discovery process in personal injury

Understanding the Discovery Process in a Personal Injury Case

If you’ve initiated a personal injury claim after a car accident, slip and fall, dog bite, or another type of accident, you may be overwhelmed by everything your lawyer has set into action. However, every part of your claim has an important purpose. The discovery process is one of the most important parts of a personal injury case, as it allows your attorney to get important information that they can use to build your case or break down the other side’s case.

Learn more about the discovery process, what it entails, and how it can help you. When you’re ready to hire an attorney for your claim, call Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short at 334-560-1936.

The Purpose of Discovery

Discovery occurs prior to trial and provides both sides with the information they need for the lawsuit. An enormous amount of information is exchanged during this time, and your attorney may use a variety of different discovery tools to get the evidence they need to build your case.

Discovery goes both ways. While your attorney can ask the other side to submit to interrogatories, depositions, and other tasks, the other side can ask the same thing of you. This is one reason it’s recommended that you have an attorney during a personal injury claim. They can help you prepare for the discovery process and know exactly what you should and should not say.

Information Gained During Discovery

Your attorney is looking for anything that will change how they approach your case, information that can strengthen your claim, and information that throws doubt on the other side’s case. This may include:

  • Details of the accident.
  • The other side’s personal injury claim history.
  • The other side’s driving history/pet ownership history/homeownership history/any background information relevant to the claim you currently have.
  • Specific details of the injury in question.
  • Medical details of the injury and recovery process.
  • Insurance information.
  • Costs related to the accident in question.

This is just a small sampling of the information that may come out of the discovery process. While your attorney will not use everything they gather, it all helps to build a bigger picture of your case.

Different Types of Discovery Actions

There are several specific tools your attorney can use to get the information they need during discovery. They include:

  • Interrogatories: Interrogatories are a series of written questions that the other party responds to with written answers. This may give the attorney useful information regarding the other party’s perception of the accident and the facts of the accident. The information given in the interrogatories may be drawn upon either during depositions or in court if the party changes their answers.
  • Requests for admission: The less your attorney has to prove, the more time they can spend on the facts that are in question. That’s why requests for admission are important. When both sides admit to specific facts of the case, the attorneys do not have to prove those facts. For example, in a personal injury claim regarding a car accident, your attorney can save time if the other party will freely admit that they were driving over the speed limit.
  • Requests for documents: Attorneys can request medical bills, medical reports, repair estimates, and any other documents related to the accident.
  • Depositions: Depositions are fairly similar to interrogatories, but they happen verbally and in person. The party in question sits down with the opposing side and answers their questions.
  • Medical exams: The victim in the accident may be asked to submit to a medical exam conducted by the other side’s medical professional of choice.

How to Prepare

Your attorney will spend plenty of time helping you prepare for depositions and other parts of the discovery process. The most important things to remember are that you must be honest and that you must be factual. Stay away from guesses about the other party’s intentions and avoid guessing. If you do not know or remember, say that rather than take a guess.

Choose Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short for Your Personal Injury Claim

With the help of a personal injury attorney, you can fight for the compensation you deserve after an accident. Let us help. Call Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short at 334-560-1936 or send us a message online to schedule your consultation now.

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