After filing a petition in a car accident against the driver-at fault, the court trails would require information from both the parties in order to use as proof in the case. This method can be known as the discovery phase. ‘Discovery’ is nothing but an investigation process that the attorneys have to do after the lawsuit has been filed. The information obtained from this discovery phase is essential for the jury to understand the strength and weaknesses of the case and it will serve the purpose while trials take place in the court.
One party can seek information for case related documents, identities of persons involved and other relevant queries may be done but there is a certain limitation to this. There are 10 important things that you should know about the discovery phase of car accident lawsuit which is as follows:
Medical records– Information can be obtained about the injuries causes, medical treatment that will be needed and the expenses for the same.
Independent medical examination– At times, the lawyers can ask for second opinions from the doctors regarding the sustained injuries and the cost of treatment. This is known as Defense Medical Examinations where the insurance companies and their lawyers would perform the physical examinations by their selected professionals.
*Attention lawyers: Contact Brad Nakase if you need seo tips for attorneys.
Insurance coverage– Under the discovery act, the insurance coverage of the driver at fault needs to be produced upon request. The nature and limitations of the whole policy have to be produced for disclosure.
Confidentiality– Under this, no person shall reveal any information in any form. This includes client-lawyer relations, employee witness, corporate employees, etc. Confidentiality about all the medical records has to be protected and this obligation has to be strictly adhered to.
Interrogatories-This process involves sending written questions to both the parties to discover important information. The answers have to be given by the receiving party under an expletive. The complainant can ask for answers from the party at fault in the first instance. Though it won’t affect the counter questions that the plaintiff will receive, it will give an idea to the latter regarding the claims of the defendant.
Document production- Request will be made to both the parties for sending document proofs like income proof, medical bills, receipt for repairs, and other relevant documents.
Depositions- In this, the information is not generated on a written basis. Rather, there is a face to face conversation between the lawyer and the deposed.
Identity of witness- Under the discovery phase, any party can obtain discovery for witnesses who have the knowledge of a discoverable matter.
Business records- Sometimes, parties that are not involved in a car accident can also be questioned. For example, businesses might not be involved in an accident but it may have some of the essential documents that are relevant to your case. It can be your employment history or information regarding past earnings.
Third-party privacy rights– The law protects the privacy of the third parties who are not involved in a case. There are certain limitations within which information about a third party can be obtained.