Collecting Evidence in a Boca Raton Personal Injury Claim
There is no shortage of evidence that could be crucial to a Boca Raton personal injury claim, including the insurance coverage that is available, medical documents, photographs of the scene, and photographs of the client. Through the discovery process, an attorney could also obtain any and all evidence that the defendant may use at trial.
In the personal injury case surrounding the client who fractured an ankle on the staircase of a commercial building, Kogan & DiSalvo attorneys collected a significant amount of evidence over the course of several months.
Gathering Insurance Information
The first specific document that the client and her attorneys requested was the insurance information. Although that is not admissible in the trial, the plaintiff is entitled to find out what insurance coverage is available and whether there are any coverage or policy defenses which might make collecting a judgment difficult. The plaintiff’s team also requested specific documents to use in the trial such as inspection reports for the building.
Producing Documents for the Defense
At the same time, the client gathered documents for the defendant. Because there was a wage claim, my client had to produce past earning records such as tax returns and W-2s. The client also had to show the medical records, because her physical condition was at issue.
In this case, the client was able to produce all the requested documents. Prior to instituting the lawsuit, Kogan & DiSalvo attorneys had obtained the medical records and the photographs that were necessary to prove the claim. Those documents are deemed to be in the client’s possession, so the plaintiff’s team turned those over to the defendant pursuant to their request to produce.
During the discovery phase of the case, the type of evidence exchanged usually includes photographs of the scene, medical records, and expert reports. Each side hires expert witnesses and each side is entitled to the other side’s expert’s report and opinions.
Interrogatories are written questions. Under the rules of civil procedure in Florida, a defendant is allowed to propound 30 interrogatories initially, as is the plaintiff. There are also standard Florida Supreme Court approved interrogatories that attorneys must use in specific cases, where applicable. In this case, there is a set of Florida Supreme Court approved personal injury interrogatories that Kogan & DiSalvo propounded on the defendant at the time of the complaint. Conversely, there was a set of standard Supreme Court interrogatories that the defendant served on a plaintiff, and the client responded to those.
The process of answering the questions is two-fold. Many of the questions seek objective facts, such as the amount of the medical bills and the names of the doctors who treated the plaintiff. An experienced attorney could insert that information into the answers to interrogatories. There was other information asked of the plaintiff, such as places she lived and doctors she had seen in the past ten years unrelated to the fall, which the client provided independently. Working in conjunction, the client and her attorneys were able to formulate responses to all of the defendant’s interrogatories.