The discovery process allows opposing parties to get relevant information from each other. You need to prepare for the discovery process so that you don’t make any mistakes with your answers. Below are some of the techniques that the other party can use to get information from you.
Requests for Admissions
Requests for admissions ask you to accept or deny specific statements. The opposing party will construct their request for admissions carefully so that they can better understand your position on specific issues. For example, in an auto accident case, the defendant might ask you to admit that:
- You drank at least five bottles of beer before driving
- You drove with an expired driver’s license
- You abruptly stopped just before the accident
You tick the appropriate box or dash (to accept or deny the statement). Some requests for admissions require you to explain your denials. Answer the questions carefully and honestly. Even if you don’t explain your denials at that point, the opposing party might require the explanations later.
A deposition requires oral questions and answer. The parties to the case plus their respective lawyers meet and hold the depositions in the presence of a court reporter who records the proceedings. Here are a few tips to help you ace your deposition:
- Carefully listen before you ask a question
- Don’t interrupt the other party
- Answer honestly
- Seek clarification if you don’t understand a question
- Correct yourself if you realize a mistake
Your injury lawyer will prepare you for the depositions. Follow your lawyer’s advice to the letter to strengthen your case.
Interrogatories are roughly similar to depositions in that the other party asks you questions and you answer them. The main difference is that for interrogatories, the questions come in a written form. Unlike requests for admissions, interrogatories don’t limit your answers to acceptance or denial – interrogatories are open-ended.
For example, in an auto accident case, the opposing party might ask you to:
- Describe the accident in your own words
- Describe any preexisting injuries you had
- Describe any lingering pain you still have
You have a limited time to answer the interrogatories. Answer the questions honestly, and seek legal counsel to ensure your answers don’t weaken your case.
The discovery process is not just about answering questions. The opposing party can also request the court to let them examine you physically. A physical examination might be necessary if the accident has left you with permanent disfigurement, scarring, or disability.
Consider a case where you want compensation for a huge scar on your face. The defendant might request a physical examination so that they can ascertain the degree of the scarring.
Requests for Production
Requests for productions require you to produce tangible evidence, typically (but not always) documents. The opposing party will only request you produce evidence they believe you possess. For example, in an auto accident claim, the other party might ask you to produce:
- Medical records
- Pictures of your damaged vehicle
- Shoes you had at the time of the crash
Unlike requests for admissions, requests for production tend to be broad rather than specific. Some of the requests might overwhelm you. You can object to unreasonable requests if you have a relevant legal justification.
The way you handle the discovery process can strengthen or weaken your case. Ideally, your lawyer should prepare you so that your compliance with the court orders don’t harm your case. Hernandez Law Offices can prepare you for the discovery process and help you pursue your damages. Contact ustoday so that we can review your case and start work on it.