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Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline for Car Accident Case

Asheville Personal Injury Case Timeline

What do you do after an Asheville Car Crash?

Asheville automobile accident attorney Lakota R. Denton has put together a personal injury case timeline for a typical car accident case. 

If you have been involved in a serious car crash, you may have questions about the personal injury lawsuit process and how long a personal injury or car accident case can take.  

Getting a personal injury lawsuit settlement takes time and you need the best personal injury lawyer you can find to help with your auto accident case.

Have you ever wondered what you will do if you get involved in a car accident and get injured?  

It’s not only the bodily harm that you will have to endure, but you will also need to handle the medical bills that can run up into thousands of dollars. Add to this the lost wages due to your inability to perform your job.

For most people, the process of claiming for injuries may appear daunting.

This is why the best course of action is to find a competent personal injury lawyer, who will take up all the burden and hassles of handling your personal injury case and work towards getting you the best compensation, while you recuperate.   

Lakota Denton is an Asheville personal injury attorney who focuses on car accident cases and has helped many clients who have been injured as a result of a serious car crash.  If you have been involved in a car accident, you need a personal injury attorney who focuses on motor vehicle accident cases.  

Car Accident PI Case Timeline Summary

  1. Car Accident Occurs – Investigate at the Scene

  2. Exchange Information with other drivers

  3. Document the Car Accident

  4. Seek Medical Attention

  5. Hire a Car Accident Attorney ASAP

  6. Notify Insurance Company (Your Attorney will handle everything while you get better)

  7. Your Lawyer Will Investigate Your Claim & Gather Key Info
  8. File an Insurance Claim or Demand a Settlement (Your lawyer will create a demand letter on your behalf)

  9. If No Settlement, Lawsuit is Filed (Most cases are usually settled & your lawyer will negotiate for you)

  10. Litigation & Discovery Process  

  11. Mediation and/or Arbitration

  12. Trial

Asheville personal injury lawyer Lakota R. Denton talks about the personal injury case timeline for a car accident case in the YouTube video below.  You can also read all the different steps in the timeline below.

 

Whenever you sit behind the wheel of your car or travel as a passenger, there is simply no guarantee that you will not get involved in a motor vehicle accident and sustain injuries.

You may be very careful while driving, but the other party may not be. The worst part is an accident can happen most unexpectedly, bringing with it, debilitation and even death.

When you get into an automobile crash, your first thought will be what to do next. The aftermath of an accident follows a sequence that is depicted by a timeline. It is important because it provides the logical steps to be followed that covers all the bases required in the personal injury car accident case.

Personal Injury Timeline Steps for Car Accident:   

#1 – Investigate the Car Crash while you are still at the scene of the accident

If you find yourself in a car accident, take the following steps immediately:

  • Check yourself for injuries: Try and move your limbs and neck. If you are unable to do so, try not to move, call the police and wait for the emergency medical rescue.

  • Check passengers in the car: If you can move, check the other passengers in the car for injuries. If someone is injured, call the police and take the help of bystanders.

  • Get to safety: If you find yourself in the middle of the road, there is every chance of being run over by the fast-moving traffic. If your car is in a condition to be driven, pull it to the side of the road, if not, exit the car and get to the side of the road or on to a sidewalk.

  • Call the police: In all cases, whether it is a minor scrape or a major collision, calling the police becomes important. It is even legally required in some states. However, in North Carolina, you only need to report crashes that have resulted in injuries or fatalities and if the property damage is over $1,000.

#2 – Exchange Information

While you await the arrival of police and if you are not grievously hurt, make it a point to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. In case you are unable to do so, find someone in the crowd to do it for you.

The information you must obtain from the other party is his or her…

…full name and contact information.

…insurance company and policy number.

…driver’s license and license plate number.

…make, model and color of the vehicle.

However, you should desist from discussing whose fault it was with the other driver since it will be determined by the insurance claim adjuster, based on inspection, information provided by the parties involved and the police.  

#3 – Document the Car Accident

Once the police arrive, you must document the accident. These will come in handy in resolving your case with the insurance company. The details required are:

  • Officers’ particulars: Note the names and badge numbers of officers covering the accident.

  • Accident report: Ask for a copy of the accident report or find out from where it can be collected at a later date. Your insurer may require this report at the time of filing your car insurance claim.

