Discovering A Personal Injury Settlement

Law Blog

When it comes to car accidents and getting compensated, settling is the way to go. There are several opportunities for settling and many occur before the court case even begins. Part of every trial is the preparation period known as discovery. Read on to find out how common discovery practices could result in a settlement offer that you won't need to refuse.

What is Discovery?

Several months before the beginning of a trial, both sides (the plaintiffs and the defendants) participate in a group of actions called discovery. This practice is meant to provide both sides with enough information to build a case. Court cases are not the time for secrets or dramatic last-minute disclosures. Discovery has several sections and some of them provide an opportunity for the other side to offer you a settlement. Most of the time, the below four discovery actions are used when preparing for a personal injury trial.

  1. Production – This practice involves asking for and providing physical pieces of evidence. If dealing with a car accident case, that might include eye-witness statements, photographs, and medical records of the victim. If the other side sees an overwhelming amount of evidence pertaining to fault or attesting to your medical treatment needs, an offer might be next.
  2. Admissions – Here, a list of statements is provided and you must address each one. These so-call "facts of the case" may or may not be true and you and your personal injury lawyer will either agree, disagree, or withhold your answer. An example of an admission might be "The driver of the blue Nissan Pathfinder ran a red light and struck the driver of the red Toyota". You would, of course, deny all false facts.
  3. Interrogatories – This is simply a list of questions from the other side that must be answered. Common information requested includes names and addresses of the driver and witnesses, insurance information for both parties, a list of medical treatments, etc.
  4. Depositions – This is the most well-known and likely most important part of a discovery practice. The deposition is a meeting where the attorneys can question the drivers and others under oath. The proceedings are recorded and can be used later at the trial. You and other deponents will testify one at a time. Depositions can not only bring valuable evidence to light but demonstrate to the other side how well you perform on the stand. Putting that together with the evidence may prompt an offer.

Settlements come in all flavors and your personal injury lawyer can advise you on the merits of your offer. Speak to a lawyer about your case as soon as possible.  


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