Most of the time, personal injury claims end up being quietly settled out of court — but every case proceeds like it will eventually end up in front of a judge or jury.
At some point, you may go through three specific steps: Requests for documents, interrogatories and depositions. Here’s what you need to know:
Securing all of the evidence in a case is an essential step in the discovery process. Both sides may ask for copies of medical reports, doctor’s notes, incident reports and more. They may also ask for things like video of the incident, emails, text messages and social media posts.
It’s important to understand that you cannot merely hide or destroy documents related to the case. If you do so, that could ultimately damage your lawsuit very seriously.
Interrogatories are written statements that often reveal more about the circumstances of an injury and its aftermath. Interrogatories come in a “question and answer” format, and questions can be fairly brief or somewhat open-ended.
It’s wisest to answer the questions with the help of an attorney. That way, your attorney can object to questions that are misleading, hard to understand or reaching.
Depositions are statements taken under oath in the presence of the attorneys involved in the case. In many ways, a deposition can seem akin to a trial — and it’s often a dry run for the actual trial (should it happen).
Depositions need to be handled carefully, so you should discuss the process carefully with your attorney before you begin.
The discovery process is normal, so take heart: Every step means your personal injury case is proceeding as expected. Speak with your attorney to learn more.