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Understanding The Discovery Process Of A Personal Injury Case
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If you have suffered an injury due to a negligent or responsibility of another party, then you are entitled to compensation under the personal injury law. As per the legal system, you would be required to disclose all relevant information, facts, and documents pertaining to your case.
This principle has been ensured over the last few years, so as to avoid as few surprises as possible in the course of the lawsuit. Additionally, it also provides relevant evidence to support your case and work the verdict in your favor. This disclosure is accomplished through a systematic process known as discovery, which can often take place during a court processing. This discovery process takes on three basic forms, namely through written discovery, document production, and depositions.
Written discovery comes under two categories, namely interrogatories and requests for admissions. Under the interrogatories section, you will be questioned, requiring your version of the facts and the support of your claim. This can be in the form of pre – printed ‘form’ interrogations or specific questions pertaining to your case. These questions can range from broad to specific. If during the course of the court proceeding, the questions are not fair or difficult to understand, your personal injury attorney will assist you through the steps. Requests for admissions, although rarely used, can often be a powerful tool. They can be used leverage to gain information or solidify facts, as they carry penalties for failure to answer, falsely answering or even answering late.
As the name suggests, document production allows either party, the right to see most documents that can be arguably related to the case. This is extremely useful, especially in the case of complex medical malpractices or even in product defect cases. Although in such cases, the documents can be voluminous, courts are now providing flexibility to access digital documents, which are considerably smaller and easier to access, as a part of document discovery.
Depositions are sworn statements. In this case, an individual will be questioned by the personal injury attorney and legally transcript by the court reporter. These depositions can range in length, from an hour to a week or more. Each lawyer will have their own strategy pertaining to depositions. However, the main principle behind the depositions is to lock people in their own stories, to see what the other side has, and how the witness will appear and conduct themselves before the court or jury. However, you must remember that a deposition has been created to provide facts, nor to speculate. Your job is to provide information to the questions asked and no other additional information.
To understand how a discovery process works in a case, the example of Plent v. Anheuser-Busch. The plaintiff, in this case, was shopping at a grocery store when an employee struck the plaintiff with a loaded merchandise cart from behind. The whole incident was captured on the store surveillance system, which was then used as evidence in the case to strengthen her case against the defendant’s claims. In the end, the plaintiff was awarded at the amount of $886,974 for her troubles.
Charles Evans is an accomplished attorney, best known for his knowledge in the area of personal injury law. He currently resides in San Diego where, when time permits, he provides indispensable information through his writing. With experience as a personal injury attorney, he has he provides information about the discovery process of a personal injury case
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