Filing a Leesburg Pedestrian Accident Case

Specific steps for filing a case depend on where the case must be filed, the amount in controversy, and other factors such as timing and what the plaintiff wants to accomplish in initiating a claim.

Filing a case may result in multiple things. These include making a demand on the other driver’s insurance company as well as filing a claim or civil action to the local court system. When an individual’s damages exceed $25,000, the civil action is filed in the local circuit court of the county where the accident took place in most circumstances.

When the amount of controversy is less than $25,000, the injured party may elect to file the case in the general district court as you choose. Such filing decisions are discussed with the Leesburg pedestrian accident attorney. In addition, the injured party may file a demand on the other driver’s insurance company.

A demand refers to a civil request outside of the court process in which you present information in your best light to the other driver’s insurance company to meet your demand with the settlement. The demand or the filing of the complaint typically initiates the claims process.

Before Filing

There are many important steps to take before filing a case. It is important to fully investigate the claims, request copies of all medical records, and discuss expectations with the attorney for the resolution of the case. A person’s attorney can advise them about how the case might go, the different steps that may occur during a case, different procedures, the requirements of each party, and the timeline for resolution. Some local courts in Virginia get to trial faster than others and some take quite a while between the filing and the trial case.

District, Circuit, and Federal Court Claims

There are important considerations when deciding which venue and jurisdiction to file the pedestrian accident case. When deciding whether or not to file in general district court or circuit court, for example, consider the rules of the court, the time between filing to trial, the costs of filing in each court including the discovery process, the needs for expert witnesses, deposition fees, and court advances.

Whether or not the plaintiff files the case in the local general district court or the local circuit court depends on the amount requested. If a person and their attorney believe that the best case scenario in the general district court could lead to a verdict in excess of $25,000, it is in their best interest to file in the circuit court. If the case is likely to render a verdict less than $25,000; that is the jurisdiction of limits of the general district court.

Federal court is a little different. Individuals can file in federal court only if there are certain circumstances and factual scenarios that meet the federal guidelines. This includes the diversity of the parties, the amount in controversy requirement, as well as a federal question or federal subject matter jurisdiction. It is not common that pedestrian accidents are heard in federal court but it does happen on occasion.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of the accident in Virginia. Sometimes, it is necessary to file a case in order to meet the statute of limitations even though the case is not quite ready to go to trial. By filing, the individual preserves the statute of limitations, even if they do not serve the at-fault parties with the complaint right away.

Process in Circuit Court

Depending on where the pedestrian accident case will determine how much will take place in and out of court. If an individual files the case in circuit court, which is quite common with pedestrian accident cases in Leesburg, their case is heard in the Circuit Court of Loudoun County. Though the case is filed in the court, much of the action of the case occurs outside of the courtroom, in the attorney’s office and potentially the deposition meeting room.

After the case is filed and served on the other party, the next step in the circuit court case is the answering or accounting of discovery. Discovery refers to requests for written answers known as an interrogatory or requests for production of the documents in which the party is requested to answer questions under oath and turn over certain documents so that the other party can know more about the nature of their claim. Discovery is a very important process in any court litigation and occurs outside the court.

Discovery may lead to certain in-court actions including motions to compel or arguing about whether or not the discovery is appropriate. Other things that may occur in discovery include the request for admission, request of deposition, request for medical examination, expert witness declaration, and expert witness deposition.