Properly preparing for discovery when you are in the middle of a lawsuit is extremely important, but sometimes confusing for clients. Here is some information about preparing for discovery and dealing with discovery requests as a personal injury client.
Information to Disclose before Filing Suit
An Alexandria personal injury attorney can explain the importance of disclosing certain information before a lawsuit is filed. While clients may be hesitant to reveal information that they feel may be detrimental to their case, it is important that they provide their attorney with full disclosure so that he or she can provide them with accurate advice. For example, if a client sustained a prior injury to the same part of his or her body, the attorney can be much more vigilant in asking for medical evidence regarding aggravation of an existing injury. Also, he or she can try to limit the request for only pertinent medical records that happened within the last few years, rather than going back for a longer period of time to discover an injury that has long since healed.
Information That Aids the Defense
Many clever defendants use the discovery process in order to help strengthen their case. They may ask about previous lawsuits or workers’ compensation claims so that they can make the victim seem like a serial litigator in court. They may fashion their discovery requests so that they can learn as much about a victim’s medical information as possible and then exploit this knowledge in order to argue that the victim was already suffering from a pre-existing injury at the time of the accident. Defendants often ask questions to learn about potential witnesses, expert witnesses, pictures and exhibits that they can scrutinize to their advantage. They may hire their own experts to give a different opinion regarding the cause of the accident or injury. They may take advantage of this negative information by offering only a nominal settlement.
Answering Discovery Requests
A conscientious personal injury lawyer that Alexandria residents trust, should pay close attention to discovery requests. He or she should help the client answer every single question. This includes asking the questions in the discovery requests, discussing the potential answers, and drafting a response in an appropriate manner. If there are objections to certain questions, this information should be communicated.
Overall, the discovery process, and dealing with discovery requests, is a complicated process and many clients won’t know the best practices during this procedure. The best way to deal with this process is to trust your attorney and his or her information. If you trust your attorney, they can steer you through the process and help you to a settlement.