Over the past five years, the personal injury industry has grown by 1.6%.
With more and more people filing personal injury lawsuits, many people are wondering what the discovery process.
Thankfully, we’ll help to break down everything that the discovery process entails so that you aren’t caught off guard.
What is the Discovery Process?
The discovery process is an important part of a personal injury lawsuit. During this phase, the lawyer will normally do some research and detective work to uncover any evidence that could help them win the case.
This might be something like interviewing witnesses and getting their sworn statements.
They will also call up some experts on the case matter and ask them to give some testaments to help back up their argument. This expert might be something like an engineer, health care professional, or some other type of specialist.
Lastly, they will request all documents or records that they need to make their case. These records could be digital or non-digital, but your personal injury lawyer will take care of all of this.
In the discovery process, there are a few key stages that will be important to your case.
One of the first stages is interrogatories. It might sound scary at first, but it’s actually really easy and simple.
During this stage, there will be some written questions that are sent out to both plaintiff and defendant. These written questions will be about the lawsuit in order to gather more information to help them better understand the case.
You’ll have to write down the answers, but you’ll also be doing it under oath to ensure that you’re telling the truth to the best of your ability.
The questions can be different depending on what the case is about, but there are some common questions you can anticipate. For example, if a medical injury happened, you might be asked about how the injury happened and how bad it was.
You might also have to give some information on your medical history and if you’ve had any medical treatment for the injuries that you sustained.
In most cases, your lawyer will be able to help you write answers to these questions so that you make sure you don’t hurt the case in any way.
Request for Production
Next, during the request for production, the lawyer will ask for any documents that can help them conduct their inspection.
If it’s a lawsuit for someone who was injured, they will probably ask for medical records. Other documents they request could be photographs, receipts, insurance claims, emails, or any other kind of document.
Lawyers will require both parties to send over any relevant documents they have. In some cases, this might take place at the same time as the interrogatories.
During a request for admissions, the lawyers on both sides will go over some of the basic facts of the case or claim.
Either party can submit a request for this, and they’ll have to wait for the other party to respond. When they accept, a lawyer will provide a limit of factual statements.
When presented with these, the other party will either have to admit or deny it. This means that if the party admits it, they’re acknowledging that it’s true. If they deny it, they’ll have to also say why they won’t or can’t answer.
This stage can be really important, and if the other party sends you the request, your lawyer will make sure that you go over the responses.
When served with a request for admission, you’ll have 30 days to respond.
When you have a deposition, you’ll have to give a testimony that is not in court.
Even though it’s out of court, it will still be transcribed by a court reporter, and both parties can actually use it later on in the court proceedings.
Either party can request a deposition of the other party. They can also request a deposition for eyewitnesses and subject matter experts.
Depositions are actually helpful to help you eventually reach a settlement because they can help to officially capture an accurate version of the story where the problem occurred.
The questions that you’re asked (if you’re deposed) will probably be similar to what the other party asked you in the interrogatories. The main difference is that you’ll give these answers in person rather than writing them down. You will also be under oath to ensure that you are telling the truth.
Your lawyer will guide you through what to say in a deposition because anything you say now can be used against you later.
What are the Results?
After the deposition stage, you’ll then be able to move on to the next stage.
Once the discovery process is over, your lawyer will look at all of the information, testimonies, and official documentation to take to court.
Once they have all of their information, they will either try to negotiate with the other party. If both parties can’t reach a negotiation, then your lawyer will take the matter to court with all the information they have.
Learn More About the Discovery Process
These are only a few things to learn about the discovery process, but there is much more that you should know.
We know that the discovery process and going through a lawsuit can be stressful and overwhelming, but thankfully you don’t have to do it alone.
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