If your personal injury case goes to trial, it may benefit you to learn more about the discovery process and how it may affect your case. Below, we discuss what the discovery process is, why it is important, and the different types of discovery.
If you have any questions about this process, do not hesitate to contact the experienced Cincinnati personal injury attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy for more information. We offer a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.
What Is Discovery?
Discovery is the formal process for attorneys and their clients to gather important information about a pending case. This process allows the parties to learn what information the other party has. It also helps reveal important evidence that is present in the case or information that can ultimately lead to impactful evidence in your case. This process is designed to help attorneys prepare for the case and avoid surprises.
Why Is Discovery Important To Your Case?
Discovery helps your attorney prepare for the case and gather important information to support it. Some of the information that is discovered could later be used against the other party, or to aid either side as it attempts to reach a settlement.
Steps Of The Discovery Process
There are four key actions in the discovery process which include interrogatories, request for documents, request for admissions, and depositions.
Interrogatories provide a straightforward way for attorneys to gather important information about the case. During this stage, one party provides written questions to the other party who must answer each question fully and to the best of his or her knowledge under oath. Common things that are asked in interrogatories include:
- Contact information
- Insurance coverage information and limits
- Identity of any expert witnesses who will be called in the case
- Identity of other witnesses who will be called in the case
- Explanation of how the accident occurred
- Identification of other parties who may share responsibility in the case
- Identification of evidence that will be used in the case
- Information about medical treatment received, lost wages and other claimed losses
Generally, if new information becomes available after the answers are submitted, the party must supplement the answers with the additional information.
Request For Documents
This part of the discovery process is when actual evidence is provided to the other parties by request. Generally, a party may respond to these requests by objecting to them, providing copies of the documents or allowing the other party to review the documents and make their own copies. Requested documents may include:
- Medical records, doctor’s notes and other treatment records
- Medical bills
- Employment records indicating time lost from work
- Damage reports
- Pictures or video of the accident scene and injuries
- Police or accident reports
Request For Admissions
Request for admissions presents a series of allegations to the other party and asks the party to admit or deny each one. This helps narrow the issues involved in a case so that the attorney does not waste time on things that are not contested. If a party admits certain facts, the admission can be introduced as fact during the trial without having to prove anything.
A deposition is a recorded question and answer session with one of the parties involved in the case or a potential witness. The person answering the deposition must answer the questions under oath. A court reporter records the questions and answers, or it may be recorded on video. Depositions are ultimately used to build a legal strategy or negotiate a settlement.
Contact An Experienced Lawyer For Help With Your Case
If you would like more details on the discovery process and how it may impact your case, contact the experienced personal injury team at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, so there are no legal fees. We only get paid if obtain compensation for you.