Fort Lauderdale is on the wish list of every American who loves beaches. Fort Lauderdale’s exotic beaches, combined with its vibrant culture and eclectic art scene, make it a must-visit location for every traveler. But Fort Lauderdale comes with its fair share of troubles. And one of them is an accident.
A report from Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles states that in 2022, over 20,000 people suffered some kind of injury due to accidents, and over 200 were killed. These scary numbers remind the average person of the need to practice caution in everything they do.
But there are always those who throw caution to the wind. And their carelessness often leads to someone else getting injured. At times like this, the need for a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer arises. They stand by the victims’ side, assisting the victims’ personal injury claim from discovery to litigation.
This article is aimed at educating the reader about what the discovery process is and what it is all about. Read on.
What is Discovery?
Discovery is one of the stages of a personal injury case used to exchange information. In this pre-trial process, the legal representatives of both parties, the plaintiff and the defendant, share evidence and information that will be of some help to the case.
This formal process happens outside the court and is a regular occurrence in civil and criminal cases.
Purpose of Discovery
The discovery process is used to maintain fairness in a personal injury case. It prevents situations where surprise evidence or witnesses pop up in the trial. The suddenness of it all renders the other party unable to obtain sufficient evidence to counter them.
The objective of discovery is to make sure that both parties have access to all the evidence and witnesses they have. This increases the chances of the case being decided based on merit.
Types of Discovery
Although there are many types of discovery, four of them are commonly used. They are explained below.
- Interrogatories: Interrogatories are a series of written questions that both parties ask each other. The number of questions that each party can ask may vary depending on the state. These questions can be objected to as well. They must be answered under oath if they are not objected to.
- Request for Production: A request for production is when a party asks for a document instead of a question. Most attorneys request medical records, photographs, and other similar documents. A request for production usually happens along with interrogatories.
- Request for Admission: A request for admission is similar to an interrogatory. In a request for admission, one party asks the other to admit or deny a fact under oath. The response to the questions is either “admit” or “deny”.
- Depositions: Depositions usually happen in the presence of a court reporter. In deposition, the parties question each other in the presence of the court reporter, who records a written testimony of everything that’s discussed. Depositions allow both parties to plan a strategy for the trial.
Not all information can be recovered via discovery. The following privileges are applicable in a discovery process.
- Attorney-Client Privilege: The information that attorneys and their staff share with their clients can be withheld.
- Work-Product Doctrine: Notes, research material, conclusions, and other relevant information that the attorney has collected need not be shared with the other party.
- Marital Privilege: This privilege varies based on the state where the case is happening. Marital privilege grants spouses the right not to share their conversations with the other party.
- Physician-Patient Privilege: The communication between a physician and their patient can be withheld in some states. The privilege is nullified if an individual’s injuries are discussed.
Discovery isn’t difficult in itself. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need a lawyer. A lot of legal terms are used, and the rules may vary based on the state. A lawyer is handy in such situations.
Not just for discovery, a lawyer will assist you throughout your personal injury claim. With their help, you can get fair compensation for your injuries.