If an insurerhas filed a civil action against me for an accident that happened in one county, can they take me to court inanother county?

And how can I obtain information regarding this case? Their client was at fault, yet they are trying to accuse me and hold me accountable from a court in a county that is irrelevant to this case.I’m a disabled veteran and need legal aid, but I can’t even “observe” any documents about this claim. Is there a way I can access police reports and information concerning this case? Police were in my favor, and I’m worried about the insurer “altering” information that I can’t obtain.

Asked on March 12, 2011 under Accident Law, North Carolina

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A lawsuit can be filed where the plaintiff resides or where the defendant resides or where the  (claim arose) accident occurred.  There is only one lawsuit.  The case was filed in another county.  It cannot be filed again in a different county unless there is a change of venue.  If that happened which is unlikely,  the case would be dismissed in the court where it is now filed and reinstated in the court in the new district (county).

You can obtain the police report by contacting the police department where the accident occurred and requesting a copy.  There is usually a nominal fee for obtaining a copy of the police report.

As for obtaining information about the lawsuit, you could have someone go to the court where the lawsuit was filed.  If you have the case number, the court file can be requested from the court clerk.  It cannot be removed from the court, but the clerk can photocopy the file.  If you don't know the case number, the person you send to the court can look for your name under defendants in the court's computer in the plaintiff/defendant index and can then obtain the case number.  The case number will be needed in order for the court clerk to locate the file.  It is possible that the court file might include a copy of the police report and then you wouldn't have to pay to obtain a copy of the police report from the police department.


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