The discovery phase is a step where the attorney of the other party will ask you questions about you, your injuries, and the case.
It can be a rather nerve-wracking step for a lot of people, particularly if you do not have a clear idea of what to expect. It’s important to go in prepared and have all the details of the case fresh in your memory so that when the other lawyer asks you about anything you don’t seem like you’re struggling for an answer. An experienced St. Louis auto accident lawyer can help you prepare. Here are a few general tips on how to approach the discovery phase.
1. Be Honest
Lying won’t help your case, even if you think the truth will sabotage your settlement options. If you made a mistake, it’s better to own up to it than give the other lawyer some ammunition they can use against you later on. Moreover, it may be more difficult to keep track of the lies and present a consistent story throughout the process.
2. Pay Attention
You’ll be nervous. The other lawyer may use jargon. That can make it hard for you to understand the questions or their nuances, so it’s vital to pay close attention to what the other lawyer is asking. If you need to, ask for clarifications if you don’t understand something.
Your testimony will be recorded and used later in the claim proceedings, which means your answers can be used against you. If you don’t understand a question, but choose to answer what you think it meant, that may not work in your favor. You’ll need to be very focused and specific in your answers, and not give more than what the lawyer asks.
3. Avoid Words like “Never” or “Always”
Never exaggerate in your examination for discovery. Here, words are taken literally, and if you claim to “never” or “always” do something, and they have proof otherwise, the opposition may try to show you are untrustworthy or even perjured yourself.
4. Stay Calm
Though you may be emotional during your testimony, it’s important to remember to remain calm throughout the process. Getting emotional can make you even more likely to make a mistake, which is what the other side wants. Even if the other lawyer is pushing you and trying to get you to react in some way, try to remain composed.
Work With a Car Accident Lawyer
Discovery is an essential part of your car injury claim, and if you work with a St. Louis car accident lawyer, they will help you prepare adequately. Essentially, they will ask you the types of questions the other attorney might, and advise you on the best way to answer.
Moreover, they will be present with you at the examination and intervene to help you if the other side is going too far.
Call (314) 361-4242