Every personal injury case usually goes through discovery. Discovery is the process by which you and the person responsible for your accident learn about each other’s case. Your Hyannis motorcycle accident case is no exception. The defense lawyer will ask you for a couple of things that will make you feel like you are the one on trial.When you open up a personal injury lawsuit, you automatically open yourself up to prodding by the defense lawyer. The most important thing to remember here is that the defense lawyer is just doing her job so you shouldn’t take it personally. With that said, here are a few things you should expect the defense lawyer to ask during the discovery process.
Tax and Income Records
In your Hyannis motorcycle accident lawsuit, you will most likely make a wage loss claim and in order to prove the amount you claim to be entitled to, the defense lawyer will ask for your tax records. They won’t simply ask you to give them your tax records for the past year or so because it might have been a good or bad year for you. They will want to see your tax records for the past six years or so to give them a complete picture of your wage loss claim. If your income is reported on a w2 form then this information is very easy to discern.
If you are self-employed, your tax records might reveal a little more. For instance, if you cheated on your tax returns, you may have to consider dropping your wage loss claim or risk having the defense lawyer expose your tax evasion tendencies to the jury. Also, if your business is structured in such a way that you have reduced your taxable income, you may have a hard time explaining to the jury and the defense lawyer your business model. If you think your tax returns might have a problem, make sure you talk to your lawyer about it.
Names of Co-Workers and Friends.
The defense lawyer will want to talk to your friends and co-workers to confirm or refute your claim as to how the accident affected your life. These are what are known as “before and after witnesses”. Whether the defense lawyer might contact your friends and co-workers will be determined by the value of your claim. The higher the value of your claim, the higher the likelihood the defense lawyer will call some of your friends and co-workers. It’s a good idea to give them a heads up to let them know the defense lawyer will be calling them and also to inform them about your condition.
Names and Records of the Doctor Who Treated You
The defense will ask for your medical records to look for any information of a pre-existing injury or condition, inconsistencies in your complaints or subsequent injuries. If you have ever received mental treatment and you state in your claim that you are claiming emotional distress, they might argue that a certain degree of your emotional distress was pre-existing. If you therefore do not want any part of your mental health records being “discovered”, then you will have to drop the emotional distress claim.
Photographs and Videos
If in your motorcycle lawsuit you claimed that your injuries prevented you from engaging in activities that you used to enjoy before, the defense attorney will want you to back up your claims. The best way to do this is to ask for photographic or video evidence of you actually doing the things that you claim you used to do. If you cannot provide proof, the defense and the jury will assume that you were just a couch potato.
Aliases and Former Addresses
The defense lawyer might ask if you had or if you use any other names apart from the one on your identification documents. They might also ask about your current and previous spouses and a list of all addresses at which you have lived in for the past ten years.
If you have recently been asked by a defense lawyer in your Hyannis motorcycle accident case to produce information you are not sure about, feel free to ask us about it. At Kevin P Landry Law Offices, we evaluate all our cases free of charge. Call us at 508-775-1660 or visit our Hyannis offices today for a free initial consultation.