Understanding the Discovery Process in a Personal Injury Case
You do everything in your power to avoid being involved in a car accident. You drive according to the speed limit and signal when you change lanes. You watch where you walk to avoid slipping on a store floor. You stay away from vicious dogs.
Yet somehow, you have been injured by another person’s carelessness through no fault of your own. For example, according to Drive Safe Alabama, one in three Alabamians is likely to be involved in an auto accident in their lifetime. This is a preventable personal injury.
You are injured and should be compensated for everything that has cost you in terms of damage, injury, and lost work. That’s when you can file a personal injury case to recover what you have lost.
The law office of J. Allan Brown, LLC has been representing the injured in all sorts of personal injury lawsuits. Let Mr. Brown offer you a complimentary consultation to understand your options.
Personal Injury Case – Discovery
It is the insurance carrier for the at-fault party who will be responsible for covering your losses – whether medical or your lost salary due to your injuries.
Your counsel will initiate a negotiation with the insurer to try and avert litigation. In some cases, it is evident who caused the accident, and the negotiation will be successful.
But more often, the insurance agent will deny coverage to you, blaming you for your part in the accident. This is where the discovery process begins.
Discovery provides the evidence both sides need to bolster their case. Your counsel will look at the accident scene to determine if any evidence remains. Witnesses will be interviewed and will give a statement. In some cases, a street camera or in-store camera recorded the event.
In an accident with a big rig, a black box recorder will chronicle the events just before the crash.
Once the evidence is gathered, both sides of the dispute must share the evidence they have to make their case with the other side.
Neither side is allowed to withhold evidence. Doing so will lead to a worse outcome for their client.
Understanding that they are in for a protracted fight, the at-fault party may offer some type of settlement rather than begin the discovery process. It is often a lowball offer, which you are free to reject.
Types of Discovery
While written discovery is most common, there are other forms of discovery that, too, must be shared with the other side.
Documents – You may be asked to provide additional discovery by the other side. In an auto accident, your driving record will be requested; in a product liability case, lawyers for the defective product will have to provide information on the approval process for the product and its history of causing injuries like yours.
Interrogatories – An interrogatory is a series of questions you will have to answer in a written form asking specific questions about your involvement or specific dates. Each side submits interrogatories to the other side to respond in writing. Those answers are then shared.
Deposition – Be prepared to sit down for a recorded deposition, not just with a written record, but also on video. You will face extensive questions about the cause of the accident, your background, and your history with a product. The process can be exhaustive and is often used by the other side to make you uncomfortable. Your counsel may want to limit the scope of the questions.
You may have to undergo a medical exam, and the results and a doctor’s deposition may become part of the record.
All of the above will become the record of the personal injury case.
Your Alabama Personal Injury Attorney
J. Allan Brown works on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you owe nothing to the law firm unless you win your case. Whether an automobile, trucking, or motorcycle accident, pedestrian mishap, slip and fall, dog bite incident, or product liability case, J. Allan Brown has spent 20 years helping people injured through no fault of their own.
To begin the conversation about your options, call the law office of J. Allan Brown, LLC at (251) 220-3199.
Drive Safe Alabama