Stages of a Car Accident Case
Car accidents cases in North Carolina and Virginia have common elements to them. The particulars may differ, but the general things that happen in a car accident case in NC, VA, and other states are similar.
- Police Investigation: If the police are called to the scene of the accident, they’ll stop traffic and conduct an investigation. The investigation will include getting the proper documentation, such as insurance, from the drivers and trying to determine who was hurt and how the accident happened. The police normally prepare and file a report. If charges are warranted, they may cite one or more of the drivers involved in the accident.
- Insurance Companies are Notified: Each driver involved in the accident will normally notify their own insurance company.
- Insurance Company Investigation: The insurance companies will normally conduct their own investigations independent of the police investigation. This can involve inspections of the vehicles to see if the vehicles were totaled or need repairs. The inspections also help can help show how the accident happened. Additionally, insurance adjustors may take statements of the insured and anyone else injured in the accident, as well as any witness.
- Medical Treatment: Those injured should get medical treatment as soon as they can.
- Lawyers will be Chosen: Plaintiffs will seek out experienced legal counsel. The defendants will normally use the lawyer their insurance company provides.
- Negotiation: The plaintiff’s lawyer(s) and the insurance companies will negotiate to see if they can reach an out of court settlement.
- Complaint Filed and other Pleadings: If a settlement can’t be reached, the plaintiffs will file a complaint against the responsible parties. The defendants will file an answer. There may be added pleadings after that.
- Discovery: Once the pleadings are finished, each side may ask the other written questions (called interrogatories) and oral questions at a face-to-face deposition.
- Court Hearing: If the case can’t be resolved, there will be a court hearing to determine liability and damages.
- Appeals: After the court hearing, there may be appeals to higher courts claiming that there was a legal error at the court hearing that affected the result.
Contact a Norfolk Car Accident Victim for the Help You Need
If you’ve been hurt in an accident, Norfolk attorney Joe Miller at Joe Miller Law, Ltd., can guide you through each step of your personal injury claim. He’s been helping accident victims in Virginia and North Carolina for over 25 years and has helped thousands of clients get a recovery. Learn more about what he can do for you by contacting him today at (888) 694-1671.