In Virginia, if I make a personal injury claim, what happens and do I have to go to court?

personal injury lawyers in virginia beach

The below information was written by our personal injury lawyers in Virginia Beach.

If the claim can be settled prior to the filing of a lawsuit, then the injured person usually will not have to appear in court. However, whether or not a case can be settled short of an appearance in court by the injured person is something that is specific to each case.  Our experienced personal injury lawyers in Virginia Beach can help you with the settlement value of a personal injury claim and whether you will need to appear in court.

Typically, a person who wishes to make a claim for personal injuries will submit a claim to the applicable insurance company with the request that the insurance company review the claim and get back to the claimant with an offer of settlement. That request by the claimant may result in a denial of the claim by the insurance company, a request by the insurance company for additional information from the claimant, an offer of settlement, or some other response from the insurance company.

If an agreement cannot be reached with the insurance company regarding a settlement of the injury claim, then the claimant’s personal injury lawyer will usually file a lawsuit in an effort to obtain an amount greater than what the insurance company is willing to pay.

Once the lawsuit is filed, it must be served on the defendant(s), and if there is potential uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage available to the plaintiff under an insurance policy or policies issued in Virginia, the lawsuit must also be served on that insurance company or companies. The defendant(s) and any served insurance companies must then file written answers to the lawsuit, if they wish to contest the plaintiff’s claim.

Once the lawsuit has been answered, the case moves into what is known as discovery, which is the phase of a lawsuit during which the litigants can issue written questions to each other, subpoena documents from healthcare providers and other persons and entities, examine witnesses under oath, and use other means to collect information relevant to the case. Ultimately, the case will be assigned a trial date, and if the case cannot be settled before the trial date, then it will proceed to a trial, where the plaintiff and other witnesses can testify and documents can be entered into evidence.

Throughout the process described above, settlement negotiations between the insurance company and the plaintiff’s personal injury law firm will usually be ongoing, and if an agreement can be reached with the insurance company regarding settlement prior to the trial date, then the case can usually be brought to an end without the need for the plaintiff to appear in court.

Waiting can hurt your case.  To find out how our personal injury lawyers in Virginia Beach can help you, please contact us at (757) 486-2700.

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