Those individuals who have been injured in a car accident can file a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused the accident if it is believed that negligence on that person's behalf caused the wreck in question and any resulting damages suffered by the victim. On its face, a personal injury lawsuit sounds relatively easy: a victim must merely show negligence and causation by a preponderance of the evidence. However, the reality is that many of these cases are hotly contested, which is why it is important to be fully prepared before moving forward with settlement negotiations and litigation.
The best way to do this is to be active in the discovery process. Discovery is where one side essentially gathers information that is held by the opposition. We previously discussed depositions as part of discovery, but this is only a part of all the discovery options open to an individual. In addition to depositions, an individual can issue interrogatories, which are questions that the other side must answer. These questions, which pertain to the case, can be as broad or narrow as one desires. He or she can also send the opposition requests for admission, which require the opposing party to admit or deny certain facts.
Another critical part of discovery is requests for document production. Here, one side requests that the other side provide any pertinent documentation. By carefully combing through these documents, a party may be able to uncover details that either help or hurt his or her case, thereby allowing him or her to plan accordingly.
Discovery can be a tedious and lengthy process. However, it allows one to fully understand the strengths and weaknesses of his or her case. It also allows him or her to avoid surprises at trial, which can be pretty problematic. Lastly, discovery often locks witnesses into certain facts, which can be powerful when a witness is dishonest or forgetful while testifying. The discovery process isn't easy, though, which is why it is often best to have the assistance of a qualified legal professional.