ANSWER: We can obtain a lot more information after a case is filed than we can beforehand, by using the discovery tools authorized by the Rules of Civil Procedure. While most of the available information from third party sources will have been collected prior to filing a lawsuit, discovery allows you to ask questions directly of the other side and requires the responsible parties to answer. This usually begins with interrogatories, which are written questions, and requests for production of documents or other things, which the other side answers with the assistance of counsel. You will also receive similar discovery from the other side and your attorney will help you answer as well. The next step usually involves depositions of all parties, which is a conversation each client has with the opposing party’s counsel in the presence of their own attorney. Other people may be deposed such as your medical doctors, liability or damage experts and other witnesses who have relevant information. The parties may file various motions during the discovery phase and once discovery is complete there are often other motions filed by the defendant to dismiss the case or by the plaintiff to establish certain aspects of this case before proceeding to trial. Preparation for trial involves analyzing all of the evidence collected during the discovery process and deciding what to present at trial. It may also involve a number of motions to exclude or limit evidence or otherwise gain tactical advantages at trial. Ultimately, the court will schedule a pre-trial conference where a lot of these issues are resolved shortly before trial. Trial can take anywhere between a few days to many weeks depending upon the complexity of your case. Preparing your case for trial takes a lot of time and effort and involves many choices along the way.