Personal Injury Common Terms and Definitions
Demand Package- When your case is ready for negotiations Andrew will go through a careful review of your file including complete medical records, bills, photographs, police report (s), written statements, and anything deemed relevant. He will then come up with an amount he recommends you demand from the insurance company. A demand package which will include all relevant documents and a demand letter will be sent to the adjuster. This is when negotiations will begin.
Deposition- A deposition is a form of discovery which takes place when one party of a lawsuit deposes, or asks questions, of either another party to the lawsuit, or a witness. It is usually performed in an attorneys office with all parties as well as a court stenographer. The witness or party is sworn under oath and then subject to questioning. Depositions can often make or brake a case as the truth must come out.
Discovery- Discovery is the legal process which provides all sides of a legal dispute to access information from the other side. The American juris prudence system has been developed around the concept of full disclosure. This means that the parties are required to disclose almost everything they have in their file, with some very important exceptions. Disclosure is done through Request for Production of Documents, Request for Admission of Facts, Interrogatories, and Depositions.
Fair Market Value- this is the amount your automobile is valued at according to the current market rates. What is most troubling for many that are involved in auto accidents is that they do not get the amount that they owe on the car. If you owe the bank $10,000 for a car, but the current market value is only $6,000 then you may end up taking a substantial financial loss. GAAP insurance can be purchased to protect those who may come to face this unfortunate incidence.
Interrogatories- these are a form of discovery served on an opposing party to a lawsuit. These questions must be answered under oath and honestly.
Litigation- Litigation begins when your lawyer files a lawsuit against the insurance company. A complaint will be filed with the court which will initiate legal proceedings. There will then be a discovery process in which you will be required to participate. After discovery there will two final attempts to settle your case before trial. You may be required to attend a mediation or arbitration, and if settlement is not reached at this point you will be required to attend a settlement conference with a judge. The settlement conference is the last formal attempt to settle your case. The parties will then move to trial. Litigation can be a long and laborious process that most people end up wanting to avoid. It is expensive and exhausting. Andrew handles cases from the filing of the complaint to the decision of the jury. For a free consultation contact Andrew.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)- In Maryland most automobile insurance policies contain a pip policy unless the driver has signed an affirmative waiver of pip coverage. It is important to have pip insurance as it is a no fault insurance coverage which will provide even the at fault driver some financial help for medical treatment and lost wages.
Request for Admission of Facts-A form of discovery served on the opposing party which requests the opposing party answer questions under oath. These are done in writing rather than through oral interview as in a deposition.
Request For Production of Documents- A form of discovery served on the opposing party which requests the opposing party provide all documents that are contained in their file. This is to include relevant and irrelevant information. Documents that are privileged will not be release by your attorney.
Specials (special Damages)- This is a term referring to the amount of your medical bills and medical expenses.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)- If you are involved in an accident that was no fault of your own UIM coverage may come into play. If the other drivers’ insurance policy is not enough to cover your damages then in certain circumstances you can file suit or pursue recovery under your own policy. Similar circumstance exists if you are involved in an auto accident with a driver that has no insurance coverage. Your insurance provider must provide you with UIM coverage under Maryland law so there is not a question as to whether you have this coverage.