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What is an Examination for Discovery?

Examination for Discovery

Personal injury claims are stressful.  Not only are you trying to recover from a debilitating injury but trying to navigate a complex legal process. Choosing the right personal injury lawyer is important. You need to find a lawyer that you feel comfortable with and can trust.  They will take care of the legal process so that you can focus on your recovery. Part of your legal process may involve attending an Examination for Discovery. A good personal injury lawyer will prepare you for this in more detail, and specific to your injury, but here are a few things you can expect.

What is an Examination for Discovery?

It is an important process used by personal injury lawyers for the purpose of formally gathering all the evidence specific to your injury claim. It allows each party to tell their story. Lawyers will have an opportunity to ask questions about your injury, discuss paperwork, reports, medical records, and any other important information about your case. A Discovery can take anywhere from one hour to an entire day.

The lawyers will then assess the validity of each person’s claims and statements, review the information shared, determine the strength of your case, and decide how they want to proceed. Often this process leads to a settlement offer.  Settlements avoid lengthy waiting periods for court dates and delays in receiving compensation used for your recovery. If you, and the lawyers can not agree on a settlement offer, they will take your case to trial. All relevant information must be shared at an Examination for Discovery. Therefore, eliminating any surprises should a case go to trial.

What can you expect?

The first thing that will happen is that you will be sworn in by a trained court reporter. You will be taking an oath to be completely honest in your responses to questions regarding your injury.

The court reporter’s role is to record the conversations between the plaintiffs, defendants, and the lawyers. A written transcript of the Examination for Discovery will be used for reference as the lawyers determine how to proceed. If your case goes to trial, the transcript can also be used to challenge witnesses whose details change while being questioned in court.

You will be asked many questions at your Examination for Discovery. Your lawyer should prepare you before your discovery. They will explain what to expect and help you practice answering questions. When lawyers are questioning you, it is important to make sure you have heard the entire question before you answer.

Talking over others makes it difficult for the court reporter who must record each person, like a script. Try to remember to wait for your turn to respond.

If you do not understand what is being asked, please tell them or ask for questions to be rephrased or clarified. Do not feel shy or embarrassed if you do not understand. If you are not familiar with terms being used it is always best to tell them you are not sure what something means. Remember your answers are important to your case.

If you have any questions for your lawyer, ask them prior to the Examination for Discovery. The process will not allow you to ask your lawyer any questions or discuss your case with them during the process or during any breaks.  If you are nervous or uncertain be sure to tell your lawyer how you are feeling.

Types of questions asked

You will be asked questions that will focus on the way the injury was sustained and the impact it has on your daily life. More common questions include:

  • Your name
    • personal information
    • personal history
  • How the accident happened
  • Who was driving at the time of the accident?
  • Were you or the driver distracted? 
  • Have you had any previous accidents?
  • How long have you been driving?
  • Describe the type of damage to the vehicle and the
    • costs of the repairs
  • How have your injuries impacted your:
    • ability to work,
    • daily activities or
    • ability to care for your family
  • Describe the pain you are experiencing or any other medical issues as a result from this accident.
  • How much did you earn at the time of the accident?
  • How much do you earn now?

Wishart Brain and Spine Lawyers are here to help

The team at Wishart Brain and Spine law encourage you to seek legal advice prior to your discovery date. We want you to be prepared and understand how your responses can impact your compensation. The personal injury lawyers of Wishart Brain and Spine Law offer a free consultation so you can make the best decision for your well being. Contact us today. Let us guide you through the process.