If you were injured in a car accident and the insurance company hasn’t made a decent settlement offer, you may naturally want to pursue your injury claim in court. There are a lot of steps, however, that have to be taken between the time you file a claim and the time your case goes to court.
One of those steps is the discovery process.
What is discovery?
It’s often said that there are no “Perry Mason” moments in court — and that’s because the discovery process is designed to eliminate surprises on either side of a case. This allows both sides to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in a case. It may also encourage one or both parties to try harder to negotiate a settlement before a trial starts.
What methods can be used for discovery?
Often, you have to tease the information out of the other party carefully to get a clear perspective of the case. Some of the discovery methods that may be used in a case include:
- Requests for production: These requests help you obtain the paperwork that the insurance company is holding in your file. It may include notes from the company’s investigators or adjusters on your case.
- Interrogatories: These are a series of written questions that one side may ask the other. They sometimes reveal new sources of information or lead to questions that no one has yet thought to ask about the wreck you were in.
- Requests for admission: These help determine which facts are not in dispute, or are capable of being “stipulated.” For example, both sides may agree that the other car in your accident was a Honda Kia owned and driven by Mr. Smith.
- Depositions: The most formal part of discovery, depositions are statements taken under oath from witnesses and participants in a case.
If you were injured in a car wreck, you may be due compensation for your losses. Claiming that compensation can be complicated, however, when the insurance company wants to make things rough on you. Find out more about your legal options for recovery.