One of the potential hurdles that you'll face before you can hopefully reach a favorable settlement in a personal injury case is the discovery process. You'll sit down with the defendant's legal representatives to go over your case, and you can expect to be grilled. It's easy to lose your cool during these interviews, and doing so can potentially threaten your case if you say something that you later regret. It's important to be prepared for aggressive and potentially underhanded questioning, as doing so will help you to avoid getting flustered. Here are some exchanges in which you'll especially need to keep your cool.
Suggestions Of Fraud
Perhaps the most difficult type of exchange that you'll face in a discovery interview is the defendant's attorney either asking or suggesting that you're committing fraud to some degree by carrying a case forward against his or her client. For example, if you're pursuing legal action after a slip-and-fall injury, the attorney might ask if you if fell on purpose because you were looking for a payday or might even suggest that you didn't fall at all and that you're making the entire story up. Being calm and reiterating your position will be important in the face of such questions.
Assigning Of Blame
The defendant's legal team might accept that some part of the story that you're telling about your accident is true, but also imply that you've left some details out. Often, the attorneys will imply that you're assigning 100 percent of the blame to their client, rather than being honest and admitting that your actions significantly contributed to the accident. They're trying to get you to take on some ownership, which will quickly discredit your case. Keep your cool and do not get bullied into making a false claim about yourself.
Doubting The Extent Of Your Injuries
The attorneys who represent the defendant in your case will also use the discovery interview as an opportunity to cast doubt upon your injuries. If you have medical documentation that shows how injured you really are, such a tactic may seem futile — but it could be effective if you were to lose your cool and make an on-the-record statement that compromises your case. Don't let this line of questioning get to you. Continue to reiterate how the accident has affected you and don't be afraid to point to the medical documentation to support what you're saying.
For more information, talk to a personal injury attorney.