Conducting Discovery In An Austin Personal Injury Case by Dan Christensen | Feb 26, 2016 | Personal Injury Basics
This is the third post in our series on the handling of personal injury cases in Austin, Texas. Our last post focused on what a victim of negligence can expect while being treated for their injuries. It is important to understand that one’s damages must be reasonably calculated before a settlement can be negotiated with insurance carriers. In this article we will discuss another important issue – the handling of discovery in personal injury cases. We cannot stress enough that discovery is a very important process which will impact the outcome of your case. Retaining a skilled personal injury lawyer is crucial.
Discovery is the process by which information is gained from the other side in a lawsuit. This process begins shortly after a case is filed with the Court. The defendant can be forced to produce written records and other materials through Requests for Production. Answers to written questions can be required through Interrogatories. Finally, sworn testimony can be taken from witnesses through the deposition process. These are critical tools as they are means by which the Plaintiff can acquire information to prove liability at trial. If, for example, the defendant in a trucking accident case is disputing liability then discovery can be used to obtain driving logs, the truck driver’s employment records, and other information which can be presented to the jury. Contrary to what is commonly portrayed in movies, cases are not won by pulling out “surprise” evidence at trial. They are won by building a body of evidence, through the discovery process, which can then be used in Court.
Another key aspect of discovery is the gaining of expert opinions. In a serious injury case, it will be necessary to utilize experts for the rendering of medical conclusions and economic estimates such as future lost wages. Each side will be able to retain the necessary experts and these professionals will then testify at trial. It is crucial that you retain a law firm with the resources necessary to pay the initial costs of these experts. If you retain a smaller firm without such resources, then it is possible that you may not have the evidence you need (in the form of expert testimony) as your case moves forward.
Our Austin personal injury lawyers handle serious injury cases and pride themselves on providing a high level of service. We have standing relationships with the experts necessary and the financial resources needed in such matters and we ensure that all necessary steps are taken in the handling of your case. Contact us today to speak with an attorney. We also service Travis County cities which include Rollingwood, Round Rock, Elgin, Jonestown, Manor, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Creedmoor, the Williamson County cities of Georgetown, Cedar Park, and Leander, as well as other areas of Texas.