Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on May 07, 2019 in Personal Injury
As your personal injury case moves to trial, you will go through the discovery process. Discovery helps your attorney gather information that will be valuable in proving your claim.
Our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers discuss what discovery is and what it means to your case. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, set up a free, no obligation consultation with our legal team today to find out if you have a valid claim and are entitled to compensation.
What is Discovery?
Discovery occurs before your case goes to trial. It typically starts once the defendant’s side has served an answer to your allegations in writing. The purpose of the discovery process is to gather information from the opposing party that will be used as evidence when your case goes to trial. The defendant’s legal team is also allowed to perform discovery, where they will attempt to gather information to build their defense.
Why is the Discovery Process so Important?
When a case begins, all information is rarely available upfront. The discovery process allows your attorney to gather additional evidence pertaining to your claim that is missing.
Discovery works to level the playing field, giving both sides access to information the other knows. Full and complete disclosure on behalf of both sides is favored by discovery laws. Discovery gives both sides wide access to information related to the claims at hand to avoid either side having an unfair advantage in court by withholding important evidence.
This information is critical to assist your attorney in creating a strategy for proving your claim at trial. The evidence gathered during discovery may offer your attorney insight into weaknesses in the case, which could be used against the defendant in your favor.
The Basic Rules of Discovery
There are civil procedure laws that dictate the rules of the discovery process. In Texas, the rules of discovery are fairly broad. These rules cover what types of information may be sought and what information is considered protected.
What Can be Discovered
Discovery permits each side of a lawsuit to obtain information that relates to the lawsuit, except for protected information. It may seem like some of the questions from the defense in the discovery process are not relative to the case, but as long as they could possibly pertain to the matters in the lawsuit, these questions are typically OK. Your attorney will take measures to prevent the defense from digging unnecessarily into matters that are unrelated.
Discovery may be conducted through:
- Deposition, which is an in-person interview that is under oath
- Interrogatories, which are written questions that must be answered under oath
- Requests for production, which allows access to documents
In discovery, your attorney may seek the following information:
- Witness accounts of the incident that led to your injury
- The identity of possible witnesses with knowledge of your injuries or damages
- Information about what was said by parties at a specific date and time, such as at a meeting related to your case
- Information regarding the background of a witness
- Documents related to your case
Limitations on Discovery
Certain types of information are considered protected and cannot be subject to discovery. Communication between parties in certain relationships hold privilege and no one is required to share information exchanged within the relationship in confidentiality. Privileged communication includes information exchanged between:
- Attorney and client
- Doctor and patient
- Religious advisor and advisee
Contact Us to Learn More About Your Rights
If you were injured in an accident caused by another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our attorneys at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings can examine your claim to determine what legal options may exist to help us pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.
Schedule a free, no obligation consultation to learn more about your rights. We charge no upfront fees and you do not pay unless we recover compensation for you.