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FAQs About Discovery In California Personal Injury Cases

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While it is true that the majority of personal injury cases settle before even getting to court, there is still a good chance that you will need to file a lawsuit to ensure you receive fair compensation. Once you initiate litigation, there is a special set of rules that applies to the exchange of information between the parties. The concept of discovery is a way to gain access to the details that may be presented at trial and narrow the factual issues. California’s Civil Discovery Act is quite broad in nature, allowing parties to obtain information on any non-privileged topic that is relevant to the subject matter of the case. Discovery relates to the claim the plaintiff is attempting to prove, and it covers any defenses.

The details about discovery are complicated, but you have peace of mind knowing that your Oakland personal injury lawyer will handle the process. Still, because you may have helpful input and might be required to participate, an overview is useful. 

What types of discovery are aimed at physical information?

A party can obtain access to certain facts and information via requests for:

  • Inspection of documents, things, and places: In a personal injury case, your medical records will be important for showing the severity and nature of your injuries.
  • Physical and mental examinations: Even though you are being treated by your own physicians, you might be required to undergo another exam by doctors who work for the insurance company. 

How do interrogatories work?

This type of discovery is a way of posing written questions to the other party, who is required to respond under oath or state the reasons for a lack of response. The questions may be both closed and open ended, and you will work closely with your lawyer to provide the information sought.

How do requests for admission work?

Requests for admissions are similar to interrogatories, except that the format is a statement of a fact accompanied by a request to confirm or deny the fact.

 Will I have to appear for a deposition?

It is likely that you will be called for a deposition by the other side, but the proceeding takes place at an office instead of a courtroom. Along with you and your attorney, opposing counsel and a court reporter will be present. You will be sworn in and questioned by the other lawyer about key facts in the case, of which you have personal knowledge.  Most depositions during the Covid era have been by Zoom instead of having everyone physically in one place. 

What does “under oath” mean?

Responses to discovery must be given under oath, and a related concept is being sworn in for your deposition. This means that you are attesting that your answers are true and correct, just as if you were testifying in court on the witness stand. There are serious penalties for perjury. 

Trust Our Oakland Car Accident Attorneys to Handle Discovery Details 

You can count on our team at Venardi Zurada, LLP to deal with written discovery, and we will be at your side for a deposition. For more information, please contact our offices in Oakland, Orinda, or Redding, CA to set up a complimentary case review.

Resource:

leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayexpandedbranch.xhtml?tocCode=CCP&division=&title=4.&part=4.&chapter=&article=

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