The role of discovery in a personal injury case is an important and major part of a personal injury cases. It is a process that entitles the parties involved in a personal injury case to learn what information the other parties know. Discovery is intended to benefit the defendants and plaintiffs, by helping to eliminate surprises at the time of trial, allowing the parties to develop their trial strategies, and to save money and time during the trial process. The different parts of discovery are called, Interrogatories, Request for Production of Documents, Request for Admission of Facts, and Depositions.
A personal injury case typically involves an injured person or a deceased person’s family, seeking compensation from a party or parties whose negligence, or malicious or reckless behavior, caused the victim’s injury. Personal injury laws vary from state to state but typically, if the plaintiff (the injured victim) can prove that they were injured and their injury is the result of the defendant’s (the party or parties who allegedly caused the victim’s injuries) actions, they may be entitled to compensation. There are many, many different kinds of injuries that fall under the umbrella of personal injury. A few common examples of personal injuries that people seek compensation for include, medical malpractice, auto and other vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents, and workplace accidents.
Discovery A large part of the litigation process is called pre-trial because it is work that is done before a case is tried. Discovery is a part of the pre-trial process. The different parts of discovery include the following:
Interrogatories Interrogatory is a fancy word for a question. A set of interrogatories is a set of
written questions that one party sends to another party to answer in a written response. These
are supposed to be answered honestly and as completely as the person can make their answers.
If a party learns something new or that realizes that they left something relevant out of their
original answer, they are supposed to update their answers and notify the other party.
Request for Production of Documents This is what it sounds like. During discovery, each party
can ask the other party to share documents with them. In a personal injury case, common
documents include, medical bills, medical records, photos of injuries, insurance policies, and
funeral and burial or cremation costs.
Request for Admission of Facts In order to help eliminate having to prove facts during a trial
that are undisputed, a party can serve the other party a Request for Admission of Facts. If a fact
is admitted during this, the admission can be introduced as fact and eliminates the need to
convince a judge or jury of something that no one is challenging.
Depositions A deposition is a time when one party can ask, another party or their witnesses who
have knowledge about the case, questions in real time. Depositions are sworn testimonies. This
means that the person that is being questioned is under oath to tell the truth. Typically,
depositions are conducted with a court reporter and/or other forms of keeping a record of
everything that has been said. Information that is gathered during a deposition can be used to
strengthen a party’s case.
When someone is injured, they may have a personal injury claim that they can get compensation for. If you think that you or someone you love is in this position and you have questions about the processes involved in trying to get compensation for injuries that are the result of someone else’s negligence, you may find it helpful to get in contact with a reputable personal injury law firm. Cohen & Cohen, P.C. has successfully been protecting the rights of injured people for over 30 years. For help with understanding whether or not you have a personal injury claim that may be worth fighting for compensation for, contact Cohen & Cohen, P.C., today.