Surprise parties are fun, but surprises in the courtroom rarely end in your favor. That’s why the process called “discovery” is so important to a personal injury case. When it comes to personal injury lawsuits in Arkansas, attorneys begin preparing long before they ever set foot in a courtroom. Throughout the discovery process, attorneys for both the plaintiff and defendant will work hard to uncover and disclose all relevant facts in a case.
If you’re currently filing a claim for injuries related to a car accident, premises liability case, Social Security Disability Insurance, or another type of personal injury, your attorney has likely mentioned the importance of the discovery process. You might find the following information helpful when it comes to understanding your own case.
Of course, if you have any specific questions about your situation or injury, it’s always best to consult a lawyer. Taylor King Law offers free consultations to discuss your potential case; you can call 1-800-CAR-WRECK to speak with an experienced, local personal injury lawyer.
Although each state may have its own specific laws regarding the discovery process, it generally involves five steps.
Five Steps of the Discovery Process
In this first step, the lawyers for both the plaintiff and defendant will request certain items from the other party. They will draw up a list of items and send it to the other party; once received, the opposing counsel is required to respond within 30 days.
Next, your attorney will send interrogatories to the defendant or his/her attorney. This is a set of questions that the defendant must answer, and again, a response is required within 30 days. Questions may be broad or very specific; if you feel that a question is unfair, your lawyer can help you decide whether or not to answer it.
Request for Production
This is a request for documents like bank statements, statements of income, or any other documents that your attorney feels will help your case. The specific documents you request will depend on the unique details of your case.
Request for Admission
Using all of the information they’ve gathered up to this point, your lawyer will create a written list of facts about the case, the defendant, or the defendant’s actions. The defendant will be asked to either admit (thus the name of this step) or deny each fact.
This is the fifth and final step. A deposition is a sworn statement that can be used in a court of law. In this formal interview, a member of the opposing counsel will ask questions, and a court reporter will make a transcript, writing down everything said by both parties. If you’re a victim of personal injury, your lawyer will arrange to take a deposition with the defendant and any witnesses there may be. The defendant’s attorney will want to take a deposition with you, as well.
The length of time of a deposition varies; it may be over in a few hours, or it could stretch over a period of days. Your attorney will work hard to ensure you’re fully prepared before beginning your deposition.
Honesty is key throughout each step of the discovery process. You’ll need to share all the details of your personal injury case with your lawyer, which is why it’s so important to hire someone you trust and with whom you feel comfortable.
At Taylor King Law, we work hard to earn your trust and to help you get the compensation you deserve. Many people are intimidated by the legal process, but our experienced attorneys will answer all of your questions and make the process as simple as possible. We’ll be On Your Side, By Your Side, every step of the way. You can begin with a FREE consultation today. Call Taylor King at 1-800-CAR-WRECK (227-9732) or submit an online form at taylorkinglaw.com. Let our experienced team go to work for you!