Personal Injuries: What Is “Discovery” and Do I Have to Answer?

Doctor reviewing medical files

If you are injured in a car crash, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages against those responsible. As proven personal injury attorneys, we put in the work to maximize compensation for our clients. However, our ability to attain this goal depends on our clients working with us. One of the specific aspects of a personal injury lawsuit where this cooperation is critical is during the “discovery” process.

What is Discovery?

A person or company being sued in a lawsuit has a constitutional right to know why they are being sued so they can defend themselves. Discovery is a legal process, through which parties in a lawsuit can seek information from one another about what relief they are seeking, the laws supporting their positions, and some of the evidence they expect to present at trial.

In a personal injury lawsuit, the Nevada Rule of Civil Procedure 16.1 has mandatory discovery requirements that parties must comply with. Each party must provide to the other the following information:

Production of Records—Each party must provide a copy of all records and the location of tangible things that can be used to support their claims or defenses.

Medical Provider Information—The names and contact information of all medical providers so that the other party can obtain their medical records.

Computation of Damages—The estimation and legal basis of damages that each party seeks.

Insurance Policies—Each party has a right to inspect the insurance policies that may cover the damages relating to the lawsuit.

Witness List—Each party must present the other with a list of every witness it may use to present evidence at trial. Failure to disclose a witness generally prevents a party from calling that witness.

Expert Witnesses—Each party must generally provide a report from any witness who is retained or specially employed by the party as an expert in the case. These are people with specialized education or qualifications to provide opinions in their area of expertise, including treating physicians.

You Must Answer Discovery

To the extent that your attorney needs your assistance, you must provide prompt and thorough answers to their questions. You are in the best position to answer many of these questions and to provide prompt information. Failure to answer these questions can result in significant harm to your claim, as your evidence or witnesses may be excluded and you may be prevented from fully presenting your case. You help yourself when you work closely with your attorney.

Personal Injury Lawyers at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. Help

If you have been injured in a car or truck accident, you need a personal injury lawyer. The attorneys at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P. can help you understand your legal rights and the steps you may take to pursue maximum compensation. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients. Talk to us and we can help you explore your options. Call us today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a free case consultation or contact our office through our website.

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