What Is The Discovery Phase Of A Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawsuit?
For cases in litigation, the discovery process is what all cases go through. The rules for discovery are set forth in the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure, which largely models the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Here are some of the facets of discovery you can expect if your case is already, or expected to be, in litigation.
These are basically written questions that each side to the lawsuit sends to the another’s attorney in the mail. These questions will probe various areas such as your biographical information, your medical treatment from the accident, your prior medical history, how the accident occurred, etc. Each side is limited to 30 interrogatories.
Requests For Production Of Documents
This vehicle asks for documents the other side to the lawsuit possesses. For personal injury cases, such as car accidents, these requests will involve asking for your medical records and bills from the accident, proof of lost earnings, photographs of the accident, and other relevant documents you or your car attorney seeks to obtain and evaluate.
Each side may depose the other party to the lawsuit, and any other person that may have information relevant to the lawsuit. The attorney taking the deposition sends a Notice of Taking Deposition stating the date and time of the deposition to the deponent (or his attorney).
For depositions of corporations, the corporation per Rule 30B6 must designate an individual who has the most knowledge relative to the topics covered in the Notice of Taking Deposition. For example, for a trucking accident case, the injury victim’s lawyer may want to depose an individual from the corporation that owns or services the truck involved in the crash.
Generally when the discovery process has concluded, the pre-trial conference will be held. If the case does not settle, then the case will be tried in court and a verdict will be rendered.
Workers’ compensation cases also go through discovery but in a different and less structured manner.