This post was originally published on May 23, 2016.
The purpose of discovery is to acquire information from the opposing side to be used for the purpose of trial and the eventual resolution of the case.
Interrogatories are part of the discovery process. They are a list of questions modified to the specific case that try to ascertain personal background information of the party; insurance information, the circumstances and specifics surrounding the incident from the perspective of the party; details of all current injuries and medical treatment; any prior incidents that involved the same body parts injured in the current matter; any incidents that took place after the current matter; the party’s medical history and any legal or criminal history; medical expenses and wage loss information; the names and contact information of any factual witnesses and expert witnesses, and a list of any exhibits that may be used for trial purposes.
Request for Production of Documents are also part of the discovery process. They are a list of items requested by the opposing party so that they may have all of the pertinent information to review liability and any injuries to determine who is responsible for the incident and how injured the parties actually are and the details of any treatment. The items requested also include: any investigative materials, a copy of the police report, any statements of the parties or witnesses, copies of photographs and videos, copies of medical records, report and medical bills, out of pocket expenses, wage information including tax returns and W2s, a copy of the insurance policy and declaration pages, expert reports, deposition transcripts, exhibits, and copies of any documents mentioned in answer to the Interrogatories.
The taking of a party’s deposition is also discovery. A deposition is where the party meets with his/her attorney and the attorney for the opposing party in the presence of a Court Reporter, who will take down all of the questions asked and the answers given by the party being deposed. The questions for the most part will be from the Interrogatory questions the party has already answered, but will be in greater detail and further questions most likely will be asked by the attorney for the opposing party.
Sending out subpoenas to acquire documents that have not been provided through the Request for Production of Documents is also considered discovery. The subpoenas may be used to obtain 911 information, criminal information, and documents necessary for the civil suit that are not in possession of the parties or can be readily obtained by the parties to the lawsuit.
Hopefully the above will help the general public have an idea of what attorneys and paralegals do on a regular basis as part of the process to help their clients have successful resolutions to their claims. It is a lengthy process, but be advised that we are with you every step of the way.