Posted on: 30 January 2019
If you have been harmed through no fault of your own, you might be entitled to financial compensation. Car accidents, slip and falls, defamation, medical malpractice, and many other situations can prompt you and your attorney to file a lawsuit against those who harmed you. Lawsuits consist of many parts and the pretrial preparations serve several important purposes. Read on to learn how a few of these practices help you prepare for trial and offer you opportunities for a settlement.
The Discovery Process
All trials go through the discovery process, though most of the time it's virtually invisible to everyone except those directly involved. Even you, as the plaintiff, will take part in some of the discovery processes. Discovery consists of a series of actions that promote the sharing of the facts of the case between each side. Your side might send the other side a copy of your medical records, for example. This process can take some time to be completed but is an inescapable part of any type of trial.
You must be prepared for this event because your testimony will be needed during the deposition. This is a meeting of the attorneys, witnesses, you, the other driver, and the court reporter. Only one person at a time gives testimony and this proceeding is closed to the public. You and others are asked about the accident, your medical treatments, your prognosis, and how the accident has affected your life. You can best prepare to be deposed by rereading your accident-related paperwork and refreshing your memory of the wreck and your medical treatment.
The mention of the word "document" here is stretched to cover almost any form of communication. There are some limits on exactly what can be requested. In some instances, a hearing will be called to ascertain the appropriateness of a given request. For example, the one side might object to revealing private health information about a driver. Here, each side requests of the other side:
- Medical records
- Flash drives
and much more.
A series of questions are sent to the other side and some of those questions will be asked of you. Your attorney will assist you in how to best answer them. Often, the interrogatories must be completed and returned by a certain date. These can come in the form of statements that must either be denied, confirmed, or not answered. For example, if you don't have enough information to either confirm or deny a fact, you don't have to answer it.
A Settlement Offer
All this information going back and forth not only help the parties prepare for trial but it may also influence the potential for being offered a settlement. With trials being expensive and time-consuming, the other side probably wants to settle the case as much as you do. Be sure you let your attorney negotiate with the other side so that adequate compensation is assured.
For more information, reach out to a personal injury lawyer.Share