongful Death
- Dog Bite
- PIP Benefits
- Strict Liability
- Loss of Consortium
If you are not able to settle your case and have to go forward with filing the lawsuit, it is always good strategy to start hitting the defendant and their insurance carrier with a wave a discovery requests right away. Doing this right away gives a signal that you mean business and forces them to immediately start spending time and money defending the case. Below are sample discovery requests we have used in other personal injury cases.
- Designation of Experts
- Request for Admissions
- Request for Production of Documents
One of the most difficult and expensive aspects of getting a medical malpractice case ready is developing a supporting opinion from a qualified expert witness. Getting expert witness testimony lined up is necessary in other types of tort cases as well. One of the first obstacles in this process is finding the name and contact information of a doctor (or other type of expert) that may actually be willing to serve as a witness. To make this process easier we have compiled an extensive list of medical experts from various fields who may be willing to act as a witness.
Our pre-trial motion reference page offers a collection of commonly utilized motions that you might need to file or respond to in the early stages of personal injury litigation. The sample motions will hopefully help you draft your own pre-trial motion for your specific case.