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When you are talking to your auto accident attorney about your no-fault lawsuit, you will probably hear the word “discovery.” Discovery is an information gathering process that the lawyers on both sides of the case go through to get the evidence they need to prove (or disprove) your case. You will need to be involved in some of the discovery process, so it’s a good idea to understand what is going on.
Subpoenas (said suh-pee-nas) are requests for documents from people other than the defendant. Your lawyer might use them to gather police reports, medical records, wage information, or your insurance claim file. You shouldn’t need to do much for a subpoena, but you may need to provide your auto accident attorney with contact information for your doctors or employer so he or she knows where to send them.
Interrogatories are questions that one party asks the other in preparing for a lawsuit. Your attorney will put together a packet of questions and send them to the insurance company’s lawyers. Be prepared for the insurance company’s lawyers to send one to your lawyer too. This might be the most time-consuming part of discovery for you as a client. You will need to work with your car accident lawyer to answer each question thoroughly and to gather the documents requested within a relatively short period of time.
Sometimes interrogatories will ask questions that go too far. If there are legal reasons to refuse to answer a question (for example if it would violate attorney-client privilege), your lawyer can file an objection to that particular question. Then the court will decide whether you have to answer or not.
In most auto accident cases, you will need to hire experts to prove your case. This could mean paying your own doctor to testify to your injuries, or you may need to hire someone to reconstruct the accident and explain what happened. Sometimes, you will need to be examined by a medical expert as part of their review of the case. Before they testify, these experts will create reports that summarize their findings. Both side’s attorneys have the right to review this report and depose (question) the witness before they take the stand at trial.
A deposition is a recorded interview with a witness. Your lawyer may schedule depositions with the insurance adjuster, expert witnesses, or passengers in the car. You will also have to attend a deposition. This can be intimidating, but your no-fault attorneys will help you prepare so you are ready when the time comes.
The discovery process can be complicated. It all may seem a little overwhelming, but for the experienced trial attorneys at Christensen Law, it is all a part of bringing a lawsuit. If you have questions about the discovery in your case, contact the team at Christensen Law. They will help you through.