This is a question that we get asked all the time, and many victims are surprised to learn that, when you file a lawsuit, your life becomes an open book.
Regardless of whether you are a victim of employment discrimination, and automobile accident or medical malpractice, if you file a lawsuit you can expect certain requests from the lawyers representing the defendant. These include:
- Medical releases for any medical treatment that you have had since the incident – they are entitled to this information because it relates to your damages.
- Medical releases for any medical treatment during the past several years – they are often also entitled to this information because it can relate to any preexisting conditions that you may have had.
- Authorizations for the release of records relating to your employment – they are generally entitled to these because, again, they relate to your potential damages.
If you have things in your medical history that are personal (many people do), talk you your lawyer about what, if anything, can be done to protect this information from being disclosed during the lawsuit.
Not all information necessarily has to be given to the other side – and remember, just because it may have to be disclosed before a trial, this does not mean that it would ever necessarily come out during a trial.
Another point during which personal information will be discussed is the deposition. This is where you, as the plaintiff, have to answer questions from the defense lawyer about your claims, your injuries and other areas. Defense lawyers often get very thorough during these depositions, sometimes asking questions that go as far back as high school or earlier. For the most part these are non-threatening questions, but it's important for anyone contemplating filing a lawsuit to understand everything involved, and this includes the often deep investigation into their past.