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Personal Injury Lawsuits: Understanding the “Discovery” Process

In any lawsuit, parties being sued have the right to know why they are being sued and what evidence is being used to support the claims against them. To these ends, the process of obtaining and producing information during a lawsuit is called “discovery”. If you are pursuing a personal injury claim, discovery is a time-intensive exercise that your attorney will need your timely cooperation. And therefore, it is a process that you should familiarize yourself with.

Mandatory Discovery

The timeline for discovery begins to run when a person files a personal injury lawsuit. As a starting point in the discovery process, the parties must make mandatory “initial disclosures” without a request from the other parties. This includes the following:

  • A Witness List — The name and contact information of “each individual likely to have information” about the claim.
  • Production — All documents, electronic information, and tangible things in the possession or control that may support a claim or defense, including for impeachment or rebuttal.
  • Medical providers — The identity of each medical provider relevant to a personal injury claim, to allow the opposing side to obtain the authorization to get medical records.
  • Damages — A party seeking damages must compute the damages in each category and must make available all documents and materials relating to the nature and extent of the injuries that led to those computations.
  • Insurance policy — Any insurance agreement that may cover all or part of a judgment, or limit coverage.

Mandatory discovery is only the beginning of the discovery process, as Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure Rules 26 through 37 allow for parties to also ask for other information via:

  • Interrogatories — Written questions that each side must answer.
  • Depositions — testimony under oath in the presence of a court reporter.
  • Admissions — Questions that ask the other party to “admit” or deny” a series of statements under oath.
  • Further Production — The production of specific documents beyond what is already required under mandatory disclosures.
  • Expert Witnesses — Any witness who can provide an expert opinion based on qualifications within their field. A party must disclose the experts they plan to rely on, their perspective opinion, the basis of that opinion, and their qualifications to render their expert opinion.

It is critical to work closely and promptly with your personal injury attorney when it comes to discovery. Failure to accurately or timely provide discovery can jeopardize or end your ability to obtain damages.

Contact The Personal Injury Attorneys at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.

If you have been injured as a result of the neglect or recklessness of another, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P. is an award-winning law firm that offers unparalleled service to people pursuing personal injury claims. Our attorneys are experienced, smart, and proven professionals who have successfully obtained millions of dollars for our clients. Contact Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a free case consultation or contact our office through our website.

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