During the pendency of the suit, formal legal discovery will take place. The insurance company lawyer will send us written questions, called interrogatories, for you to answer. We usually will provide as much information to answer those questions as we can from the investigation, which is already in our file, and then we will forward those questions to you for review and completion. Your answers will be sworn under oath, and copies of them will be filed with the court and with the lawyer who submitted them. We, too, will send written interrogatories to the opposing parties requiring them to answer under oath.
After those questions and answers have been exchanged, depositions will be conducted. A deposition is a formal statement, under oath, given in response to questioning by the lawyers in the case. The defense attorneys have the right to take your deposition, to ask you about what happened, how you have been injured, and other background information. We also have the right to take depositions of the defendants. Depositions of witnesses to the accident or injuries may also be taken. We will send more complete instructions about depositions when yours is scheduled, and we will review your case and expected testimony with you before your deposition is conducted.
In a personal injury suit you may also be required to submit to an examination by an insurance company doctor to evaluate your injuries. Under certain conditions you may also be required to produce for the insurance company photographs, materials, documents and records connected with your claim, in addition to authorizations for the insurance company lawyer to get your past or present employment and medical records. At the same time the defense is literally discovering what your case is about, we are discovering what their case is about by using the same legal mechanisms — interrogatories, depositions, requests for admission and requests for production.