Accidents happen every day, from car accidents to slips and falls.
There were more than 4.5 million car accidents in 2019 that involved medical attention. Many of these resulted in personal injury lawsuits to recover lost income and damages.
If you were in an accident and suffered injuries, you could file a personal injury lawsuit. It can take a while to reach a settlement because personal injury cases have to run their course.
Most of the time is spent during the discovery process in case litigation. What is the discovery process and why is it so important in a personal injury lawsuit?
Keep reading to learn all about the discovery phase of a personal injury case.
Types Of Discovery
There are two types of discovery, which are formal and informal.
Informal discovery is the initial fact-finding work an attorney does before the lawsuit gets filed. Informal discovery hinges on the information that you present to the attorney.
Pictures taken at the scene of the accident, police reports, medical bills, correspondence with your employer about time off of work are all part of informal discovery.
Informal discovery gives your attorney enough information to decide to pursue the case. It informs the strategy to file a lawsuit and get a settlement.
Your attorney follows up on these pieces of information during the formal discovery process.
The Discovery Phase In Personal Injury Cases
The discovery phase is essentially a time to research the facts in personal injury cases. Attorneys for the plaintiff and defense look for evidence and facts to support their view of the case.
The formal discovery process starts once a lawsuit gets filed in court. At that point, attorneys interview witnesses, experts, and gather more documents.
Attorneys may need to file motions in court, request depositions, or challenge motions made by the opposition.
The discovery process is necessary because it prevents ambush tactics by attorneys. This is when a surprise witness shows up to testify or a previously hidden document gets submitted as evidence.
These situations make for good television, but they often don’t fly in court. Attorneys have to reveal certain information found in the discovery process with the other side.
This ensures that attorneys prepare for trial, but they often don’t make it to trial. The discovery process sets the tone for settlement negotiations.
The discovery process is often the longest part of the case. It’s also the most important. Expect the discovery phase to take up to six months in a personal injury lawsuit.
Understand The Discovery Process
Personal injury cases go through a set of steps before they settle or go to trial. One of the most important steps is the discovery process.
This is where attorneys gather as much evidence as possible to support their cases. The better the evidence, the more likely you are to reach a favorable settlement. You have to be patient because this part of case litigation can take months.
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