Discovery Legal Definition
“What is Discovery?”
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Discovery legal definition: Discovery is defined as the fact-finding process in legal proceedings. The function of discovery is to allow all parties to prepare a case for a trial. The purpose of the discovery process? For all parties in a case to “discover” the facts through a free flow of information related to each side’s legal claim.
The discovery process occurs after a legal action has been filed, and strict deadlines must be followed. Discovery regulations are set by state rules of evidence.
Discovery and Car Accident Cases
Often the discovery process helps facilitate pre-trial settlements in some cases, including car accident injury claims. After a car accident injury case has been filed, the discovery process begins. The goal is to glean as many facts as possible about the accident and the injuries it spurred.
Through the discovery process, both sides are permitted the opportunity to request information related to:
How the accident occured
The type and severity of your injuries
The injury victim’s driving and medical history
Applicable insurance policies
Failing to comply with a discovery request, or missing a deadline related to the process can be detrimental to your case. Understanding and navigating the discovery process is best done with the help of an experienced car accident injury attorney. If you or someone you care about has been seriously injured in a car accident, call Pribanic & Pribanic today.
Discovery and Medical Malpractice Cases
In medical malpractice cases, the discovery process allows both the plaintiff and defendant the opportunity to request and obtain relevant, claim-related information. During this process:
Both parties can request documents, medical records, and other information
The injury victim will be questioned under oath by the accused doctor’s attorney
The doctor accused of medical malpractice will be questioned under oath by the attorney representing the injury victim
The goal of discovery in medical malpractice cases is to determine several issues:
Did a patient-doctor relationship exist?
What was the nature of the care provided?
Did the care provided cause the alleged injury?
Were the doctor or health care provider’s actions negligent, or did the behavior meet the accepted standard of medical care?
If you’ve been the victim of a medical mistake, and you wish to file a malpractice suit, we recommend first seeking the advice of a skilled personal injury attorney – the discovery process is complex at best. It’s best to have an experienced law firm on your side.
Discovery and Personal Injury Cases
The discovery process is integral to any personal injury case, no matter if you were hurt in a slip and fall or car accident, you were the victim of a medical mistake or defective product.
Generally, there are three types of discovery requests:
Written discovery: Sometimes referred to as interrogatories, these discovery requests seek to determine someone’s version of events related to the case.
Depositions: Both the defendant and plaintiff in a personal injury case are permitted to request witnesses in the case to be deposed. This means that they are questioned under oath about the facts related to the case.
Document reproduction: Attorneys for both the injury victim and the defendant may request that myriad types of documents be reproduced and turned over, including medical records, driving records, and even digital records like emails and text messages.
No matter what kind of personal injury action you may have, it’s imperative to seek professional help with the discovery process. While some parts of a personal injury claim may be effectively handled by a layperson, the discovery process is not one of them.
“If someone has a serious case, they will get a great effort and a great outcome working with us,” award-winning attorney Victor Pribanic of Pribanic & Pribanic told Best Lawyers Magazine.