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Understanding The Discovery Process In A Medical Malpractice Case

3 min read

The discovery process is a part of the timeline of medical malpractice claims. The procedure mainly involves an exchange of information between the two attorneys. The parties may also obtain statements and documents from each other. 

Discovery is meant to help both sides discover facts that can help you with your case. Therefore, it is essential to be prepared for the procedure to avoid any bad surprises. 

Why is the discovery process so important?

The discovery phase in a medical malpractice claim is critical because it allows you to prepare for your case by gaining information from the defense party. You can also use this obtained information against them during the trial.

Which information will the defense request in discovery?

Every medical malpractice case is different. Therefore, the requirements of the defense may vary depending on your specific case. However, some common requests include the following. 

  • Copies of the patient’s medical records before and after the alleged act of malpractice. 
  • Information regarding the medical literature and references you intend to use in the case. 
  • Name and other information of all the witnesses you intend to call at trial.
  • Names and contact information of expert witnesses you intend to call at trial or rely upon for the case. 
  • Evidence related to out-of-pocket expenses includes receipts, bills, and invoices. 
  • Information regarding your social media accounts and blogs. 
  • Copies of tax returns, pay advice, and other information related to allegations of loss of income.

What are the four components of the discovery process?

The four components of the discovery process include: 

  • Interrogatories
  • Documentation requests 
  • Requests for admissions
  • Depositions

Interrogatories

These are a set of written questions sent from one party to another. The other party must answer all of the questions to the best of their ability and knowledge. 

Documentation requests

This is the step where the parties request certain documentation from each other. The parties may choose to provide the document’s copies, deny the request, or provide the other party with an opportunity to review the documents without making copies. 

Requests for admissions

Requests for admissions save your time on uncontested issues. Here, your attorney presents the other party with certain assertions and asks them to deny or confirm. It helps narrow down the scope of issues in your case. 

Depositions

Depositions involve a Q&A session with either a witness or one of the parties in the case. During the session, a court reporter is present to record the conversation. They can be audio or video recorded and used to negotiate a settlement or develop a strategy. 

As you can see, the discovery process can be complicated and has absolutely no room for mistakes. One wrong word can make you lose your entire compensation. Having an attorney by your side will help you avoid costly mistakes. 

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