Discovery

By Daisy Rogozinsky
/
March 24, 2022

If you are in a motor vehicle accident and the case is taken to court, part of the legal process will be a phase called discovery. A crucial step in the legal proceedings, discovery often plays a major role in the final outcome of any given lawsuit. In this article, we’ll explain what discovery is and what you can expect from it in a motor vehicle accident case. 

Key Takeaways

  • Discovery is the evidence-gathering process of a civil suit that happens before trial
  • As part of discovery, attorneys can request documents, ask interrogatories, do a deposition, and/or seek expert testimony
  • Discovery requests in motor vehicle accident cases often include things like police reports, medical records, medical bills, vehicle repair receipts, and independent medical examinations
  • If you are party to a motor vehicle accident lawsuit, it is recommended to retain an attorney to help you through the discovery phase 

What Is Discovery?

In a civil suit, discovery is a phase before the trial during which the two parties disclose to one another any documents or evidence that are relevant to the case. The goal of the discovery process is to allow both sides to gather all of the information that might be of use in the case.

As part of discovery, attorneys might request documents and/or evidence, ask for interrogatories (the answers to a written list of questions), depose (interview under oath) the other party, and seek expert testimony. Essentially, it is legal for parties to a lawsuit to request nearly any materials that could possibly lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. 

The Discovery Process for Motor Vehicle Accidents

In a motor vehicle accident case, the attorneys of both the defendant and the plaintiff will seek a variety of types of possible evidence, including:

  • Proof of income
  • Receipts for vehicle repairs
  • Medical records
  • Medical bills 
  • Answers to a list of written questions about the accident
  • Deposition transcripts
  • Independent medical examinations
  • Witness statements 
  • Photographs and videos from the scene of the accident
  • Police reports
  • Insurance policies

Questions that you can expect to see as part of interrogatories and/or depositions include ones about:

  • Personal details like age, address, and place of employment
  • Details of the accident such as where it happened and how
  • Injuries sustained in the accident
  • Necessary medical procedures
  • Any time that was taken off from work
  • Other pain and suffering experienced as a result of the accident

If you find yourself being the defendant in a motor vehicle accident case, it is highly recommended to retain legal counsel to help guide you through this process. From helping you prepare for depositions to making sure that the answers you provide to interrogatories do not incriminate you, experienced motor vehicle accident lawyers are invaluable in helping you get the best possible outcome in your civil case.

Sources

  • https://uk.practicallaw.thomsonreuters.com/8-107-6127?transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)
  • https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/what-is-discovery-in-a-civil-case-30930
  • https://www.newson6.com/story/5e987667cc9ea5695635cd90/what-the-discovery-process-really-looks-like-in-a-car-accident-lawsuit
  • https://www.heslinlawfirm.com/blog/understanding-the-discovery-phase-of-a-car-accident-lawsuit.cfm
  • https://www.kansascityaccidentinjuryattorneys.com/library/what-is-the-discovery-phase-of-a-car-accident/

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