Statistics show that it can take up to three years to settle a personal injury claim. Part of the reason that it takes so long is the discovery process. This can add significant time to some cases, particularly those with complications.
Read on as we look at what is typical of the discovery process in a personal injury case:
What Is the Discovery Process?
Discovery is the name given to the processes by which lawyers find out the relevant information held by their opposition in a trial.
Legal rules require that attorneys share any pertinent information with their opposition when requested to. This prevents any surprises on the day of a trial.
Discovery can take several different forms.
A deposition involves sworn testimony from a party. A legal team requests this, and it takes place out of court. A court reporter writes up a transcript of the interview. Sometimes, the deposition takes place on a video recording. This recording may then be used during a trial under certain circumstances.
Lawyers use depositions for various reasons in personal injury cases. Most commonly, they will request them to get information that will direct their trial strategy.
These are similar to depositions. However, interrogatories take place in written format rather than face to face.
Interrogatories are typically used for simpler information than depositories, such as the names and contact details of witnesses.
Requests for Production
Production refers to the production of any evidence relating to the claim. This might be a photograph, a record of an insurance policy, or a receipt for the repair of property. Lawyers must share any such items with their opposition on request.
Any personal injury doctors you visited after your accident may have to produce records of their dealings with you.
Requests for Admission
A request for admission is furnished in response to a written statement of fact sent to the concerned party about the events surrounding the injury. If this person agrees that these facts are accurate, they sign the document and return it.
The Factors That Affect the Length of the Discovery Process
Depending on the nature of a case, discovery can be quick and painless or long and difficult. The following are the most relevant factors to the length of the discovery process in the context of a personal injury case:
The more complex a case is, the more intricate the discovery process will be.
Requests for items concerning discovery are not always complied with straight away. Such delays from individuals can slow the process down considerably.
Discovery & Personal Injuries
You should now have a better idea of what the discovery process looks like in personal injury cases. It can lengthen your wait for settlement considerably.
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