As you make it further in your claim, the personal injury law firm that is representing you will keep you informed of each stage of the litigation process. One of the most important aspects of your case about which your personal injury attorney will discuss with you is the process of discovery.
After your personal injury law firm has the defendant or defendants served with your complaint, there may be one of two possible options. One possibility is that you will receive a settlement offer. Another possibility is that the defendant will submit an answer and discovery will follow.
Timing of Discovery Requests
In many cases, a personal injury law firm will send his or her client with requests for discovery prior to the suit actually being filed. It may note that the defense counsel is likely to submit similar requests so that the client is prepared to respond to similar questions. The client will be expected to answer every question with careful attention to detail as the lawyer guides him or her.
In some cases, inexperienced personal accident attorneys file the lawsuit, get the discovery requests, ask for extensions and then learn about damaging information about their client’s case that they could have learned much sooner in the process. Some potential damaging issues include the following: Pre-existing injuries; Prior personal injury claims or workers’ compensation claims; Unclear liability; and Problems with witnesses. In some cases, accident victims might intentionally hide or fail to reveal this type of information because they are afraid that the attorney will not accept their case. Defense attorneys are well aware of these types of problems. Therefore, insurance companies often offer low settlements even if there are high medical expenses associated with the accident because they are aware that they may find problems in medical records. For this particular reason, insurance companies may request a release of medical records for a long period of time in order to try to uncover pre-existing injuries.
Interrogatories can also help the defense counsel determine how strong your case is. Defense counsel can request information pertaining to witnesses, photographs and other pieces of evidence that can help establish your claim.
If you would like more information about the discovery process and how you can assist your case, contact a personal injury lawyer who has the background and experience to represent your interest and has a record of taking your case to court when necessary.