Discovery information is an essential part of a car accident lawsuit. It is used to gather evidence and information from the opposing parties that can be used to build a strong case and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
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There are many different types of discovery in a lawsuit, but they all share one common goal: to provide the parties with as much information about each other and their claims or defenses as possible before trial. The most common types of discovery in car accident cases are interrogatories, requests for production of documents and depositions.
In interrogatories, the attorneys for both sides must write up questions that they want answered and send them to the other side, usually a week or so before the case goes to trial. The answers must be given under oath and it is important that you and your attorney answer the questions truthfully and accurately.
These questions can include any number of subjects that are relevant to your case including your name, date of birth, address, social security number and past employment history. They may also ask about your injuries in the car crash, time off work, medical treatment for those injuries and expenses related to this treatment. They may also ask about witnesses to the accident, scene videos or photographs, written or recorded witness statements and other documentation.
Your attorney should be able to advise you if the other party is asking too many questions or if they are trying to gather irrelevant or unrelated information. However, the rules of civil procedure and court decisions govern what can be requested.
Requests for production of documents are a common tool in most personal injury cases and in car accident cases. They are often used to get copies of insurance policies, medical bills, lost wages documents and expert witness reports from the other party in your case.
The information you provide to the other side will be reviewed by your attorney and will help him/her determine if there is any basis for a claim against the defendant. You and your lawyer will then begin the process of gathering evidence for the case.
If your case has to go to trial, you will likely need to present the information obtained through this process to a jury. The judge and jury will decide whether or not the defendant is responsible for your injuries and will award you monetary damages based on that determination.
Depositions are a crucial part of the discovery process and will be used to record sworn testimony from you, the negligent driver or other witnesses. These depositions must be recorded by a court reporter and can take some time to prepare.
These depositions will be transcribed into written documents that can be used during your trial. It is also a good idea to have an experienced Central Florida personal injury and car accident lawyer at your deposition.
After your interrogatories and requests for production of documents have been sent and reviewed by your attorney, you will be asked to submit to a medical examination. The insurance company will usually select a medical professional to perform this exam and may use that person as an expert witness in the case. The examination will help your attorney determine if you have suffered any permanent or serious injuries and how severe those injuries are.