Every lawsuit has at least two parties: a plaintiff and a defendant. Understanding who a defendant may be in your personal injury case is important. Understanding what it means to be a defendant or plaintiff and their roles and responsibilities in personal injury cases is crucial. 

What Is a Defendant in Baltimore, MD?

What Is a Defendant in Baltimore, MD?

A defendant is a person or entity formally accused of legal wrongdoing. Defendants are involved in criminal or civil lawsuits, such as personal injury cases. If you file a lawsuit for compensation, the defendant is the party against whom the lawsuit is filed. The defendant is the person they believe caused harm due to their negligent or intentional misconduct, which entitled them to compensation.

What Is a Plaintiff in Baltimore, MD?

A plaintiff is the person who initiates the lawsuit in civil court. In personal injury claims, you or a loved one will be the plaintiff if you have suffered harm or injury due to a defendant’s actions. You will be responsible for proving your case and demonstrating that the defendant’s intentional actions or negligence directly caused your injuries or losses.

To establish negligence, you must prove four elements: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. This involves demonstrating that the defendant owed you a legal duty of care, breached that duty through their action or inaction, and directly caused your injuries and tangible damages.

What Are the Roles of a Defendant in Baltimore, MD?

Each party to a lawsuit has specific roles and responsibilities. 

A defendant in a Baltimore personal injury case will have several roles throughout a court case, which include:

  • Responding to a Lawsuit: A defendant must respond to the allegations in a plaintiff’s lawsuit after being served. This typically involves filing an answer in circuit court within 30 days. This answer will outline their defense against the plaintiff’s claims,
  • Discovery: A defendant participates in the discovery process, which involves exchanging evidence and other information with other parties, including the plaintiff. This stage is crucial for building a defense strategy.
  • Settlement: A defendant may choose to settle the case out of court if they believe it is in their best interest. If a case goes to trial instead, they will participate in all proceedings until a verdict is reached.
  • Trial: A defendant, often through their attorney, will argue their case in court. It is important to realize that a defendant does not have the burden of proof. Instead, they will be focused on challenging a plaintiff’s evidence and presenting their own to show they were not at fault for a plaintiff’s injuries or damages.

A Baltimore personal injury lawyer helps the injured identify and prove their case against defendants for compensation.

Who May Be a Defendant in My Personal Injury Case?

Many different parties can be defendants in a personal injury case, from individuals to entities. The scope in Baltimore personal injury cases is broad and varies depending on the circumstances of your accident and injury. 

At WGK Personal Injury Lawyers, our team holds many common defendants accountable, including:

  • Individuals: Individuals may be liable for their negligence or intentional misconduct. A motorist who runs a red light or a homeowner who fails to address a loose step may each be liable if their actions cause injury or damages.
  • Businesses and Employers: Companies may be liable for injuries from their operations or failure to maintain a safe environment. They may also be liable for employee actions. A grocery store that fails to address a wet floor may be liable in a premises liability case if it causes a patron to slip and fall.
  • Government Entities: Municipal or state bodies can be held accountable for injuries stemming from poorly maintained infrastructure or public spaces. The City of Baltimore may be liable if they are injured on city property.
  • Product Manufacturers: Manufacturers can be liable in product liability cases for injuries their products cause.

Identifying the appropriate defendants in your case may be difficult. In some scenarios, multiple parties may even be liable, which requires a thorough approach to recover potential compensation from as many sources as possible.

A Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Hold the Defendant Accountable 

If you or a loved one has been injured in Baltimore, MD, one of our WGK Personal Injury Lawyers can help you hold the at-fault party accountable. Contact us at (410) 837-2144 to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney to learn more about the role of the defendant and how it can impact your personal injury claim.