Discovery in a Slip and Fall Lawsuit
Slip and fall injuries can lead to significant setbacks. Not only can they affect a person’s day-to-day activities, but they could prevent an individual from going to work and earning income for some time. In some cases, slip and fall injury victims may have to file a lawsuit to recover compensation. This process begins with the “discovery phase.” Here, we want to discuss what happens during discovery for a slip and fall lawsuit.
Discovery Includes Many Types of Evidence
The discovery process allows both parties, the plaintiff and the defendant, to learn more about the case. This can be a complex process for plaintiffs because they have to show enough evidence to prove that the other party’s negligence indeed caused the injury.
One of the main parts of the discovery process will be the exchange of physical evidence gathered related to the slip and fall incident. This can include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Photograph taken at the scene of the incident
- Video surveillance of the incident, if it is available
- The plaintiff’s medical records surrounding the care they have received due to the injury
- Accident reports filled out by property owners
- Records related to property maintenance and inspections
In addition to the exchange of physical evidence, there may also be several interrogatories that go back and forth between attorneys for both sides. An interrogatory is a questionnaire that must be answered under oath. What this means is that the answers must be the truth, so far as the answering party knows it, and the penalty for lying in an interrogatory is perjury.
Discovery Can Include Depositions
One of the most challenging parts of this process for all parties involved is the possibility of depositions. These are similar to interrogatories, but they will be in-person, recorded, and given under oath. In a deposition, individuals will be asked questions directly by attorneys for both parties. Depositions are transcribed by a court reporter, and anything said in the deposition could be used in an eventual trial if one becomes necessary.
Independent Medical Examinations
In an effort to determine the full extent of the injuries and the expected recovery of the slip and fall injury victim, the defendant in the case may ask the injury victim to undergo an independent medical examination. These examinations happen with a third-party, unbiased doctor who can verify the injuries, the severity of the injuries, and testify about how much future medical care may be needed.
Preparing for Discovery
We strongly encourage all slip and fall accident victims in California to work with a skilled personal injury lawyer who can help them every step of the way. The discovery process can be complicated, and there are various ways that injury victims could get tripped up if they try to handle the claim on their own. An experienced attorney will handle every aspect of the claim on behalf of the client. This includes taking care of the investigation, the discovery, and preparing their client for depositions. A slip and fall attorney will diligently work to recover complete compensation for medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages.