Understanding the Discovery Process in a Personal Injury Claim
If you’re pursuing a personal injury claim after an accident, you’ll likely come across a wide range of legal terms you’ve never encountered before. Each plays an important part in your case. Understanding these terms can give you a better overview of your claim and what to expect.
Wondering if you need an attorney for your personal injury claim? Let’s talk about your options and what comes next. Call Olmstead & Olmstead at 703-361-1555 to set up a consultation today.
The Role Discovery Plays in Your Claim
Discovery is an incredibly important part of your personal injury claim. Discovery is the collection of all relevant evidence by both parties. You know what happened and who is liable for your injuries, but that isn’t enough to prove your case to the insurance company or to the court. You’ll need to demonstrate the other party’s liability through a strong body of evidence, and that is what your attorney seeks to build during discovery.
Different Parts of the Discovery Process
There are several elements of discovery, each of which supports your claim in a different way. As someone who was involved in the accident, it’s likely that you’ll have to participate in some or all of these.
Interrogatories are a fairly simple way to get more information about the claim and what happened. The attorney from one side submits a list of written questions to the other party, who must answer them fully under oath. Information gathered may relate to insurance, witnesses, expert witnesses, how the accident happened, and how the accident has affected their lives.
Depositions are in-person interviews with the attorney and another party. The other party may be someone involved in the accident, an eyewitness, an expert witness, or someone else with knowledge relevant to the case. The deposition is either recorded on video or transcribed by a court reporter. The evidence gathered during a deposition is essential when it comes to securing a fair settlement.
Request for Documents
Any accident or injury comes with its own share of documentation and paperwork, and much of this documentation can be useful to your personal injury claim. One side may request treatment records, medical bills, doctors’ notes, employment documentation regarding days off, repair estimates, damage reports, accident reports, communication from insurance companies, and visual evidence of the accident.
Request for Admissions
As you can see, there is a lot to prove in a personal injury claim. The less your attorney has to prove, the more they can focus on other aspects of the claim. A request for admissions involves providing a list of allegations to the other party. They must admit or deny every single one. If they admit to one or more, the other attorney does not have to spend time proving that aspect of their case.
For example, consider a car accident claim. You tell your attorney that the other party was going at least 10 miles over the speed limit when they hit you. If your attorney asks the other party to admit or deny that and they admit it, your attorney does not have to prove that they were speeding. Their admission holds up in court. If your attorney does not ask them, they could spend valuable time and resources proving something that the other party would have willingly admitted to.
Talk to Your Attorney About How to Prepare
Discovery can be a grueling and time-consuming process, so be ready to answer the same questions over and over again. A lot depends on how in-depth the other party is when it comes to discovery and how much your attorney requires of you. Talking to your attorney about discovery and getting a general timeline may help you feel more involved in the process and less discouraged.
Start Your Claim with Olmstead & Olmstead
Having the right attorney on your side can make a big difference when you decide to pursue compensation. Our long list of successful cases and commitment to our clients make us stand out from the rest. Set up a consultation with the team at Olmstead & Olmstead now by calling us at 703-361-1555 or sending us a message online.
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