What is the “Discovery Phase” of a Lawsuit?
When considering a lawsuit after a personal injury, victims may hear lawyers speak of something called “discovery.” Discovery can have a major impact on how a case is handled, so it’s smart for you to have an understanding of what it means. Essentially, discovery is the way the facts and details surrounding the lawsuit are disclosed to each party before the trial takes place. The main purpose is to prevent either or both parties from being surprised as the lawsuit moves forward. Long story short, discovery is conducted in a written form, through the production of key documents and through oral testimonies taken before the trial.
How is Discovery in Written Form Handled?
Written interrogatories are designed to take each side’s impression of the facts of the lawsuit and the damages being alleged. These are an important part of litigation discovery. Some personal injury attorneys use standard interrogatories, while others will create their own set of questions based on the case. Lawyers and their clients will usually address each question separately and decide whether or not they should object. Another tool that is often used in the written discovery process is known as a request for admission. When a request for admission is made, a party will be asked to admit or deny a specific proposition related to the case. Anyone given a request for admission who fails to answer truthfully will likely face major penalties. Your personal injury attorneys will explain the discovery process to you in more detail and walk you through every step of it.
What Happens During the Deposition Phase?
A deposition is, essentially, a testimony made under oath where a person will be questioned by attorneys for one of the parties to the lawsuit. Court reporters are present and will keep an official transcript of every question and answer. Depositions are usually seen as a helpful method of learning what the opposing side believes about the case and observing how witnesses are likely to respond at the trial stage. Any individual who is deposed in a lawsuit should only provide facts. You never want to speculate on anything. If a question is difficult to answer, it’s perfectly fine to say, “I don’t know.” Lastly, you don’t want to volunteer any information that was not sought by the person asking the question. Your lawyers will handle everything they can; your only job is to honestly answer the questions asked.
Do I Really Need a Casper Personal Injury Law Firm?
Trusted and experienced personal injury lawyers understand how difficult the discovery process can be. Law firms for the at-fault party will go to great lengths to undermine your case, which is why you need a personal injury law firm that will assist you through this fact-finding phase and ensure your story is accurately told. If you or someone you love is going into a personal injury lawsuit, you need to seek honest, hard-working legal representation.