  • Photographs: Get hold of the pictures taken by the police and also take pictures of your own of the license plates and damage caused to both the cars. This will help you in supporting your claim with your insurer.

  • Witness details: You must identify and reach out to eyewitnesses who have seen the accident. These include people present in the location at the time of the accident, passengers in your or the other car. Get their names and contact information, and get the police to record their statements.

Asheville car accident

—> Read more about What to do after a Car Accident in Asheville, North Carolina

#4- Seek Medical Assistance

If you are badly injured, the police will certainly evacuate you by ambulance. However, if you are not seriously injured and are able to walk around, still seek medical attention as soon as possible. Many times, injuries don’t manifest themselves immediately and pop up later.

Moreover, seeing a doctor will also act as a safeguard in the event of your condition deteriorating at a later date, when you can claim that you had seen a doctor. Not seeing a doctor at all will help the insurance companies in claiming that either you were not injured or your injuries were not serious enough to warrant treatment.

In addition, not seeing a doctor may make you lose out on your entitlement of $10,000 Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. Click To Tweet

These are available under your own auto insurance policy and requires you to seek medical help within the first 14 days of the car accident.

If you are injured, make it a point to photograph your visible injuries, such as cuts, bruises, scrapes, and abrasions before you get medical treatment. These pictures will remain as evidence long after your injuries have healed and can help you in pursuing your injury claims.

*** You want to hire a car accident lawyer before talking with your insurance company ***

#5 – Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

Hiring a personal injury attorney right away is important. You get the much-needed free advice since most lawyers offer a free consultation, that sets you on the right course from the initial stage itself. 

You have nothing to lose by hiring a personal injury lawyer and they will help you get the best possible result for your car accident claim. 

Lakota Denton Discusses How to Find a Good Personal Injury Lawyer

Your personal injury lawyer will…

…investigate the motor vehicle crash.

…get the police report.

…get statements from witnesses.

…get the photographs of the vehicles involved.

In addition, your car accident attorney will also contact all the insurance companies involved, which can number up to five or six, depending upon the number of vehicles involved in the accident and the number of personal insurance policies people may have.

Your auto accident lawyer will start negotiating with the insurance companies. His first step will be to inform these insurance companies about your injuries and tell them to wait while your medical treatment is over.

Asheville NC Attorney Lakota R. Denton

In the meantime, your lawyer will request your medical documents and medical bills and will also talk to your health insurance company or Medicare, if you have them.   

Once you do hire an injury lawyer, rest assured that he or she will get you a much greater settlement than what an insurance company will give.

A study conducted by the Insurance Research Council found that hiring a lawyer gets you 3.5 times larger settlement than what you can expect from an insurance adjuster. Click To Tweet

If you have filed the case in North Carolina, the North Carolina Bar makes it mandatory for its lawyers to communicate the basis or rate of the fee and expenses charged. In case the agreed-upon arrangement is a contingency, a written agreement must be made and should be signed by the client.

—> Read more about What to Expect when meeting your personal injury lawyer for the first time.

Lakota Denton talks about the reasons to hire a car accident lawyer in the video below:

#6 – Notify Insurance Company (After talking with your lawyer)

All car accidents in North Carolina involve insurance companies.  However, always speak to your lawyer before you contact the insurance company of the other party.

If you do so without a lawyer, the at-fault insurance company may make you say things that may harm your case. Therefore, it is in your interest to let your lawyer talk to the insurance companies first.

Be Careful What You Say To An Insurance Adjuster 

It is common in the aftermath of an accident for the other driver’s insurance adjuster to contact you to “check on you”, get your version of the story, and hopefully get a recorded statement.  I have had clients get this call while waiting for treatment in the emergency room.

 It is not by accident that they contact you so soon after the accident.   One of the main reasons for this has to do with the delayed onset of symptoms. 

Often in the minutes or hours after a crash, your adrenaline is still surging, and some of your musculoskeletal injuries may not have reached their full intensity of symptoms, as it can take hours or days for some soft tissue injury symptoms to fully develop. 

—> Read more about “Why an Insurance Adjuster is NOT Your Friend”

#7 -Your Lawyer will Investigate Your Claim & gather all of the key info 

It is the job of your lawyer to investigate the claim thoroughly. As a first step, he or she will interview you to get the details of the accident, your background, any previous medical conditions you are suffering from and what injuries you have sustained in the accident.

He or she will also need the details of all hospitals and clinics where you were treated.  

