Discovery In A Lawsuit Explained

What is Discovery?

When a party files a lawsuit in Texas, one of the first things that usually happens is that the court issues a Docket Control Order. Contained in that order is a schedule of events the judge requires to be timely completed by specific dates. One item on that list is referred to as discovery.

Discovery is a process. There are generally two major types of discovery. There is written discovery and then there are depositions. Written discovery includes Request for Disclosure, Interrogatories, Request for Production, and Request for Admissions. The types include written requests for information, responses, and to produce certain documents or tangible things that are served on a party to a lawsuit. Depositions are used to obtain sworn information directly from a party or a witness in person or by written questions. These are procedures that allow parties to fully prepare for a trial.

Request for Disclosure is a type of written discovery. This request is unique in that it is dictated in the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. In most written discovery procedures, an attorney can make various objections to any item. This is not true of this type of discovery. The rules require a party to respond to this discovery without objections. The requests are basic and cover things such as fact witness information, expert witness information, and the legal and factual basis for all claims being made in the lawsuit. If a party does not timely respond in 30 days, a court can sanction that party.

Interrogatories are written questions directed to a party. The party has 30 days to serve objections and answers to the questions asked. The answers to the questions are under oath and a party serves a notarized verification that the answers are true and correct. Interrogatories are used to gain information about the party and what happened in the case. If any question is overbroad, vague or not relevant to issues in the case, the lawyer may make objections. The judge will rule on these objections later if the matter is urged by the other lawyer at a hearing. The sending attorney may file a Motion to Compel with the court and set the matter for hearing. At this hearing, the judge will decide whether the objection is valid. If so, the court will deny the request. If the objection is invalid, the court will grant the motion and order that party to fully respond without objection or the judge could limit the request and then order that a response be made with that limitation. The number of interrogatories to a party is limited to 25.

Request for Production is used to request a party to produce various documents or tangible items described in the request. There is no limit to the number of requests that can be made. The receiving party, or an attorney for the party, may also make objections as with interrogatories. The idea is to allow a party to obtain all relevant documents, photographs, drawings, videos, etc. that relate to the claims being made. This allows parties to obtain all items that might be used at a trial and be prepared for the use of such items. Any party may also ask the court to order another party to properly respond or withdraw invalid objections.

Request for Admissions is used to request a party to either admit or deny certain statements. For example, a party might request a plaintiff to admit or deny that he/she was drinking alcohol within a four hour period prior to the collision made the basis of the lawsuit. The plaintiff must admit or deny that statement within 30 days of the request. There is no limit to the number of requests that can be made. Very importantly, a party must timely respond to this type of discovery. If not, the rules say that all the statements are deemed admitted. Therefore, failure to timely respond can result in the party making an admission of a statement to a jury that otherwise would not be admitted. This can result in a harsh outcome at any trial.

A deposition is a process whereby a party deposes another party or a witness before a certified court reporter under oath. This is a much more expensive process. The deposition can be by video. In this manner, a party’s lawyer can quickly get information that is needed to prepare for trial. This also locks the deposed party or witness into a certain position. If the party or witness attempts to change their story at trial, the deposition can be used to impeach that person in front of a judge or jury. Depending on the type of case, a person may be deposed for an hour or up to several hours. A person can be subpoenaed to appear for a deposition.

There is also what is referred to as a Deposition by Written Questions. This deposition usually used to verify the authenticity of certain business records. The custodian of records of a business (such as a hospital) will answer the deposition questions under oath to a court reporter and provide the deposing party copies of the documents (medical records or bills) in question. In this manner, the records become authenticated and can be offered as evidence at trial.

In summary, discovery is a process utilizing various methods to obtain information to prepare for trial. There are rules using these procedures as set forth in the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. The purpose of the procedures is to get to the truth and validity of claims being made by plaintiffs or defense claims being made by defendants. This development of evidence allows parties to see the case for what it is and enter into negotiations to settle the matter. It also allows parties to request the court to declare either that a case has no basis to go forward or perhaps there is so much evidence, the court could rule that the party wins the claim without going further. These are referred to as summary judgment procedures. Discovery is time-consuming, expensive, and is in large part the reason for many hours that an attorney spends on any given case. However, it is the nuts and bolts of preparation for a trial.

Pedestrian Accident Attorneys – Personal Injury Lawyers

According to a recent Department of Transportation study, pedestrians who are involved in accidents with motor vehicles are 10 times more likely to die in the crashes than the occupants of the vehicles. In fact, the alarming statistics showed that pedestrians account for more than 50 percent of all traffic fatalities. Despite the fact that the fatality rate is much lower than the next 10 largest cities in the U.S., pedestrian accidents are a major problem for the city.

Unfortunately, some motor vehicle drivers do not abide by the rules of the road and observe crosswalk signs. Some motorists fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians walking in intersections. Given the popularity of the city, it is not uncommon to see pedestrian accidents in places near the downtown attractions. Still, drivers must obey the rules and laws of the road, and when they fail to do so, they must pay the consequences.pedestrian accident attorneys

Someone who has been injured in a pedestrian accident should seek legal counsel from a skilled accident lawyer immediately because there are time limits on claims. Call us today to discuss the case.

