What is Legal Discovery?
If a person sustains an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual, business, or entity, they should be able to receive compensation for their losses. However, the recovery of compensation is not always easy, and it may involve filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. As part of the personal injury lawsuit process, there will be something called the “discovery phase.” This is not something that most people will be familiar with unless they have been involved in a lawsuit in the past. Here, we want to discuss what legal discovery is as well as why you should work with a personal injury attorney to help with this process.
What is the Discovery Process in a Personal Injury Case?
After a lawsuit has been filed in civil court, the entire process will move into the discovery phase. This is the investigative process that goes on in order to uncover the facts of the case at hand.
In general, discovery will take place outside of the courtroom. It is not uncommon for the plaintiff (the injury victim) and the defendant (the alleged at-fault party) to have differing information about the incident. During the discovery phase, both parties will exchange evidence with one another so that everybody has the same details moving forward with the case.
During the discovery phase, witnesses may also sit face-to-face with attorneys for something called a deposition. Depositions are given under oath and with a court reporter present, and these sessions give attorneys a chance to question witnesses who have pertinent information related to the case.
What Can Be Discovered?
The types of information that can be discovered by either party are very broad. Both the plaintiff or the defendant is allowed to pursue information from the other party even if it only slightly deals with the injury case at hand. This can include:
- Anything a witness heard or saw in connection with the incident
- Anything anybody said in relation to the incident
- The identity of any individual who may have information about the incident
- Documents pertaining to the injury or incident
- Any type of evidence related to the incident
- The personal background information of any witnesses involved in the case
Do You Need an Attorney for Your Case?
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of someone else, you should work with an attorney who can help recover the compensation you need. The truth is that accident claims can become complicated, even if it looks like the case will be resolved through a settlement with an insurance carrier.
If a personal injury lawsuit becomes necessary against an at-fault party, it is very unlikely that the injury victim will have the resources or legal experience necessary to handle every aspect of the case. An attorney can bring significant resources to the table and go head-to-head with insurance carriers the at-fault party’s legal team. An attorney will be able to handle every aspect of the discovery process in a personal injury claim in Washington, and they will make sure that your side gathers the information needed to make its case against the negligent party.