Posted on: 10 October 2018
Your personal injury trial might come months after your accident, and it can never be a moment too soon. The time it takes to get to the courtroom can seem puzzling to many victims, but there are events occurring even when it seems to you that time is standing still. The period of time before a trial begins is more important than many people know, and its importance rivals that of the actual trial. Read on to learn more about what might be happening behind the scenes with your accident lawyer during the build-up to the big event.
The Discovery Phase
Once you've served the other side with the complaint (the lawsuit), a series of actions and activities begin to occur. The discovery phase of a personal injury trial means that information is passed back and forth between you (the plaintiff) and the other side (the defendant). It surprises many to find out that essentially the entire case is being shared, but discovery allows both sides to prepare better for trial. Trials can be lengthy matters but, without discovery procedures, they could take even longer to complete. Discovery is present in nearly every type of legal matter that comes to trial, from divorce to criminal cases to personal injury cases. There are at least four main types of discovery common in civil cases.
Each side creates a set of inquiries about a certain aspect of the case and presents them to the other side. Interrogatories usually focus on specific areas of contention that need to be resolved. In fact, the interrogatories might address the very issues that led to the case going to trial. In most cases, the parties can only send a limited number of interrogatories to the other. The other side must respond to the interrogatories within a set period of time. Your attorney will assist you in replying to the interrogatories and all other aspects of discovery.
Again, these are statements about the case that are presented from one side to the other, and admissions are very similar to interrogatories. In this case, the inquiries are posed as statements, and the receiving party must reply using one of only three choices. You must either admit, deny, or object due to a lack of knowledge.
The entire name of this discovery procedure is document production, but the event has outgrown that name. Here, the parties request certain documents, photographs, records, videos, flash drives, emails, and more from the other party. Production focuses on the hard evidence that supports or disproves how the accident happened, who was at fault, the extent of your injuries, what the money damages are, and more.
If discovery has a main event, the deposition would fill that role. Instead of dry documents, questions, and statements passing back and forth, a deposition features the testimony of people. Anyone connected to the case, including you, are sworn in and questioned about the case. The testimony is recorded and may be used at the trial. A deposition is a terrific means of getting details out of the way before focusing on the areas of contention between the parties at the trial.
Speak to your lawyer to learn more.Share