You may find some of the questions posed by the personal injury lawyer irrelevant, but there is a reason for every question. Revealing your past medical history honestly is important in helping your lawyer to prepare your case adequately.

This is because the insurance company usually claim your auto accident injuries as pre-existing or degenerative in nature. So, to combat this defense, your lawyer needs to be thorough with your past medical history.

Offer Medical Records & Bills

You must present your medical records and bills, pertaining to the accident, to your lawyer. Give the details of doctors who examined you, their opinions, and their recommended treatment and medicines.

Also, inform about any change of doctor or the line of treatment in a timely manner to enable your lawyer to keep your file updated.

#8 – Demand a Personal Injury Settlement

Most cases of auto accident injuries never reach the court, since the other party often offers a settlement. This may turn out good in certain cases, but not in others.

Your lawyer is the best person to analyze your case and settle for the amount offered if it seems adequate or use the threat of litigation to get a higher amount.

Your Asheville accident lawyer will explain to you the cost/benefit analysis of accepting a settlement rather than filing a lawsuit.

He or she may urge you to agree to such settlement if the offer by the at-fault insurance company is marginally less than what you would have got through a lawsuit.

#9 – File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Filing a personal injury lawsuit is a cumbersome process and should be the last resort. It is best avoided if you get adequate compensation in an out of court settlement. 

Motor Vehicle Accidents in North Carolina

If you get involved in a car accident in the Asheville, North Carolina area, you need to contact a top personal injury lawyer. You will need the services of a seasoned and competent personal injury trial lawyer like Lakota Denton.

Having handled numerous car accidents, Lakota R. Denton has honed his personal injury case resolution skills to the max.

His advice to his clients is simple, “Your job is to go and get better and get the treatment you need, my job is to collect all the documents, collect all the information and talk to all the insurance companies.”

#10- Discovery Process / Mediation or Arbitration / Goto Trial

Unmatched Personal Injury Service

Lakota Denton is well versed in dealing with motor vehicle crash cases, whether they resulted from car accidents, truck accidents, workplace mishaps or even medical malpractice. He goes about the injury and accident cases in a stepwise manner:

  • Collects all documents and photos pertaining to the accident and compile them in a demand letter

  • Sends the demand letter to the at-fault insurance company responsible for your injuries

  • Gives the at-fault insurance company 30 days to act on the claim

  • Files a lawsuit, if the at-fault insurance company fails to respond within the stipulated period

In most cases, the at-fault insurance company responds within 30 days with an offer.

Contact an Asheville Car Accident Attorney

We have helped many Asheville, North Carolina residents with questions related to motor vehicle accidents including “Who do I call after a car accident?”, “Is a consultation for a car wreck free?” or How do I find a car accident lawyer near me or car accident attorney near me?

If you or your loved one have been the victim of an automobile accident and have been injured through no fault of your own, our staff at Lakota R. Denton P.A. are standing by to assist you.  We will help investigate your car wreck, talk to witnesses, and speak to your medical providers about outstanding balances. 

Personal injury attorney Lakota R. Denton has the knowledge and resources to handle your car accident claim properly, to help ensure that you are properly compensated for an accident that was not your fault.  Call today for a free, no-pressure consultation. 

Lakota Denton

Lakota Denton

Lakota Denton is an Asheville, NC trial lawyer who focuses on recovering for injured people. Lakota has been practicing law in Asheville, N.C. since 2011. Lakota attended Keene State College in New Hampshire and graduated with a degree in psychology in 2000. Lakota played professional soccer after graduating from college. In 2011 Lakota graduated Cum Laude from Western New England college where he was awarded the Edward Cooley Award for Excellence in Labor Law, The CALI excellence for the future award for Labor Law, The CALI excellence for the future award for Jurisprudence Survey, The CALI excellence for the future award for Trial Methods, and was a member of the American Association for Justice Moot Court Team. Lakota has been practicing in his own firm since 2013, focusing solely on personal injury. He is a member of the American Association of Justice, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, the North Carolina Bar association, the American Bar Association, the National Trial Lawyers, and was awarded Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers, the 2014 Top 40 Lawyers under 40, and the Avvo clients choice award. He has spoken at the Asheville Paralegals Association Luncheon and he served on the North Carolina Advocates for Justice Auto Torts leadership team in 2017. Lakota has won numerous jury trials with verdicts for his clients. For more information, contact our office.   

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