In the recent past, the federal courts have changed their rules related to discovery to account for electronic information in civil cases such as wrongful death and personal injury files. Discovery is the process by which the injured person can get information and documents from the at fault party who hurt them. Lawyers representing injured people need to focus on these new rules and the changes caused by the increase of electronic data on computers. Nowhere is this issue more pressing than in cases where the defendant is a big corporation like a railroad insurance company or other corporation.
I have recently attended seminars that have focused on the question of electronic discovery and making sure that plaintiff’s lawyers get all of the electronic information that they are entitled to. One type of injury case where this comes up a lot is in crossing accidents, where a train hits a car at a railroad grade crossing. One key piece of evidence in railroad crossing cases is the black box or event data recorder from the train. Experienced F.E.L.A. or railroad crossing lawyers know that the process by which this data is downloaded and how it can be manipulated by the railroad. Thus, in this type of case, we typically hire an electronic data expert to help us develop a plan to make sure that we are getting all original data in its native form, rather than copies of information that have been changed or filtered by the railroad after causing the injury. Of course, this all takes time and money to do properly. All the more reason to pick a lawyer with significant experience in dealing with electronic discovery and fighting major corporations as defendants as our firm does.