What is the Discovery Phase of a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If you were involved in a Personal Injury Accident in Georgia, you may have decided that the best way for you to obtain the compensation that you are owed is to hire an experienced attorney for legal help.
If you have never been involved in a PI Accident before, this may be your very first experience working with an attorney to try and obtain a settlement for your losses. For those who are unfamiliar with the Personal Injury Accident Process, taking legal action can seem very overwhelming.
Trying to understand the legal process and what to expect throughout your case is not something most people just know off hand.
We are here to help you understand the “discovery phase”, the 6th phase of a personal injury case timeline.
I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.
Understanding the Discovery Phase in a PI Case
After a complaint is filed and delivered to the defendant in a personal injury case, the discovery phase can begin.
The Discovery phase is a process that is used by attorneys and their clients to come to a deep understanding of the facts surrounding the case. The injured party will know the facts of the accident, from their perspective, and the person or organization who is being accused of negligence will know the “facts” from their perspective.
The discovery phase is the process that will allow all parties to “discover” what information the other party knows. When all parties involved know the facts of the case, then both parties will be able to prepare for a potential trial.
Discovery will eliminate any potential surprises at a trial and will also allow each party to prepare their trial strategy if it comes down to a trial.
Types of Discovery that May be Used in a Personal Injury Case
Interrogatories are just a fancy word for a question and are very common in a personal injury case. Interrogatories are a set of questions that will be sent to one party to the other to answer. There may be a limited number of questions that may be sent, and the party may have a limited amount of time to answer the questions.
The answers must be honest to the best of their ability, and if they learn new information once the answers are submitted, they are required to re-submit their answer with the new information.
If a personal injury attorney wants to know specific information from the defendant, sending an interrogatory is a straightforward way of getting information.
Interrogatories are very common in a personal injury case.
2. Request for Production of Documents
Request for production of documents is when just like it sounds, a request for documents that are relevant to the personal injury case is made. For example, medical bills and records are requested during the discovery phase along with any pictures of the accident site or injuries, lost wage records, and personal property damage records.
Since these documents are almost always requested during the discovery phase, it is so important to have gone to the doctor and obtain medical records if you wish to be compensated for your injuries.
Having pictures of injuries and the accident scene can only help the case and can prove to be evidence if a trial is needed.
If you missed time at work because of the accident, having records from your employer stating the amount of time missed will be required.
If you were involved in an accident such as a car crash that caused personal property damage, having a report of the damages is also important to receive proper compensation.
3. Request of Admission of Facts
If the case goes to trial, the plaintiff is required to prove certain facts about the claim. However, it is a waste of time and money for the plaintiff to prove undisputed or uncontested facts which means, the plaintiff can choose to serve a Request for Admission.
This means they will ask the other party to admit certain facts, and if the facts are admitted, this admission can be introduced as fact during a trial without the expense of calling upon witnesses or convincing the jury of something that no one is contesting.
Depositions are opportunities for each party to question the other or to question witnesses who have knowledge of the case. A deposition is a testimony, which means the person who is answering the questions is sworn to tell the truth because they will be under oath.
Depositions take place in the presence of the court reporter who produces a written transcript of the testimony for both parties involved. There is no limit to the number of questions that may be asked by the personal injury attorney. In many cases, the deposition testimony will be used for the development of a trial strategy and to negotiate for a settlement.
Personal Injury Help
If you were involved in a Personal Injury Accident in Georgia, and you have not retained the help of an experienced lawyer, you should consider contacting someone as quickly as possible.
The discovery phase is not the only time you will need your attorney’s help. Having a personal injury attorney represent you is your best option at obtaining the compensation that you deserve.
At The Brown Firm, we have a team of experienced attorneys who have over 30 years of experience representing personal injury accident victims.
If you were hurt in an accident and you believe it was caused by another person’s careless or negligent actions, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Personal Injury Attorney at The Brown Firm for legal advice.
Click below for a Free Personal Injury Case Evaluation from our expert lawyers today.
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