Types Of Pedestrian Accidents And The Injuries They Can Lead To

Without question, any motor vehicle accident can be serious, especially those involving pedestrians, which can lead to severe injuries or even death. Pedestrian accidents can take on many forms, including:

Bicycle accidents that involve pedestrians
Hit-and-run crashes
Parking lot collisions
Bus accidents that involve pedestrians
Crosswalk accidents

The types of injuries a person can sustained in a pedestrian accident include broken bones, injuries to the spine that might lead to paralysis, and head injuries that could result in brain hemorrhaging. The injuries incurred can be life-changing and long-lasting; therefore, it is important for any individual who has been injured in a pedestrian accident to work with an attorney who can seek all compensation allowed under the law

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A man at a pedestrian crossing

The Costs Related To Pedestrian Accidents

The costs associated with pedestrian accidents can be staggering, and most insurance companies are aware of that. That said, many insurers attempt to settle with accident victims as quickly as possible – prior to realizing the full extent of the accident victim’s injuries. However, pedestrians who suffer head, back or neck injuries may not realize the full extent of those injuries until much later after the accident. Therefore, it is important for injured individuals to get legal advice from a lawyer who can evaluate the case and make a determination with respect to appropriate compensation.

The number one priority for injured individuals in pedestrian accidents or motorcycle accidents should always be their own health. Accordingly, if you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, you are strongly encouraged to seek all appropriate medical treatment as soon as possible. If someone else is responsible for your injuries, he or she can be held responsible for your medical expenses, lost wages and more.

Time is of the essence in many types of accident cases. It is critical for anyone who has been involved in a pedestrian accident to work with an accident attorney who can ensure that all time limitations are met and all legal options are considered. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Rollover Accidents – Car Accident Attorneys – Personal Injury Lawyers

Rollover Accidents – Car Accident Attorneys – Personal Injury Lawyers

Movie special effects may include dramatic car chase sequences that feature spectacular rollover accidents. Of course, the occupants of the vehicles that flip and roll in the movies usually emerge unharmed, at most limping a little. This unrealistic depiction of a rollover accident ignores the fact that, in a real accident of this kind, people are helplessly thrown around by terrific forces and can be very badly accident attorneys

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that about 280,000 rollover crashes happen in the United States every year. This accident type results in about 10,000 fatalities annually.
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How A Rollover Accident Happens

Some simple principles of physics explain why a motor vehicle rolls over when taking a fast turn or swerving suddenly. A moving object tends to keep going in a straight line. The driver may steer a vehicle’s front wheels into a turn, and the drive wheels may exert force to take the vehicle onto a new path, but it is hard to overcome the momentum that tends to carry the vehicle straight ahead.

The faster a car is moving, the stronger the force that must be overcome to make a turn. And, if a vehicle is tall and has a high center of gravity, like a sport utility vehicle or a high-clearance pickup truck, it is more likely to lose stability on a turn. The vehicle starts to skid sideways and tip over, and if the force is strong enough, it will roll.

Statistics from the NHSTA show that SUVs were much more likely than passenger cars to have fatal rollover crashes. In one year, only about 16 percent of fatal passenger car accidents were rollovers, but rollovers occurred in well over a third of fatal SUV accidents.

Preventing Rollovers

Safety advocates and consumer organizations have recommended manufacturing changes to make vehicles less likely to roll over when making sudden maneuvers. Since 2012, electronic stability control has been a required feature.

Electronic stability control is a complex system that keeps track of a moving vehicle’s tendency to lean, the wheel traction and the driver’s use of the steering wheel. When the proportion of these factors is likely to cause the vehicle to flip, the system applies brakes and lowers speed, enhancing stability.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has stated that electronic stability control could reduce rollover incidents by 70 percent or more. That would make a significant impact on the injury and fatality rate in car accidents around the country.

Driver Responsibility

Many vehicles in the area are pre-2012 models that do not have this technology to help drivers avoid rollovers. However, drivers can take responsibility for protecting themselves and others. The strategies for preventing rollovers amounts to actions that can help reduce other kinds of accidents, too, such as rear-end accident attorney

Perhaps most importantly, motorists should avoid excessive speed, especially on curves and while making turns. They can also stay alert for any road conditions or actions by other drivers that could require them to change direction quickly.

Anticipating and planning how to react, drivers should allow more space around their vehicles. Drivers will have more time to switch lanes or turn and are less likely to lose control of the vehicle. With care, they can often prevent a rollover. Should you have any more questions for our car accident lawyers click here

Symptoms Of Whiplash Injuries And Tips To Obtain Compensation For Them

Symptoms of whiplash injuries and tips to obtain compensation for them

Whiplash Settlement

One of the top 10 accident victims’ mistakes is signing a settlement with the insurance company of the party at fault immediately after they have been injured. If you sign an early settlement that will end up your case. The insurance company will no longer be responsible for any medical care or any future maladies as a result of the accident. Signing a compensation agreement early can limit the care that you get. It may not be enough to cover unforeseen problems related to your injury. More information from our car accident lawyer here:

If you don’t want to ruin your case, you should quickly hire a reputable negligence lawyer to handle all your documentation and defense, both in or out of court. Once you do that you can rest easy at night, knowing that you will win the money you need to get the whiplash injury recovery treatment that you really deserve.

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Personal Injury

How to Recognize a Whiplash Injury

Unfortunately, sometimes whiplash injuries are not so easy to detect and you may receive lower compensation, if you cannot prove that you have other injuries than the visible ones. Be aware that you may have a whiplash injury if you identify the following symptoms:

• Neck pain
• Headaches and dizziness
• Pain shoulder between the blades or numbness in the arm or hand
• Blurred vision
• Ringing in the ears
• Fatigue
• Irritability
• Problems with concentration

In order to diagnose such injury your doctor must test you in various ways. This is necessary as the spinal injury symptoms can be delayed. Some of the tests may be:

1) CT scans
2) Magnetic Resonance Imaging
3) Special X-ray tests

Once you have been correctly diagnosed you must act quickly and hire a lawyer to support as well as defend your case. They will help you receive the full and fair whiplash settlement you deserve. If you do not know how to get your litigation started call our car accident lawyer. Not only do we offer a free consultation, but we have a high success rate with whiplash claims.