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Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp
(833) 997-1774

A car accident, especially one that was not your fault, can be devastating. You could be badly injured, unable to work, and no longer have a viable mode of transportation all because of someone else’s carelessness. To recover financial compensation for your hospital bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and any other damages you incurred, you will need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Very soon after you do so, you will be contacted by an insurance adjuster who is going to do their best to put you at ease and convince you to make a statement that will ultimately damage your claim. Even the most seemingly innocent questions, such as “Where were you going when the accident occurred?” can drastically affect your claim’s value. Contrary to what an adjuster will tell you, you are under no obligation to speak with them. In fact, any car accident attorney is going to advise you not to speak with an adjuster until you have qualified legal representation. When you work with an experienced Virginia Beach car accident lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we will do everything possible to ensure that you receive and fair settlement. If, however, a reasonable settlement can’t be reached, a lawsuit and a trial could be necessary.

The Discovery Phase

All personal injury lawsuits involve considerable pre-trial preparations, including discovery. Discovery is a formal process through which all involved parties exchange information regarding the case before it goes to trial. The goal of discovery is to ensure a smooth trial since each party has all of the information they need to present their case.

During the discovery phase, you will have to answer questions about the facts of your accident as they pertain to your claim. You and your attorney will also be given the chance to obtain information from the opposing party.

What Are Interrogatories?  

Part of discovery involves interrogatories. This is a list of questions written by one party and sent to another to be answered under oath. They provide information that is relevant to the case and will be used at trial. 

Interrogatories can be divided into two parts: specific questions and general questions. An interrogatory usually starts with standard questions such as your full name and current contact details. This section is usually straightforward and fairly easy to get through. Far more elaborate questions regarding the accident in question will also be included. Under Virginia law, interrogatories must be filled out and returned no more than 21 days after their receipt. 

What Kinds of Questions Are Included in Interrogatories? 

As they pertain to car accidents, the questions included in your interrogatory vary from case to case. Some questions that are frequently asked include: 

  • How did the car accident happen?
  • Where were you coming from when the accident occurred?
  • Did you have insurance when the accident occurred?
  • How fast were you going just before the crash?
  • Are you supposed to wear corrective eyewear when driving?  
  • Were you on any medications when the accident occurred?
  • How many car accidents have you been in the last five years?
  • Did the accident cause you to miss work?
  • What injuries did you experience?
  • What other damages did you sustain?
  • Did you receive medical care immediately after the accident?

Be prepared to supply a full list and detailed description of all of your injuries, a list of your treating physicians and specialists, an explanation of your employment history and wages, and so forth.

Is Any Other Information Exchanged By Both Sides?  

Information can be exchanged in other ways. For example, both parties likely traded basic contact and insurance information at the scene of the accident. Additional information can be collected without the formality of an interrogatory, like requesting copies of employment and medical records. Both parties can also decide to swap information regarding the qualifications and findings of any expert witnesses, the damages incurred, and the names and contact details of any eyewitnesses. An experienced Virginia Beach car accident lawyer can draft a subpoena to obtain all documentation relevant to your case.

Practicing Personal Injury Law Since 1985

The Virginia Beach car accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have nearly 70 years of combined experience in handling car accident cases. If another person’s negligence caused your injuries, we can help you understand your rights, collect evidence, establish fault, and negotiate a fair settlement. By using our years of experience, we were able to secure a $1 million settlement for a car accident victim who was severely injured by a careless driver. If you would like to discuss your car accident claim with a member of our legal team, you can schedule a free consultation by calling (833) 997-1774 or filling out our online contact form. To better serve our clients from all over Virginia, we have offices in Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Hampton.

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