When Louisiana residents suffer a serious accident, they often have many questions about how the legal process works and which steps are involved. One of the most important parts of a negligence lawsuit is discovery. This is the phase of the trial in which the parties are allowed to request information from the other side about the facts, legal assertions, and witnesses on which they plan to rely at trial. In some cases, the discovery process is relatively straightforward. In other cases, however, it can be very protracted and lead to disputes regarding whether a requested item of discovery is relevant and should be produced. If the parties do not agree about whether a requested document or piece of information is discoverable, they can involve the judge, who will then make a determination.
A recent lawsuit demonstrates why retaining a seasoned Louisiana slip and fall lawyer can help the discovery process run as smoothly as possible. The plaintiff was walking inside a hospital at the time the slip and fall occurred. He was traversing a sloped ramp that joined a skybridge when he slipped and then fell down. The man later brought a lawsuit against the hospital, seeking damages for the injuries that he sustained during the fall. In response to a set of Requests for Admission from the plaintiff, the hospital admitted that the plaintiff slipped on a puddle of water that had resulted from the custodian’s mopping before the plaintiff walked by and that the custodian did not leave the caution signs posted long enough.
Three years later, the hospital asked the court if it could change its response to the Requests for Admission, but the trial court declined the request. The plaintiff moved for partial summary judgment, which he won. The defendant then appealed, arguing that it should have been allowed to change its response to the Requests for Admission and that the court improperly granted the motion for partial summary judgment. The court again rejected the defendant’s attempt to change its responses and upheld the ruling for the plaintiff.
As this case demonstrates, the discovery process can be very long and detailed. Many times, parties try to change their answers to discovery responses as the case progresses. A knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer can help you develop an appropriate discovery strategy for your case and ensure that your rights are protected. This case also illustrates how important it is to think carefully about the responses that the plaintiff sends in discovery, which he or she may not be able to modify later in the litigation.
At Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews Courrege L.C., we have assisted many Louisiana residents with navigating the legal system and with recovering the financial compensation they deserve after a painful and unexpected accident. Our seasoned team of premises liability lawyers will provide you with personalized and compassionate counsel and ensure that you understand each phase of the litigation. We offer a free consultation to help you learn about your potential legal claim and how we may be able to assist you. Call us now at (225) 929-7481 or contact us online.