What Are the Steps to Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Maryland?

By Peter DePaolis

Your Maryland personal injury attorney works diligently to settle your injury claim as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, each personal injury case has different facts and circumstances. Some issues might need to go to trial. Nevertheless, there are general steps to filing a personal injury lawsuit in Maryland.

Having A Consultation with A Personal Injury Lawyer

The first step before filing a lawsuit is meeting with a personal injury attorney to discuss what happened. The lawyer needs to understand the facts or circumstances of how the incident occurred or caused your injury. The lawyer will analyze your claim to determine any negligence from an adverse party. The lawyer will also discuss your legal rights and options for seeking compensation.

Investigating Your Claim

Once you’ve had your consultation with an attorney and retained the firm, your lawyer will further investigate your claim before filing a lawsuit. Some steps in investigating a personal injury matter can include:

  • Obtaining and reviewing accident or police investigation reports
  • Obtaining and reviewing medical records
  • Researching applicable case law
  • Retaining experts and
  • Reviewing potential defenses that can be raised

Not all these steps are applicable. The type of personal injury claim will dictate which steps your attorney takes.

Steps in Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit 

Generally, filing a lawsuit involves:

  • Drafting and filing the complaint
  • Discovery phase
  • Pre-trial motions and
  • Trial

Sometimes not all these steps are followed depending on when you consult with an attorney or because of the facts of your claim.

Drafting and Filing the Complaint 

A personal injury lawsuit starts with drafting and filing the complaint with the proper Maryland court. The complaint outlines the facts of your case, legal allegations, and who is at fault and liable. Usually, the complaint will reference specific case law and or statutes related to the case. The complaint then gets served on all defendant parties.

Discovery Phase

After all the defendants have responded to your complaint, the case will enter the discovery phase. During this phase, each party will gather additional evidence and information to use at trial. Parties may seek disclosure of medical records and take depositions. Parties may request the production of documents as well.

Pre-Trial Motions 

If settlement negotiations do not occur, both Plaintiff and Defendant will have a chance at pre-trial motions. Some of these motions might include the admissibility of evidence and summary judgment motions based on liability. These motions can also include the submission of an expert and their testimony.


If all previous steps did not occur successfully, the case would proceed to a trial. At trial, Plaintiff makes their case first while Defendant goes second. 

Both Plaintiff’s attorney and Defendant’s attorney will make an opening statement before the trial begins and a closing argument when the trial ends. Generally, a jury will then decide once the case is closed if the Defendant is liable and how much will they compensate Plaintiff.

Contact Our Maryland Office 

Contact us today and speak to any of our experienced Maryland personal injury attorneys. We have substantial experience handling all facets of personal injury claims and a thorough understanding of personal injury law.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.