Calvin Smith Law - The Injury Lawyers

What is Discovery When it Comes to Your Car Accident Lawsuit?

A Macon car accident attorney can help if you've been in a car crash.

If you’re injured in a car accident, there’s a good chance you may be entitled to damages. The only way to know for sure is to speak with a Macon car accident attorney. Of course, to prove your case, they will have to go through the discovery process.

Here, we will explain exactly what this means and what discovery tools are available to your Macon accident attorney.

The First Thing You Need to Do Is File Your Insurance Claim

Before you consider suing anybody, it’s a good idea to file your insurance claim and see if it gets paid. If the insurance carrier approves your claim – great. You can expect to receive your insurance check in anywhere from one to two weeks.

If, however, your claim is denied, it may be time to speak with a Macon accident car lawyer. Depending on why it was denied, your attorney may be able to appeal your claim and get it paid that way.

If this doesn’t work, the only option would be to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.

If Your Claim Is Denied, Your Macon Car Accident Attorney Can File an Appeal

The approach your Macon injury attorney will take is going to depend on the reason for denial. Some of the more common reasons we have seen over the years include the following:

  • You did not file your insurance claim in a timely fashion.
  • The insurance adjuster believes you were the one at fault.
  • Your claim is rather large, and the insurance company believes they can settle for much less.
  • You have a history of filing auto insurance claims.
  • You were issued a ticket at the accident scene.
  • The insurance adjuster believes that you were exaggerating your injuries.

Once your Macon car accident attorney knows why your claim was denied, they will know whether it makes sense to file an appeal. If your appeal is successful, you should receive your insurance proceeds shortly thereafter.

If your claim is still denied, you’ll have no choice but to file suit against the other driver.

Your Macon Car Accident Lawyer Can File a Lawsuit Against the Other Driver

When your Macon car accident lawyer files suit against the other driver, they will make claims as to why you’re entitled to damages. For example, your attorney may state that the other driver was at fault and caused your injuries.

Your attorney may also assert that the other driver was drunk at the time of the crash. The allegations and assertions your Macon injury attorney includes in the complaint must be proven. To do this, they will need all the information related to your accident.

The only way for your lawyers to get the information and documentation they need is to proceed with discovery. Discovery is a legal term that refers to the process attorneys go through to collect information from the other party.

Once the Defendant Files an Answer, Your Attorney Must Perform Discovery

If the defendant files a response to your initial complaint, then both parties will have a chance to conduct discovery. Again, this is simply the process of requesting information related to the case.

There are a number of tools at your attorney’s disposal. Each one is used for a particular reason. There are also very detailed rules for each type of discovery.

What Is Discovery and What Is Your Macon Accident Attorney Required to Do?

As far as the law is concerned, both parties are required to abide by the rules of discovery. You will each be limited in how many information requests you can make. You are also both required to respond to the other party’s requests.

If either party refuses to cooperate, the other side can file a motion with the court asking the judge to order them to cooperate. This is a motion to compel and it will more than likely be granted.

Discovery in a car accident lawsuit uncovers information.

There Are Several Tools Available for Discovery in Georgia

If you watch any television shows or movies about the law, many of these terms will sound familiar to you. While your Macon injury attorney will not use all the discovery tools discussed here, they will take advantage of the ones they find most useful.


Interrogatories are simply sets of questions one party sends to the other. Some of the questions may seem general or basic. However, your Macon car accident lawyer is permitted to ask for detailed information as well.

For example, you can ask the defendant if they have ever been in a car accident before. Or you could ask them what they were doing in the hours before the crash.


Depositions are like interrogatories, but they are oral. Your Macon injury attorney would set a date and time for the other party to appear for a recorded deposition. Then they will ask them a set of questions. For the most part, they are compelled to answer.

With a deposition, the other driver will have their attorney there with them. If there is any point at which the other driver doesn’t want to answer a question, they can ask their attorney to object.

Unlike in court, this objection will not prevent the other party from answering. However, there will be a notation made in the file stating that they did not want to respond to your line of questioning,


Most everyone has heard of a subpoena. A subpoena is nothing more than a request for information. These are sent to people who are not a party to the case.

For example, if your Macon car accident attorney is trying to determine how many assets the defendant has, they can send a subpoena to their bank.

Or, if the defendant claimed they worked the day of the accident, you could send a subpoena to their employer asking for a copy of their timesheet for that particular day.

Production of Documents

Finally, if there are certain documents or images your Macon car accident attorney needs, they can request a copy from the defendant. Unfortunately, when a party responds to a request for documents, they may send much more than you asked for.

Some attorneys feel it is helpful to blind the other attorney with a ton of paperwork so they have to dig deep to find what they’re looking for.

Your Car Accident Attorney Will Review All the Information and Start Settlement Negotiations

Once your Macon accident attorney completes discovery, they will sift through the information they obtained. Once they have reviewed it thoroughly, they will contact the other party’s attorney to discuss a settlement.

Since more than 95% of all car accident cases settle out of court, there is a good chance you won’t even get to the point of discovery. However, it’s important that you have an idea of how it works in case your case does go to trial.

Your Macon Injury Attorney Will Need Plenty of Time to Prepare Your Case

As you can see, filing a car accident lawsuit can be more complicated than you may have thought. By the time your Macon accident attorney has gathered all the necessary information they need, several months will have gone by.

This is why we always suggest that you contact our Macon injury lawyers as soon as possible after your crash.

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