On poll question 3, vote yes | Severna Park – Severna Park voice | CarTailz

By David V Diggs, Esq. and Lisa M. Bogan-Reohr, Esq.

This November in the elections and mail-in ballots voters will be asked some questions to decide. Question 3 would reduce the financial burden on aggrieved plaintiffs filing a case in district court by increasing the value of a jury trial from $15,000 to $25,000 instead of just a judge. It would also allow for faster justice. As members of a law firm who feel honored and proud to represent the injured, we encourage you to vote “for the constitutional amendment.”

Perhaps a short community lesson is in order. Maryland has two courts of general jurisdiction: the District Court and the Circuit Court. If you were injured in a car or as a result of other negligent or intentional acts and the amount of your damage — medical expenses, lost wages, auto repairs, etc. — is less than $5,000 US dollars, you must take your case to the District Court. District courts have exclusive jurisdiction over small claims, which are cases where “the amount claimed does not exceed $5,000, excluding interest, costs and attorneys’ fees, if attorneys’ fees are recoverable by law or contract,” according to the Maryland Code. If your case is not resolved, you will be heard by a judge because the district court does not have a jury trial. In 35 years of representing injured parties, we have never had to file a minor claim – these are usually dealt with.

If the amount in dispute is more than $5,000 but less than $30,000, you may bring your case in either District Court or Circuit Court. However, if your claim is more than $30,000, you must take your case to district court. Cases before the district court are subject to broader disclosure than before the district court.

Discovery is the process by which parties obtain information through questions (known as interviews), requests for documents, depositions (when a party’s testimony is taken on record), mental or physical examination, and requests for admission of fact or authenticity of documents exchange. This process can take years, and the delays have been compounded by the pandemic. There is a pronounced backlog of cases that varies from county to county.

So why increase the amount of money above which you can request a jury trial? Trials by jury only take place in the district court. One tactic used by insurance companies to force a plaintiff to settle for less than their due is to increase the cost of a lawsuit by protracting it and engaging in lengthy and tedious investigations. When a plaintiff brings a case to district court, a defendant’s insurance company may refer the case to district court by “praying a jury trial” if the amount is $15,000 or more. Raising the minimum amount in controversy that guarantees a right to a jury trial to $25,000 would result in more cases remaining in district court, where they can be solved more quickly and, frankly, cheaper.

Bringing more cases to district court could force insurers to deal more fairly with victims. Our experience is that it takes at least twice as long to solve a case in district court where jury trials are currently scheduled in 2024. This is too long and arduous a process for any plaintiff who would like to see her medical bills paid in full. Delay in justice is often justice denied. As a law firm on the plaintiff’s side, we encourage you to vote “yes” on poll #3 to ensure expeditious adjudication in the district courts.

When you or a loved one is injured in a car accident, you have many questions. Consult an attorney who is knowledgeable in this area of ​​law and will help you make informed decisions.

David Diggs is experienced in negotiating and litigating insurance companies in both district and county courts. He has reclaimed millions on behalf of the injured. If you require additional information on this subject, please contact the law office of David V. Diggs LLC, located at Suite 302, 8684 Veterans Highway, Millersville, by phone at 410-244-1189 or by email at david@diggslaw .com.

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