Tips for Giving Good Evidence at Examinations for Discovery

Tips for Giving Good Evidence at Examinations for Discovery

Your answers at examinations for discovery can effect the outcome of your personal injury case. Below are some tips for success if you are ever going through a personal injury case and have examinations for discovery coming up.

  1. If you have given any statements to adjusters, whether your accident benefits or bodily injury adjuster, make sure you review them in detail so your answers are consistent. If you give inconsistent answers at examinations for discovery then you will likely lose credibility because the insurance company will think that you are making the answers up.
  2. Think carefully about your personal injury claim and how your injuries have had an impact on your life. This can come in the form of your employment, housekeeping, social life, hobbies, etc.
  3. Prepare a list of all the medical professionals you’ve seen since the accident and put them in chronological order. Make sure you know what they’ve told you as far as any diagnosis, prognosis and treatment recommendations.
  4. Speak with your lawyer about your loss of income claim. Make sure you understand your tax returns in their entirety. If you are advancing an income loss claim you will be asked detailed questions about your income tax returns. You will need to be on the same page as your lawyer about your theory on income loss. 
  5. Make sure you remember (to the best of your ability) how the accident happened. You will need to describe to the defence lawyer how the accident happened and why the accident was not your fault.
  6. Dress and act like you are going to a job interview. Defence counsel will be gauging how you would do in front of a jury at trial. If you present well by dressing appropriately and remaining calm throughout the discovery process the defence lawyer will report favourably back to his or her insurance client. 
  7. When you are at your discovery make sure you answer every question truthfully and concisely. You do not want to talk too much if it is unnecessary. Do not elaborate no matter how long the silence.
  8. Stay calm. No matter how provocative or how frustrating defence counsel is, your response is being judged.
  9. Do not understate or exaggerate your injuries. If you understate your injuries defence counsel will think your injuries aren’t serious and therefore do not warrant compensation. If you overstate or exaggerate your injuries, then defence counsel will think you are being untruthful. 
  10. If you do not know an answer to a question say that you don’t know or don’t remember. It is not a good idea to guess an answer to a question.
  11. Do not interrupt someone who is talking. This will reflect in the record that is being transcribed by the court reporter and will confuse the court down the road. Please wait until defence counsel has finished speaking before you talk.
  12. If the defence lawyer is making assumptions in his or her questions, then correct those assumptions before answering the question. If the lawyer is paraphrasing your answer incorrectly make sure you correct the lawyer.
  13. Be honest when answering questions about pre-existing conditions and injuries. Defence counsel most likely has your medical records from before the accident so there is no point in denying or lying about your pre-accident condition. Lying or not remembering properly will only effect your credibility.