Crosswalk at nightThis is the third post in a series of articles discussing pedestrian accident cases in Peoria, Illinois. My previous article addressed the impact of comparative fault in pedestrian accidents.  I am writing the current article as it is common for the insurance adjuster of the defendant to contact the victim once a claim is made due to injuries sustained in an accident. Most accident victims do not know how to respond once contacted by the insurance company. An experienced attorney can handle all communication with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure your case is fairly evaluated. Your attorney will also seek to ensure you do not accept a low offer and receive the best opportunity to receive compensation for your damages. In this article I will address how important the discovery process is to proving liability in these types of cases. If you or someone you know has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

A plaintiff must prove the liability of a defendant before receiving an award of damages in an accident case. Proving liability requires establishing that the person responsible breached a duty owed to the plaintiff. The discovery process is crucial to proving liability of the defendant. Discovery is a crucial part of all civil cases because it allows attorneys to gather evidence to be used at trial. There are various tools available to your attorney during the discovery process. These tools can be used to obtain information or documents from the other party or from relevant third-parties. Such tools include interrogatories which are questions served in writing that must be responded to by the other party. Depositions are another tool used in discovery that allows your attorney to ask questions of the other party or a third-party witness under oath. All of the questions and answers during the deposition are recorded by a court reporter and can be used against the defendant or witness at trial. Requests for production and subpoenas are additional tools which require the recipients to provide internal records in their possession.

Experienced counsel will understand the procedural rules to follow during the discovery process in order to properly obtain information one is entitled to during the course of a civil action. Consider the following example, a pedestrian is walking on a sidewalk and is hit by a commercial vehicle. The victim suffers a brain injury and has no memory of the accident. The driver of the commercial vehicle told the police that the victim walked into the street and there were no other eyewitnesses. Through discovery, the victim’s attorney obtains the camera footage from the state’s department of transportation by a subpoena. The video and GPS data showed the defendant’s driver was on his phone and distracted while driving when he swerved and hit the victim. Additionally, footage was provided that the victim did not enter the roadway. Using this information, the plaintiff was able to establish evidence of the defendant’s responsibility for the entirety of the crash. This evidence could then be presented to the jury. Every case is fact specific and how a Court will rule depends on the specific circumstances of each matter.

The evidence that is presented at trial is methodically gathered prior to court and analyzed by the parties ahead of time. This allows both parties to prepare their case with the use of real evidence. An experienced attorney will understand the rules of evidence and the tools of discovery to present your case successfully. If you need assistance contact my office today to speak with a Peoria pedestrian accident lawyer. Our firm also serves clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.