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Why does it take so long for a lawsuit to go to trial?

Baltimore residents who have been involved in an auto accident know how suddenly the incident can arise, seemingly out of nowhere. One minute, a person is driving down the road and going about his or her daily life, and the next, he or she may be seriously injured in an auto accident and clinging to life.

For instance, two people were recently left in critical condition after a car hit a pickup truck in Maryland. After the car hit the truck on its right rear side, both vehicles went into a spin, and the car ultimately overturned on the roadway. As a result, the driver of the car was ejected from the vehicle, while the truck came to rest off the road in a wooded area. Both drivers had to be taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, although an accident investigation is underway to determine the precise cause of the crash.

Unfortunately, while the personal injuries suffered by individuals in a car accident can be sudden and immediate, the road to recovery, and the ability to recover damages from the other party, may not be as quick. Lawsuits take time, and before any case proceeds to trial, evidence must be gathered and exchanged between the parties through a process called discovery.

In discovery, both parties can request information from the other side, including answers to questions regarding what happened in the incident or demanding that the other party admit to certain matters. Parties may also request that the other side produce certain documents. Finally, parties may take depositions of the other side, where the other party must testify under oath and answer questions put before them.

Understandably, this exchange of information takes some time to complete. At the same time, attorneys are developing their legal theories for the case, should it proceed to trial. Despite the time involved, at the end of the day, individuals injured in an auto accident can obtain relief for their injuries and move on with their lives with the help of the legal system.

Source: CBS Local, "2 critically injured when pickup, car crash," Sept. 21, 2013

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