How Will You Get The Evidence You Need In Your Injury Case?
When you start a personal injury case, one thing is true of most cases: The Defendant, the party you are suing, usually has more of the evidence in the case than you do. Why is that, and how do you get the evidence you need to win your case?
Why the Defendant Starts Off With More Evidence
The Defendant almost always has more evidence than you do. At the start of the case, the Defendant may have video of the accident. The Defendant may have interviewed eyewitnesses, and done an inspection of the area where you fell—you, being injured at the time, of course, were unable to do that.
If the Defendant is a business, the Defendant also has knowledge of its own policies and procedures, or of problems it may have had on the day of your accident (such as being understaffed). It knows what it did and did not do on the date of your accident—you don’t.
Discovery: Getting the Evidence That You Need
But this isn’t to say that you can’t get the evidence you need to prove your case. You certainly can. Here are some ways that victims get evidence in personal injury cases:
Interrogatories – Interrogatories are written questions that the Defendant has to answer. Often, victims will ask about the Defendant’s behavior, policies and procedures, or the names of witnesses who may have information about the cae.
Documents – You have a right to get documents that are relevant to your case—this includes electronic data, like email, and even video surveillance. Documents that reflect what employees were doing on the day of your accident, or which may reveal that the Defendant knew there was a dangerous condition on the property but did nothing, are often obtained. In some cases, incident reports may detail what someone saw, when they first arrived at the scene of an accident.
Depositions – You (through your personal injury attorney) have the right to make the Defendant, or employees of the Defendant, sit down and answer verbal questions that you ask of them. You can also depose any expert witnesses that the Defendant intends to have testify against you, to see what they will say when and if your trial happens.
The questions and answers in any deposition you take are then transcribed by a court reporter. You have the right to depose almost anybody that may have information about your case, or your accident.
Third parties – You can get documents, and even depose, people who aren’t in the lawsuit, but who may have information relevant to the lawsuit. For example you can depose a witness to a car accident who saw how it happened, or an employee of a store, who may have knowledge about the store’s procedures.
Getting the evidence that you need is a crucial part of proving your case. Call the Boston personal injury lawyers at The Law Office of Joseph Linnehan, Jr. today at 617-275-4200 for help and to answer your questions about your personal injury case.