Discovery is the time when both parties share information about the case in preparation for a trial. Even though most car accident cases settle out of court, some do end up in a trial and victims should understand something about what to expect. For an overview of the discovery process and what it may demand from victims, read on.
It's About Sharing
Up till now, you and the other side have been on opposite sides. The other side, meaning the other driver and their insurer, are participating in trial preparation too. That means they will be cooperating with your personal injury lawyer's request for information because they have no choice. Discovery is about the transmittal of evidence and information surrounding the evidence and both sides work together to accomplish that.
Sharing things helps the case move along. For example, a deposition is part of the discovery that calls for certain parties to be questioned under oath. Anything said during a deposition may be used in the trial. This allows the parties to get issues out in the open before the trial begins. That allows both sides to begin the trial with a valuable hunk of information.
For instance, part of the discovery is document production. That means each side requests documents from the other. Documents are not just pieces of paper; they also include photographs, flash drives, videos, witness statements, medical records, and more. If the other side receives your medical records, they may form a line of questioning about some diagnostic results, for example. Discovery can add to or make a case for each side depending on what is shared. Full disclosure is vital, however. Surprises during a trial should only occur in the rarest of situations.
Forms of Discovery
In addition to depositions and document production, discovery may also consist of several more actions. Some of them call for the victim's participation (like the deposition) and some are handled by the attorneys.
Admissions: These are statements requiring the other party to agree or disagree. You may also state that you do not have enough information to answer an admission at this time. An example of an admission might be "you admit that you are not sure how fast you were driving when the accident occurred".
Interrogatories: This form of discovery are questions that must be answered by the other side. Your attorney will assist you in preparing your interrogatory.
Learn more about discovery procedures by speaking with a personal injury law firm such as Clark Law Group, PLLC.