Wet floor sign on stairsThis is the next article in our series on the handling of slip and fall cases in Laredo, Texas. Our last article discussed why premises liability cases may take time to resolve. The long amount of time that such a case may take is due to the fact that a victim’s damages must be reasonably ascertained before a settlement demand is sent to the insurance carrier. If a Plaintiff accepts a “quick settlement,” before their damages are better understood, then they risk the chance of not being compensated for the effect of long-term injuries. A victim can put themselves into a better position by retaining an experienced personal injury attorney to assist them. In this article we will discuss another important topic. That topic is the importance of discovery in such cases. If you have been injured, then contact our office today to speak with a lawyer. In addition to Laredo, we serve other areas in south Texas.

We have previously discussed the importance of discovery in trucking accident cases. Many of the same concepts apply to cases involving a fall on someone else’s property. Discovery, the process by which information is gained from the other side in a lawsuit, is vital to the civil litigation process. It provides a variety of tools by which one’s attorney can gain information from the defendant or third parties. These tools include Interrogatories, which are written questions to which another party must provide written answers. Also, Requests for Production can be used to require other parties to provide documents or other tangible items. Finally, depositions and subpoenas are important tools. The former may be used to gain sworn testimony from both parties and non-parties while the latter can be used to gain documents, records, or other items from those who are not a party to the case.

Consider the following example. Victor Victim is injured when he falls in a mall. The fall was caused by a puddle of water which had been on the floor for several hours. No “wet floor” signs had been put out by the mall operators. At trial, it will be crucial that Victor demonstrate that the mall operators had not been following a regular maintenance schedule. His attorney may use the tools above to establish what policies, if any, the mall had for keeping the facility maintained. His counsel can also obtain records showing whether such policies were actually complied with. Now suppose that the discovery efforts show that the floor was to be inspected by mall personnel every hour but, on the day in question, it had not been inspected for several hours. While how a judge or jury will rule while always depend on the specific facts of the case, this may give Victor a strong claim for damages due to negligence by the mall operator.

The example given above is just one illustration of why discovery is important in a lawsuit. Contrary to what is portrayed in the movies and popular media, trials are not won by “surprise” evidence which is miraculously uncovered on the day of trial. Cases are, instead, often won through the careful accumulation of evidence and testimony. This accumulation is only possible due to the discovery process. It is vital, therefore, that you retain a lawyer who is experienced in conducting discovery if you have been injured by falling on someone else’s property.

If you or a loved one have been injured, then contact my office today to speak with a Laredo injury attorney. My office takes great pride in the level of service we provide to our local community, and we are honored to serve those throughout the area. We promptly respond to messages, we will make ourselves available to answer your questions, and we will take steps to ensure that you know what to expect as the case moves forward. Contact us online or by telephone today.