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What is Discovery?

What is Discovery?

What is Discovery?The parties in a personal injury lawsuit often need to collect certain information from one another to move forward with the case. The process by which parties collect such information is called discovery.

If you have been injured in Texas and you plan on filing a personal injury lawsuit, your personal injury lawyer will likely request discovery from the defendant in your case.

Therefore, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the discovery process. In this article, we discuss the discovery process.

Discovery Defined

Discovery DefinedDiscovery is a process by which personal injury attorneys and their clients gather important case-related information. The discovery process allows the parties involved in a personal injury lawsuit to request information from one another.

In addition to helping each party understand what information the other has, discovery can reveal key evidence in a case or information that may lead to the uncovering of such information. The discovery process is designed to help personal injury lawyers prepare for their cases and avoid unexpected surprises.

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Discovery Rules in Texas

In Texas, the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure establish the rules for the discovery process. According to these rules, the parties to a case are entitled to relevant information as long as it is not privileged. The purpose of the discovery rules is to allow all parties to a legal dispute broad access to relevant information.

The Discovery Process in Texas

The discovery process in the state of Texas consists of four main parts: (1) interrogatories; (2) request for documents/production; (3) request for admissions; and (4) depositions. As discussed below, each of these types of discovery are intended to provide the parties to a personal injury lawsuit with different types of information.

Interrogatories

Interrogatories are a type of discovery that provide attorneys and their clients with a straightforward manner of gathering key information about a personal injury case. Specifically, interrogatories are written questions from one party to another about a case. The recipient of interrogatories must answer each question completely and under oath.

Common issues that are addressed in interrogatories include:

  • Insurance information
  • The names of all witnesses who will be called
  • The names of any expert witnesses who will be called
  • An explanation of the events that caused the accident
  • The names of any other parties who may be responsible for the accident
  • A list of evidence that will be used in the case
  • Information regarding losses, including medical bills and lost wages

Your attorney will help you draft relevant interrogatories to send to the opposing party. They can also help you answer any interrogatories you receive.

Requests For Production of Documents

A request for documents is a part of the discovery process that allows parties to request specific documentary evidence from one another. In other words, this is the part of the discovery process in which the parties exchange actual evidence upon request.

A party may respond to such requests by providing copies of the requested documents, allowing the other party to review such documents and make copies of them, or objecting to them.

Common types of documents requested in a personal injury lawsuit include:

  • Medical records
  • Treatment records
  • Doctor’s notes
  • Medical bills
  • Employment records that demonstrate missed work
  • Reports of damage
  • Photographic or video evidence of the accident scene
  • Photographic or video evidence of any injuries
  • Accident reports
  • Police reports

Other documents or evidence may apply, depending on the facts of your case.

Requests For Admissions

A request for admissions is a discovery document that includes a list of allegations about the case. The recipient of the request for admissions is asked to either admit or deny each listed allegation.

The purpose of a request for admissions is to narrow the issues in a case so that the parties don’t waste time on issues that aren’t contested. When a party in a personal injury lawsuit admits certain facts, this eliminates the need for the other party to have to prove such facts at trial.

Depositions

Finally, a deposition is a witness’s out-of-court testimony that is used to gather information as part of the discovery process. The witness in a deposition is required to answer the questions under oath.

Depositions are typically either recorded by a court reporter or electronically. Depositions are used by the parties to negotiate a settlement or build a case strategy.

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Contact an Austin Personal Injury Lawyer for Help During the Discovery Process

If you’ve been injured in the state of Texas, you need an Austin personal injury lawyer on your side. An attorney will help you throughout the duration of your case, including during the discovery process. Contact us at (512) 982-9328 to get a free consultation with our experienced attorneys at FVFV Law.

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