Personal Injury Discovery Process

Understanding the Discovery Process in a Personal Injury Case

If you’re pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against someone who’s caused you harm, it’s important to be familiar with the discovery process and know what to expect. This can be a significant portion of your case, often involving substantial work on your attorney’s part and yielding important evidence for your case.

Learn more about the discovery process in West Chester and how this process will affect your claim. Call Kingbird Legal at 484-289-4880 to set up a consultation with our team right away.

Types of Discovery Methods

There are numerous discovery methods that your attorney will use to get every bit of information they can use to build the strongest case possible. Some of the tools your attorney will use include:

  • Interrogatories: Your attorney may send a list of written questions to parties involved in the incident. The recipient must answer these questions under oath and in writing. The information gathered from interrogatories can create a basic framework for the case and the accident in question.
  • Depositions: Depositions are verbal testimonies that are conducted out of court but still under oath. They are recorded for use in your court case. Both attorneys ask the person being deposed a list of questions that allow them to get a better understanding of the case and figure out whether or not witnesses are credible.
  • Requests for production of documents: Both parties have the right to request specific documents from the other party. For example, if you received treatment at Chester County Hospital or Optimum Physical Therapy, the other party may request medical bills and medical reports from your care providers. This gives them insight into the extent of your injuries and shows whether or not you are cooperating with the treatment plan.
  • Requests for admissions: If parties on the other side will admit to certain facts about the case, the other side’s attorney does not need to spend time or other resources proving those claims. Both attorneys may ask parties to admit to or deny specific facts to establish facts that both sides agree on.
  • Subpoenas: Subpoenas are legal documents demanding that a person or entity provide certain documents or records for use in a legal case. For example, you may subpoena medical providers for medical records, cell phone companies for call logs or text logs, or employers for information on time away from work.

Your Role in Discovery

Your attorney should keep you informed of your obligations throughout the discovery process. Depending on the strength of your case and the information revealed during this process, it could easily last months. You must answer honestly and completely when you have to submit to interrogatories or depositions. Keep records and bills sent to you so you are prepared if the other side requests them.

Additionally, you should keep an open line of communication with your personal injury attorney during this process. If you come across relevant information, become aware of a new eyewitness, or otherwise learn of something that could affect the outcome of your case, you should tell them immediately. It’s also important to respond to their questions promptly to keep discovery moving along.

Challenges You May Face

While your attorney likely has a general idea of what they’ll learn during the discovery process, you never truly know what truths will be revealed. Certain challenges may arise, including:

  • Witnesses who lack credibility: If your case hinges on one or two eyewitnesses, interrogatories and depositions that reveal them to be unreliable could be devastating. For example, their stories may change depending on who they’re talking to, key details may change once they’re under oath, or they may completely change what they initially stated.
  • Delays: It’s not uncommon for both sides to attempt to suppress or exclude evidence that is harmful to their case. However, these motions can drag out the process.
  • Privacy concerns: During discovery, you may have to disclose information that feels overly sensitive or personal.
  • Too much information: The more information the other side provides, the more time it takes your attorney to sort through it and figure out what is actually useful.

Discuss Your Legal Options with Kingbird Legal

If you’re ready to move forward with your West Chester personal injury case, the team at Kingbird Legal is here to support you. Give us a call at 484-289-4880 or send us a message online to start your claim today.

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