February 27, 2024

How Long Does a Car Accident Trial Last in Maryland?

If you have been injured in a car accident in Maryland that was caused by another driver's negligence, you may be wondering how long it takes for a car accident lawsuit to go to trial and reach a resolution. The length of a car accident trial can vary quite a bit depending on the complexity of the case and other factors. Most trials will last between 2-5 days from start to finish.

It's important to understand that the full legal process from accident to final verdict may span over a year or more when you factor in pre-trial procedures, settlement negotiations, appeals, and more. But the actual time spent presenting evidence in court is typically measured in days, not weeks or months. Here's an overview of the key factors that influence how long a car accident trial might last in Maryland:

Case Complexity

The more complex a case, the longer the trial is likely to be. Simpler cases with clear liability and limited damages may wrap up in as little as 1-2 days. But major injury cases involving multiple vehicles, defendants, eyewitnesses, competing accounts of how the accident occurred, extensive property damage, medical testimony, various expert witnesses, and other complexities can easily stretch to 4 or more trial days. The more evidence and testimony that must be presented, the longer the trial.

Extent of Injuries

If injuries and damages from the accident are relatively minor or moderate, the trial is unlikely to last long. But if there were catastrophic injuries like brain damage, paralyzing spinal cord injuries, or fatalities, the trial will be longer to account for much more evidence and testimony related to the injuries, treatments, impacts on employment, pain and suffering, etc. Severe injury cases almost always take longer to litigate at trial.

Number of Parties Involved

When there are multiple plaintiffs and defendants involved in an accident, the trial will tend to be longer to allow each party to present arguments and evidence. When it's just a single plaintiff against one defendant, the scope of the trial is more straightforward. Additional parties mean more attorneys, witnesses, evidence, and issues to address at trial.

Pretrial Procedures

Discovery, depositions, settlement negotiations and other pretrial activities help shape the trial length as well. Cases that can't get settled out of court through mediation or settlement conferences, and which require substantial pretrial preparation are also more likely to involve lengthy trials once they reach that stage. Simpler cases may skip many pretrial steps altogether.

Court Schedules and Availability

How long a court can devote to a single trial also impacts the time frames. Some fairly straightforward cases may only get 1-2 days on the court calendar based on scheduling logistics. High profile or complex cases can take priority on court schedules for a full week or longer without interruption from other cases. So court scheduling plays a role in determining the overall time span.

Attorney Approach

How aggressively the attorneys for each side approach the trial can influence its length as well. Attorneys may spend more or less time questioning witnesses, presenting evidence, arguing motions, and making a case to the jury if the trial is shorter or longer than typical. An aggressive approach usually elongates the trial.

Appeals Process

Finally, even once a verdict is reached, a trial may effectively continue if either side appeals and the case enters the lengthy appeals process. This can add months or even years to the timeline, even though the original trial has finished. So the appeals process should be factored into the total timeline.

Get Representation Today

Navigating a car accident trial in Maryland can be complex, but you don't have to face it alone. At Schultz Legal, our dedicated team of attorneys specializes in handling such cases with expertise and compassion. We understand the importance of your case and will work tirelessly to ensure your rights are protected throughout the process. From gathering evidence to representing you in court, we'll be with you every step of the way. Don't wait to seek the compensation you deserve. Contact Schultz Legal today for a free consultation and let us fight for justice on your behalf.