Posted on: 8 March 2017
The time-line between getting injured in an accident and getting a successful judgment in court can be a long one. Taking a personal injury case to court involves a process, and this process can be interrupted by frequent delays, postponements, and continuances. Don't think for a minute that you have reached the end of your claim when your day in court finally comes; you are just beginning another section of the process. That being said, it may not even be necessary to take your case to court to get compensation from the at-fault driver's insurance carrier. Read on to learn more about an important meeting that could end your court case before it really begins.
Trial preparation and how it could benefit you.
You may be surprised to find that court cases are very different from what you have seen on television or movies. To add some drama, you might frequently see last-minute witnesses coming through the courtroom doors or a compelling piece of evidence suddenly discovered and presented in court. The real justice system, however, treats surprises like those as very unwelcome. While it is always possible to present new evidence and witnesses once the trial begins, this is not common and actually causes more delays, hearings, and motions.
Personal injury trials, just like all trials, consist of a process of several parts. One of the most important parts happens in the time period leading up to start of the trial, which is called "discovery." The term is somewhat self-explanatory, with both sides sharing information about the case. Many people are shocked that attorneys would let the other side know about the case that is about to be tried, but the authors of trial procedure laws understood that discovery can help shorten the actual trial. It allows both sides an opportunity to see what the other side has in store so that they can prepare their defenses against this information. Even if nothing else happens during the discovery process, it has the potential to save you time and money for court.
The discovery process.
Information sharing is one facet of discovery, and this process consists of sending pertinent parties questionnaires (interrogatories) and depositions. Your attorney can assist you in competing your questionnaire and in preparing for the deposition.
You might consider this meeting as a trial preview, with witnesses being called, sworn in, and their testimony recorded for use later at the trial. As you know, an offer from the insurance company could come at any time, and what better time than after they get a good look at what they will be facing at trial? It's interesting to note that the vast majority of personal injury suits are settled outside of court.
To learn more about your deposition, speak to your personal injury attorney.Share