What is Discovery in a pretrial for car accident?

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What is Discovery in a pretrial for car accident?


The discovery phase is part of pre-trial procedures for litigation following a car accident. This phase may include depositions, medical exam reports, interrogatories as well as requests for information from the other parties. This phase prepares both parties for the potential trial.

The Discovery Phase

Discovery is the pretrial period during which attorneys from both side seek evidence and investigate facts that can bolster their case. This phase includes interviewing witnesses and poring over documents. Any information gathered during discovery has to be shared between both sides. Courts do not allow surprises from either party.

Both parties, witnesses to the accident as well as other parties will be deposed; these proceedings are referred to as depositions. Lawyers from both sides attend the depositions and each side is permitted to ask questions and make objections. Just like in an actual trial, the witnesses are sworn to tell the truth. A stenographer records everything said in the deposition proceedings and will subsequently make a transcript to be used as evidence at trial.

Any contradictions by witnesses to earlier statements can be used to establish inconsistencies in subsequent testimonies. This is one reason attorneys diligently go over the depositions and all other documents prior to the trial.

Document production also occurs during this phase. Documents such as medical bills, evaluations, and earnings statements provide information that may be used during the trial.

The discovery phase is an integral and critical part of any litigation. A good attorney will know which questions to ask during the proceedings and what information needs to be elicited to help your case. Talk with an experienced accident attorney to discuss the pretrial discovery in a car accident lawsuit.