Phases of a Personal Injury Case: Litigation

The deposition is a very important legal proceeding that should almost always involve preparation by the personal injury attorney and the person who is going to be deposed. The person’s performance at the deposition can have a huge influence on the success or value of the personal injury case, usually because these individuals are very important in communicating and establishing the extent of the losses caused by personal injury.

In addition to interrogatories, requests for production, and depositions, each side’s lawyer may also be permitted to issue a subpoena. This is a request to produce documents or items in addition to requesting that the person appear at a deposition or trial. For instance, the personal injury attorney may wish to subpoena the medical examiner’s records for documents; financial, employment, and medical records may be requested by subpoena to help establish various elements or issues involved in the case.

The discovery phase may also include a request by the other side that the plaintiff must submit to a medical examination and/or psychological evaluation. Washington’s discovery rules permit one party to request such an exam or evaluation for the purpose of learning more about the person’s health and/or to evaluate the person’s claim for damages. The legal and factual grounds necessary to support a request to conduct a medical examination or psychological evaluation on the plaintiff will depend on the facts of the case and the issues involved. In most cases, the judge will have considerable discretion to grant or deny the defendant’s request for a medical or psychological evaluation on a case-by-case basis.

Using Expert Witnesses

After a personal injury case has been filed in court, it will often require the assistance of expert testimony to help the attorney prove one or more elements of the cause of action. Since personal injury cases can involve many different issues that are often complex and difficult to prove, an experienced personal injury attorney will usually want to engage the assistance of one or more experts early on in the case. Sometimes, the success of a personal injury case will hinge on the credibility and/or knowledge of the experts involved. That is why it is extremely important that the attorney have substantial experience in handling personal injury cases as well as having the knowledge of the different types of experts that may be necessary to achieve a successful result.

There are many different types of experts that can be used in a personal injury action. Generally, experts can fall into two classifications in the personal injury case:

  • Liability experts
  • Damage experts

To learn more about your legal options, order a free accident resource book written by Seattle personal injury attorney Chris Davis.

Click here to order your free book.

 

Chris Davis
Top-rated, award-winning, attorney practicing wrongful death & serious injury law in Seattle.
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