When you’re trying to manage your car accident lawsuit, it’s important that you address one of the earliest and most important stages — the discovery phase.
The better you handle the matters that come with the territory, the better you can address every variable and get a sizable payout. This is what you need when you want to start healing from your injuries and paying for lost income.
To learn more about the discovery phase of a car accident lawsuit, read on.
What is the Discovery Phase of a Car Accident Lawsuit?
The discovery phase is one of the first steps toward handling your personal injury case.
During this process, your legal team and the opposing legal team will research and exchange information so that they can see exactly what they’re dealing with. This discovery process sets the playing field on the case for both parties and informs how they decide to proceed.
What Exactly Does This Process Entail?
Without a doubt, the discovery process is the most important aspects of your car accident case since it sets the foundation.
Here’s what happens during discovery:
1. A Series of Deposition Sessions
During the discovery process of your car accident case, be prepared for a series of depositions.
A deposition is an out of court interview session that explores the details of the case. You, the other driver, passengers and others will have to take depositions for the case in order to flesh out all of the details.
Depositions will make up a large portion of the discovery process since so much of car accident cases come down to witness testimony.
2. Having to Show Documented Proof For a Number of Issues
You and everyone involved in the accident will need to produce a series of documents to prove and verify the information in your case.
For example, you’ll need to furnish your license and insurance, copies of your medical bills, accident-related expenses, income proof and verification, doctor’s recommendations and more.
You and your lawyer will need to start gathering as much information as possible to help with the deposition.
3. Answering Questions Under Oath
In addition to depositions, you may also send and receive interrogatories. These are formal questions that you ask the other party, which both parties might be required to respond to under oath.
This process begins to lay down the facts of the case so that you know how to proceed.
4. Professional Medical Exams
If you were injured in a car accident case, you might also be required to submit to medical examinations.
These medical examinations are early verifications of your injuries, their legitimacy, and their severity. The doctors involved are independent third-party medical professionals that can give their honest diagnosis and assessment of your personal injuries.
5. A Settlement Might Be Offered
In many situations, it is during the discovery process that a settlement is offered.
More than 95 percent of car accident or other personal injury cases don’t go to court because they are settled instead.
After both parties go through the terms and details of your case, you will likely be offered a settlement at some time during the discovery process if your case is sound and you have the evidence to prove it.
How to Get the Most Out of the Discovery Process
Since you now know what happens during the discovery phase, you will need to work out the details of your case so you effectively make it through this process.
Here are some of the things you can do to thrive during discovery:
1. Have the Assistance of a Legal Professional
The best thing you can do to address the discovery phase is to have the help of a qualified lawyer that can help you with discovery, settlement negotiation, and trial.
Talk to your bar association and speak to several firms until you know you’ve found the professionals that can most effectively help you during discovery. Not only will they assist you during actual depositions, but they’ll also give you advice that will be helpful to your case.
For instance, it’s important that you stay off social media while your case starts to play out because these matters could potentially hurt your case.
Your attorney can also help you stay aware of where the case stands in terms of the timetable and how it will likely proceed.
2. Thoroughly Prepare For Your Deposition
Once you have hired the help of an attorney, make sure that they thoroughly prepare you for any deposition hearings that you have.
They will walk you through some mock interviews so you know what to say, and so that you have practice staying on topic and surviving the pressure that the other party will put on you.
Be sure that you treat every deposition with the seriousness that it deserves — starting with dressing neatly and professionally, and getting plenty of sleep the night before.
3. Assess the Settlement Potential of Your Claim
Finally, be sure that you and your attorney go through any settlement offers with diligence.
When you are considering a settlement, make sure you think about long-term issues, such as physical therapy for back injuries that linger. By getting the correct amount you are owed, you’ll be able to proceed with the case and land on your feet.
Handle Your Car Accident Lawsuit Properly
These points teach you all about the discovery phase of a car accident lawsuit. When you’re successful during the discovery phase, you have a larger likelihood of winning your case as a whole.
We’d be happy to help you out.
In order to get a free consultation for your legal needs, contact us on the web or give us a call at (800)674-7854.