Documentation and Discovery Issues
Most persons involved in a car accident injury case have no idea what to expect in regards to medical treatment or the civil discovery process inherent to every personal injury lawsuit. Often, many injury victims have never sustained a traumatic injury before and are surprised at the process of rehabilitation and recovery. If you have never been involved as a party in a civil lawsuit before, the civil litigation process can also appear bewildering. For many individuals, having to adjust to the arduous demands of treatment and recovery – in addition to participation as a party to a lawsuit – can be difficult. Documentation and discovery issues are important to all personal injury cases.
While no two car accident injury cases are identical, common issues arise which pertain to treatment and documentation, which if handled properly, can greatly assist a favorable resolution of a personal injury case. A little background in the process and some simple pointers can go a long way towards assisting a car accident injury victim in successfully navigating these two new areas.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPERLY DOCUMENTING EACH CAR ACCIDENT INJURY
After sustaining an injury in a car accident, sometimes a person is forced to wait a few days to see his or her primary doctor. During many initial appointments, an injured person will only address his or her primary source of pain. We have found that in many cases, patients neglect to fully describe all aspects of their injuries. This can become a significant problem in many car accident injury cases. A person who neglects to adequately explain and identify all injuries and symptoms related to a car accident will almost inevitably be accused of “malingering” by the insurance defense lawyers defending the case. Simply put, when insurance defense lawyers accuse an injured plaintiff of “malingering,” they are asserting that the plaintiff is faking or exaggerating his or her injuries.
Accusing the victim of faking an injury is a very common technique, which unfortunately has incredible appeal to some jurors who consider most injured plaintiffs as fraudulent opportunists. Adequately documenting all car accident related injuries during the first doctor’s visit will go a long ways toward helping us defeat any accusation of malingering which may arise during the course of the litigation. Generally, the better the historian the injured plaintiff and treating doctor are, the better the case outcome.
ROLE OF DEPOSITIONS IN CAR ACCIDENT CASES
One of the primary reasons accurate and complete documentation of all injuries related to a car accident is so important is that the probing process of civil discovery may make any omission of facts by the injured plaintiff appear as an attempt at deception. In personal injury cases, the parties are able to conduct what is known as “discovery.” This process consists of the exchange of information between the opposing parties. Perhaps the best known and most dreaded form of discovery for parties is the deposition. A deposition is an oral testimony given by a witness in response to questions posed by the opposing parties’ lawyer.
Before the deposition is taken, the lawyers will seek to obtain all evidence in the car accident injury case, including:
- Prior medical records
- Accident reports
- Expert reports
- Any other information which pertains to the credibility and medical condition of the injured plaintiff
Our Las Vegas car accident lawyers at Oronoz and Ericsson Injury Lawyers will meet with you prior to your testimony. The meeting will include review of all records and issues which are anticipated will be addressed during the deposition. The extent of the injuries which you sustained as the result of the car accident will be probed extensively. Reacquainting yourself with your medical history as documented in the reports will be helpful to you during your deposition. Being familiar as possible with all the factual issues pertaining to the accident and the injuries you sustained is essential to establishing your credibility. With proper preparation, your deposition will be a relatively painless experience. Preparation is a major factor in maximizing the recovery in every car accident case. Our Las vegas auto accident lawyers at Oronoz and Ericsson Injury Lawyers will help you every step of the way.