This is the next post in a series of articles discussing bicycle accident cases in Hartford, Connecticut. Our previous article discussed the process of dealing with insurance companies following such an event. Responding to an insurance adjuster’s requests for statements and information about injuries and property damage can be intimidating. By retaining an attorney as soon as possible after an accident, victims and their families can direct the insurance company to communicate directly with the lawyer on their behalf. Doing so can help ensure that the settlement negotiation process and preparation for potential litigation is handled properly. In this article, we will address the importance of the discovery process in bike accident cases. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
Unlike the legal dramas seen on television and in the movies, real life trials are not won or lost on the basis of “surprise” evidence presented in court. Instead, attorneys for both sides must comply with strict rules and procedures governing the collection and use of evidence. Through discovery, the lawyers will methodically gather the evidence in advance of the trial. Attorneys have a variety of discovery tools at their disposal. For instance, they may question the other party or third parties by issuing a series of written questions, called interrogatories. The written responses provided by the recipients may be used as evidence at trial. Using depositions, attorneys may gather sworn witness testimony in advance. Lawyers may issue requests for production or subpoenas to gather evidence such as documentation, phone or text records, medical reports, traffic camera footage, and other information that may be relevant to the case.
Using discovery tools effectively can have a significant impact on bicycle accident litigation. For example, let’s say an injured cyclist and the driver of the other vehicle have very different accounts of an accident in that each claims the other was responsible for the crash. The cyclist’s attorney deposes several eyewitnesses who testify that they saw the driver taunting the cyclist and honking unnecessarily at him just before the accident. The witnesses refute the driver’s claim that the bike rider was swerving in and out of vehicle traffic. In addition, the lawyer requests footage from local traffic cameras which indicates that the cyclist was following all applicable traffic rules. It also shows the driver appearing to act aggressively at the time of the incident. Such information can be used to build the cyclist’s case against the driver in advance of the trial and can be presented in court to establish the driver’s liability.
An experienced personal injury attorney will understand the discovery process and how to use the tools to build your case. Our Hartford lawyers are experienced in bicycle accident cases and are ready to assist you. We also serve the areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Rocky Hill, West and East Hartford, Bristol, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.