When injury claims related to trucking accidents go to trial, the legal process can be quite involved. One of the most important steps, other than a thorough investigation, is the discovery process. This is when trucking accident lawyers are able to obtain essential evidence. This information is critical in helping both attorneys and the court get a better picture of what occurred, who is to blame, and how the case should be decided.
Defining the Discovery Process
The process of discovery is where both sides of a legal case must share any information that has been gathered regarding the case. Federal law states that the disclosure of information is mandatory, ensuring that each party is aware of all evidence that has been collected so they can build and present their cases accordingly. Therefore, discovery is one of the ways for trucking accident lawyers to obtain important evidence.
How Is Discovery Handled?
During discovery, both plaintiff and defense attorneys may request specific documents and information from each other. They may also question the parties involved in the case, seeking additional information. The process includes three main steps:
- Written discovery
- Production of documents
- Taking of depositions
Written discovery is where each side submits written questions and requests for information. Requests made after trucking accidents and during discovery can include anything from vehicle maintenance and log records to a company's hiring policies and records, employee histories, and even requests for drug testing. Written discovery can also include interrogatories, which are questions used to confirm details already known about the accident, as well as admissions.
After written requests and questions have been served, each side prepares and submits discovery answers and documents in response to the requesting lawyers. During a deposition, trucking accident lawyers are able to question those individuals directly involved in the accident about what occurred, existing evidence, and anything else pertaining to the accident.
Discovery - Essential Part of Evidence Gathering
In some cases that are a result of trucking accidents, the discovery process can become very involved. This process can last a number of weeks or even months while lawyers explore all parts of the incident, collecting the required evidence. Yet this is an essential part of the legal process since it provides attorneys with the chance to gather documents and other private information they are entitled to receive, but would otherwise lack access. All discovery is then presented to the court, along with sworn statements which indicate the information submitted is complete and correct. This is necessary to prevent either party from withholding information that could be critical to their case.
The goal is to ensure that both sides are fully aware of all information pertaining to the incident, so lawyers on both sides can build the strongest possible case for those they represent. With all the truthful and correct evidence submitted by both the plaintiff and defense lawyers, the court can then make the most suitable decision regarding the case.
The process of discovery is critical to legal cases resulting from trucking accidents and the injuries they cause. Through this mandatory process of disclosure, both sides of the case are able to obtain all information and evidence, so that each side has a fair opportunity before the court. Experienced trucking accident lawyers understand what information is essential to build the best case and are able to obtain all of this during the discovery portion prior to the trial!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190