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A Quick Guide to Legal Discovery in Personal Injury Cases

The concept of a personal injury suit is rather simple: if you’ve been injured due to the thoughtless or negligent behavior of others, you are entitled to recover compensation. That’s easy enough to understand but very difficult to actually accomplish. This is because each suit must go through different phases, with no guarantee of success for each. One such phase is known as the discovery phase, which most claimants are not familiar with. 

Before we discuss this process in detail, it is important to note that in order to maximize your chances of success, you will need to retain a trusted personal injury attorney. Van Law Firm has been defending the rights of accident victims from all over the U.S. for nearly a decade, and with a 5-star rating across all platforms, it’s clear to see that quality is our priority. Call our office nearest you today to get started. 

What Does the Discovery Process Entail? 

After a personal injury suit has officially been filed to the civil court in your jurisdiction, the case will then progress into what is known as the discovery phase. Essentially, this process includes all of the investigations and conversations that must be completed in order to uncover all of the relevant facts for the case in question. Hence the name “discovery.” 

For the most part, this process takes place outside of the conventional courtroom itself. It is also separate with regards to the parties involved–even though the same evidence is shared between them, both sides conduct independent investigations, and oftentimes they reach different conclusions. 

The discovery process also includes depositions, which are a crucial part of all suits. A deposition is a recorded conversation between an attorney and a witness or other party who has information that is relevant to the case in question. These are done under oath and in the presence of a court reporter, so they are essentially testimonies, just outside of the courtroom. There are not many restrictions as far as who can or cannot be deposed, but you can’t actually force anyone to testify without a subpoena. 

Just What Materials are Eligible to Be “Discovered”?

Contrary to what you might think, there are not a lot of restrictions as far as what can or cannot be discovered by both parties. If there is information that is even slightly applicable to the case at hand, both the plaintiff and the defendant will be able to dissect it. Materials that are commonly gathered from depositions include, but are not limited to: 

  • Any details that were seen or heard by a witness in connection to the accident in question. What did you see, what did you hear? 
  • Specific quotes or details that somebody said with regards to the accident. Why did this person say that? What compelled you to write this social media post? 
  • Identities of others who may have relevant information regarding the case. Was anyone with you at the time? Who else might know more? 
  • Any documents that may be of interest. Do you have a copy of a certain document? Are you able to produce a given document if asked? 
  • Personal information that may be relevant. Were you ever involved in a relationship with this person? Do you have a criminal record? 

An Experienced Attorney Knows the Value of Discovery–Contact VLF Today 

If you are embroiled in a personal injury suit, there’s a very high probability that you do not have the experience or resources to effectively handle discovery. Retaining a trusted attorney will benefit you in so many ways, but discovery is one of the most important. Information is gold in the legal field, and it helps to have a skilled miner by your side when it matters most. 

When you’re ready to take the first step in defending your rights after an accident, look no further than Van Law Firm. Our trusted team of personal injury and mass tort attorneys will help guide you through every step of your case, including discovery. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to recover the compensation you’re entitled to. Call our location nearest you today for a free consultation and case review.