Typically, discovery is the process by which attorneys for both sides “discover” all the facts, witnesses, and testimony regarding your accident, injury or personal injury case. During discovery, attorneys for both parties share information about your injury lawsuit. This is accomplished through written and verbal questioning, as well as through documents, records, and physical examinations. In most personal injury cases, this information will help convince the parties to reach some sort of out-of-court settlement instead of going through the long, drawn-out process of a trial. Attorneys proceed to gather evidence in many ways.
1. Interrogatories. Interrogatories are written questions sent from one attorney to the other party, which are to be answered as accurately as possible. These questions are answered under oath and must be returned with a certain amount of time.
2. Request for Production. This document is sent from one attorney to the opposing attorney requesting that documents, photographs, bills, records, reports, or other forms of evidence be produced and made available to opposing counsel.
3. Requests for Admission. Parties are permitted to require the other side to admit to certain facts under oath. Requests for admission must be answered under oath within a short time or they will be deemed to be admitted by the other side. These admissions are useful as proof of obvious facts; it is not necessary to introduce additional evidence at trial to prove these already admitted facts.
4. Depositions. Along with written discovery, oral questions may be asked of the parties involved. This takes place out of court and in the form of a deposition, in which the plaintiff, the defendant, a witness, or another person involved in the case is examined and cross-examined by the opposing attorneys, under oath. Depositions allow attorneys to find out what witnesses are going to say in court; witnesses' answers can then be used to refute, impeach, or discredit them. Attorneys will often call for disclosure of the opposing counsel's expert witnesses so they can be deposed before the beginning of a trial.
5. Independent Medical Examination (IME). Usually, an important part of a plaintiff's personal injury case will be the testimony of the medical professionals who were involved in the case. It is this evidence that tells the jury what injuries the plaintiff suffered, how they were incurred, and-in the expert opinion of the medical professional-if those injuries were causally related to the accident in which the parties were involved.
The defendant's insurance carrier will often require the plaintiff be examined by a doctor of its choosing, which is called an independent medical examination. This is seen as a chance to refute, discredit, or downplay the injuries that the plaintiff's treating physician indicates the plaintiff suffered, and, if possible, to tarnish the credibility of the plaintiff's physician.
If you or someone you love has been injured, it is important that you contact an experienced Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney as soon as possible, to ensure you reach your desired outcome for your case. To speak to one of our experienced Connecticut Personal Injury Attorneys, call 888-244-5480 for a free consultation.