All legal proceedings have specific stages and steps, and personal injury suits are no different. One such step is known as the discovery process, and this involves everything related to obtaining and preserving evidence. This step involves both sides of the litigation, and for the most part, they focus on three distinct kinds of evidence: the written phase helps collect testimonials using questionnaires, the document production phase collects paperwork like bills and records, and the deposition phase collects oral statements.
Due to the nature of the information that is typically discussed during discovery, it is often considered the most vulnerable or invasive part of a suit. Some plaintiffs may feel especially discouraged during this process–such as sexual assault claimants–but those who are well-prepared will have a better idea of what to expect. At Van Law Firm, we make sure that every client knows just what to expect throughout the entirety of their case so that you are never caught off-guard. Call our office nearest you today to get started.
The Written Discovery Phase
For the most part, the written discovery phase produces two things: requests for admission and interrogatories. An interrogatory, as the name suggests, is a written set of questions related to the case at hand. These questions are usually centered around specific details or dates, such as when and where an action took place or what a person was wearing. Your attorney will go through these questions with you in order to determine which questions you should answer and which ones warrant an objection.
Requests for admission are also part of this phase. These are simple requests for parties to officially confirm or deny specific facts. These are not used very often but when they are, they tend to be influential. If a party answers one of these requests untruthfully or does not answer them at all, he or she is likely to incur penalties.
The Document Production Phase
Document production is designed to collect all of the relevant paperwork for a given case, and this will change depending on the details of the case itself. For personal injury cases, attorneys are largely concerned with police reports, insurance claims, medical records and bills, repair records, and even forms of communication such as emails or texts.
The Deposition Phase
Depositions are recorded statements that are done under oath in the presence of a court reporter. Both sides of litigation typically answer questions from opposing counsel. This process almost always highlights the importance of open communication between attorneys and their clients, as occasionally the client will be forced to admit something that they did not originally tell their attorney–this type of off-guard moment usually spells disaster.
Every case and deposition is unique, but for the most part, your attorney will likely advise you to be careful in multiple ways. For starters, if you don’t know the answer or part of an answer to a question, make sure to explicitly say so; never speculate or guess when giving statements under oath. In addition, you should never try to explain or justify an answer, simply give your honest response and move on. Be calm yet alert, and speak the truth to the best of your ability.
Retain a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney
The discovery process can certainly be invasive and intimidating, but when you bring your case to Van Law Firm, you will never be uncertain as to where your case stands or what you should do in a given situation. Our award-winning personal injury attorneys have settled hundreds of cases over the years, and there isn’t any part of the claim process that we haven’t experienced. Call our location nearest you today for more information.