If you are looking to start a personal injury case, you may be wondering about the process. The beginning of each case will start with the discovery phase.
As we begin the process of signing up a lawsuit, many of our clients are curious about the process. We seldom simply put a case in suit right away; we prefer to conduct our own investigation before any insurance company gets involved. We like to collect our clients’ medical records and ensure that we know exactly what we can expect during the case. Only then do we put our case in suit. After we put the case in suit, we serve a summons and complaint, and the other side hires lawyers and submits an answer.
Discovery Phase of an Injury Trial | Defenses
The answer to our complaint may contain some defenses, and we must address those. There may be some counterclaims against us and some cross-claims against other parties for causing this injury to occur. If multiple defendants are involved, that part of the process, the paper discovery phase, can become quite complicated. We then respond to all subsequent requests, such as demands for discovery, demands for bills of, and sometimes interrogatories. We finally send all our requests, completing the great paper exchange.
Discovery Phase of an Injury Trial | Depositions
There can be contention about what will be turned over and what will not. Delays in litigation occur when other parties refuse to supply the information we need, requiring a court to order the other sides to turn over the required information. In addition, we have to take depositions, which entail providing testimonies under oath in a law firm’s office before a trial. Plaintiffs must give testimony, and the plaintiff’s spouse and some of the witnesses to the accident may also be deposed. We also depose the defendants; we want to question the person who was driving the car or the people who manufactured the product. We want to interview everyone who may be able to contribute information to the lawsuit on record so that we may prove our case.
Discovery Phase of an Injury Trial | Motions to the Court
Once the deposition process is done, either side may make motions to the court for summary judgment, which refers to a dismissal of or ruling in the case. If that motion is granted, the only thing the jury has to consider at the trial is the quantity of damages. This can be crucial; if a judge rules ahead of time that one party is responsible, the requisite 9% interest will start to run from the date of that ruling. By the time we get to trial, we will have a sizable interest add-on to whatever verdict is reached.
If you have any questions about the discovery phase, please call our Hamburg personal injury lawyers for a free consultation.