My name is Danielle Diaz. One of the things I've learned in life, both inside and outside the courtroom, is that it is important to not see others as your enemy. Even though you may see the prosecutor as your enemy, he or she is just trying to do a job. It may be possible that you can get a prosecutor or the judge to be sympathetic and get him or her on your side. In order to accomplish this, you need to understand the law. I feel that most individuals do not understand the law, which is why I was motivated to create this blog.
If you've been injured by another driver, you might want to take the legal route to gain compensation. The more you learn about your situation, the less you will trust the insurance company to pay you enough money for your damages without taking legal action. When it comes to getting quick compensation, almost nothing beats being offered a settlement from the other guy, but often the amount offered is woefully insufficient. Read on to learn more about taking your case to trial, and how the pre-trial process might offer you valuable benefits.
The Discovery Process
Many are surprised at the concept of two competing parties sharing information about a legal case, but that is exactly what the discovery process is. The justice system has put in place several major events that help each side ready themselves for the courtroom. The overall goal of discovery is to make the most of the court's time by seeing to it that each side has a well-prepared case and avoiding surprises. There are several different means of obtaining and sharing information through discovery, and the use of any one of them depends on the case. Below is a listing of some of the more commonly-used discovery practices for a personal injury trial.
Admissions Requests: This is a document containing a number of facts, and the other party is to either deny or admit the validity of the statement. The receiving party can also state that they don't know the answer or that not enough information is available to answer.
Interrogatories: This practice requests answers from the other party about the case, such as evidence or other facts. Interrogatories are completed under oath.
Production Requests: These are requests for a particular document from the other side. This can vary widely from photographs and medical records to witness statements.
Physical or Mental Examinations: Here, the victim in the case is asked to undergo an examination by a doctor or a mental health professional.
The Deposition: Probably the most well-known of the discovery procedures, the deposition is a meeting of the parties to give live testimony. The testimony is recorded, given under oath, and may be used during the trial. You will likely be questioned along with any witnesses about the accident and your injuries.
You may not be all that interested in the exact nature of these processes, but as an accident victim, you might be interested in the increased opportunities to settle your case discovery procedures can bring. Most personal injury cases are settled outside of the courtroom between your personal injury attorney and the other driver's attorney, so don't dismiss the importance of this information-gathering practice in your quest for compensation.