When you file a lawsuit and your case is in litigation, you might hear your lawyer refer to starting the discovery phase of your case.
But what is discovery in law? The legal definition of discovery is when each side shares legal information so that all parties understand the facts of the case.
Experienced lawyers recognize the importance of discovery because it allows them to uncover weaknesses in the other side’s case.
Read on to learn more about what is discovery in law and its role in your personal injury case.
What Does Discovery Involve?
The legal discovery definition includes evidence, statements, records, testimony under oath, and more.
It’s crucial to find out what evidence the defendants have so your attorney can prepare your case accordingly.
Discovery might involve in-person meetings, requesting and sending documents, hiring and deposing experts, and more.
The discovery phase is a crucial part of litigation and is mandatory. All litigants must participate in discovery or face court sanctions.
One of the purposes of discovery is to make sure a party is not ambushed by the other side at trial.
Common Types of Discovery
Discovery consists of three main categories: written, oral, and inspection and examination. Under the umbrella of discovery, you’ll find the following.
One attorney presents written questions to the other side, which the defendant or plaintiff must answer under oath.
It’s common to hear interrogatories called “rogs,” for short.
Requests for the Production of Documents
Each side requests copies of numerous documents, such as records, photos, emails, and other items that might be critical evidence during litigation. You might hear these called RPDs or PODs.
Requests for Admission
Also called an RFA, the purpose of requests for admission is to try to get the other side to admit to a fact, fault, or some wrongdoing.
You or someone else might be asked to give a deposition. These are typically in-person meetings with a certified court reporter present who records everything that is said.
Depositions allow lawyers to ask a witness questions, assess their credibility, and clarify certain things.
Each side receives copies of the testimony, which may be called into evidence during a trial if the witness is unavailable.
Inspections and Examinations
One side might request to examine the other side’s property, such as a vehicle. Or, they might ask one of the parties to undergo a medical examination, which might be physical, mental, or both.
Limits on Discovery
Discovery grants parties broad powers, but there are limitations. Parties can’t engage in deceptive practices or delay tactics.
You can’t try to discourage the other side from pursuing a case by using onerous discovery methods.
Requesting information that falls under attorney-client privilege is not permitted either.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you suffered injuries due to another party’s negligence, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
You have legal rights and might be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and other damages.
Pursuing a personal injury claim can be complicated, especially if your case goes into litigation.
The discovery phase is a chance to build a stronger case and improve your chance of receiving maximum compensation.
Contact the experienced lawyers at Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. to learn more about how we can help you with your personal injury claim.