Filing a Car Accident Claim in Winston-Salem
When someone is interested in filing a claim following a car accident in Winston-Salem, they should speak with an experienced local attorney as soon as possible. Once the person and their attorney mutually agree to pursue the claim as a team, the attorney gathers evidence by meeting with the client and getting the relevant information about the collision, such as where it took place, and the various law enforcement agencies who responded to the scene. This allows an attorney to get the appropriate reports about the actual incident itself. An attorney will find out from the client where they sought medical treatment for their injuries and any time missed from work.
Ultimately, all of this information is aimed at gathering evidence about the damages, which can then be used to file a claim.
Evidence Used in a Car Accident Claim
The lawyer will look for evidence that both supports and potentially harms their claim; evidence that would support a theory of liability or the ability to hold someone else accountable for the damages, as well as the evidence related to the actual damages that occurred from a particular car accident.
The evidence a lawyer collects may vary depending on the circumstances of the case, but there are also general pieces of evidence they will collect. Every case is driven by its facts and every case will be slightly different. In general, the lawyer is always going to want to gather at least the accident report and information about medical treatment and other damages.
The process consists of requesting and gathering the evidence from law enforcement agencies, medical providers, and a client’s employer, prescription evidence, and history.
The length of time it takes to collect evidence to present in court depends on the nature of the evidence. For example, with a case involving medical treatment, if a client requires treatment for an injury for a year, it could take over a year to gather the necessary evidence. It really depends on the facts of the case.
A person should know that they might need to be patient in the evidence-gathering process so that a complete picture of the damages can be obtained in order to present the full claim. It really depends on the facts of the case. The time involved in collecting evidence may be longer than one might anticipate and it’s also important to wait to gather evidence in order to present a complete picture of the damages.
Some people might be in a hurry to resolve their claim but if they are still receiving treatment, that would be harmful to their claim overall.
Presenting Evidence in Court
After the evidence is collected, there are steps a Winston-Salem attorney must take before presenting the case in court. In order for evidence to be admissible in court, it has to be authenticated, generally speaking, by the person who prepared it. For example, with evidence such as medical records, those records must be authenticated by the providers who prepared the records.
Process of Filing a Claim
There are specific documents that must be filed with the court in order to open a viable claim in court in Winston-Salem. Basically, it would be the issuance of a civil summons and the filing of a complaint.
A claim is written by drafting the complaint and pleading the claims that the lawyer feels are relevant and viable under the facts of any given case. In order for a claim to be viable in court, it must include the prima facie elements of a claim for negligence in order for it to be viable in court.
A claim that is filed in court arising from a car accident claim is a claim rooted in negligence. Negligence is a legal term of art and it has discrete elements. When you are writing the complaint, you have to include allegations in support of each of those discrete elements in order for the claim to be viable in court.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations in a car accident case means that someone, who has been injured in a car accident case, has to bring their claim within a certain amount of time. Generally speaking, in injury cases, it is three years from the date of injury or two years if there was a death, however, there are different statute of limitations for different kinds of cases. When dealing with a car accident case, the statute of limitations is from the date of the injury or the wreck.
Calculating the statute of limitations can be tricky in certain situations, such as if there is a death involved, or if there is a minor under the age of 18 involved. In addition, being a minor or someone with a disability can affect the statute of limitations if they have potentially been determined to be incapable of acting on their own behalf. This can extend or create a different timeframe within which the claim must be brought.
If the Trial Goes Beyond the Statute of Limitations
Once the litigation has started by filing the complaint, that is deemed to toll, or extend, the statute of limitations. So long as the lawsuit is still pending beyond the statute of limitations, the claim can proceed.
This will not impact any damages the injured party may receive. If the litigation is pending appropriately, then they can still collect the damages. In addition, there are not any special allowances made for trials extending beyond the statute of limitations.
Role of a Client Throughout Process
A client is minimally involved in a claim-filing process. By the time a lawyer is filing the claim with the court, he or she has met with the client, gathered the evidence of damages, and the contact with client is ongoing. The claim filing process is the job of the lawyer and the lawyer’s staff.
Importance of Retaining an Attorney
It is important to retain an attorney in order to ensure the necessary elements of the claim are proven. By doing so, it allows the claim to be viable in court, and the plaintiff to bring any other claims which may be applicable. An attorney can also put a client in touch with resources they may need, given their particular situation.
In addition, an attorney can make sure that an individual brings their claim within the required time because failure to do so will result in an inability to pursue the claim, and will therefore not be able to recover damages.