How Do You Get The Evidence You Need In Your Personal Injury Case?
In a typical personal injury case, there is often one thing that puts a victim at an initial disadvantage in her or her case: The victim has some evidence needed to prove the case but the defendant often has more evidence that the victim needs to prove the case. This is especially true in premises liability cases.
What Evidence do Defendants Usually Have?
Let’s look at the typical slip and fall case where someone falls in a store. It is the store that has the incident report filled out right after the accident. The store knows its own safety policies. If the store had too few employees that day to routinely inspect and clean, it knows that—not you. The store has or may have video footage of the accident.
You, as the victim, have none of this. You have to get it from them. But how do you do that? There are a number of ways this is done in a typical personal injury case.
Methods of Getting Evidence
Requesting Documents – A victim is allowed to request any documents that the victim wants from the store, including any photos, or video footage of the accident.
The victim can also request store policy and procedures, or emails that may have been sent about the accident. Any information that the Defendant may have about the identity of witnesses can also be requested.
Depositions – A deposition is the victim’s opportunity to have employees of the store answer your (or your lawyer’s) questions. Everything that is said is written down by a court reporter and the answers are provided under oath under penalty of perjury. You can depose however many people that you want—and often, in a large personal injury case, multiple depositions may be needed.
Because deposition answers are provided under oath, the person being deposed must say the same thing later on if there is a trial. In that way, a deposition helps prepare you for what witnesses for the defendant may say if there is a trial.
Interrogatories – Interrogatories are just written questions that must be responded to in writing by the other party, within a specified amount of time (usually, 30 days). Like depositions, the answers must be sworn to under oath under penalty of perjury.
Non-Compliance With Discovery
Often, the defendant will resist these methods either by refusing to hand over documents, refusing to answer questions, or simply refusing to have certain members of the company sit for deposition. Your lawyer may have to go to court to force the other side to provide the needed information.
Knowing what questions to ask, or what documents to request, is a vital part of any case. Everything obtained through these methods are potentially evidence in your personal injury trial and are necessary for your lawyer to be fully prepared.
Call the Tennessee personal injury attorneys at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC, today for help getting the evidence you need for your personal injury case.