You have a personal injury claim. The other side doesn’t agree to pay you fairly, and you’re suffering physically, emotionally, and financially. You research the law, prepare your claim, and file it in court.
Then, the other side sends you a discovery request. You don’t know what to do. You and your personal injury attorney at Adam S. Kutner Accident & Injury Attorneys will need to strategize the best plan for responding to this request. Here’s what to do if the other side sends you a discovery request.
Understanding a Discovery Request in a Las Vegas Personal Injury Claim
Discovery in a personal injury case allows the parties to learn about the facts of their case and build their evidence for trial. You can conduct discovery by sending a request to another party. You can also conduct discovery by asking a non-party to sit for a deposition or produce evidence that might be relevant to the case.
The purpose of discovery is to help the parties learn about the case and narrow the issues for trial. By learning about the case, the parties might see where the facts of the case can’t be disputed. The defense might see that you have a strong a case, and they might agree to pay you a fair amount without needing to take your case to trial. Alternatively, discovery might help you arrive at your trial date with a strong, clear case to present. The purpose of discovery is to allow the parties to receive a fair trial and have access to the evidence that they need to prepare their case.
What Does a Discovery Request in Nevada Look Like?
A discovery request can take several forms. For example, interrogatories are written questions from the other side. They want you to answer the questions under oath. A request for admissions is another type of discovery request that asks you to admit certain facts about the case. You respond with either admittance or denial of each point.
Another type of discovery request is a request for production. With a request for production, the other side wants you to provide copies of documents and other records. The other party or their attorney must sign a discovery request.
What Are the Rules for Discovery in a Las Vegas Accident Case?
Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure Rules 26-37 talk about discovery in a Nevada civil case. The rules apply to personal injury cases in Las Vegas and all of Nevada. The rules of discovery say that either party can ask for discovery about any matter that’s relevant and not privileged. The rules give timelines for when a party can file a discovery request and how the other side must respond.
The other side has 30 days to answer an interrogatory request. The 30 days begin after service of the request. When a party answers a discovery request, they must either answer the question or state an objection. An objection is a reason that they don’t have to answer the question.
How to Respond to a Discovery Request in a Nevada Accident Case
To respond to a discovery request in a Nevada accident case, you prepare a written document that contains the case information at the beginning of the document. You list each question and then give your response to the question. If you have documents to attach, you state “see attached,” and you attach the records at the end of your response. At the end of your answers, you must include your signature and a statement that your answers are made under oath.
If you object to a question, you state your objection. You must state the grounds for your disagreement. If the other side disagrees with your objection, they can raise the issue before the court. The court decides if you have to answer the question.
Common Objections in Nevada Discovery Cases
There are a number of common types of objections to a discovery request. Common objects to discovery include:
Unduly burdensome – The other side wants a lot of information. It would take so long to produce the information that it’s not reasonable to ask you to provide it.
Irrelevant – What the other side is looking for really doesn’t have anything to do with the case.
Harassment – The other side isn’t honestly trying to prepare their case. They’re just trying to harass you.
Duplicate – The request asks for information that you’ve already produced.
More available to the other party – The other party has access to the information, and they should get it themselves.
The request is too general – It’s impractical to respond to the request without more information.
You can state multiple objections to the same question. You must provide a reason for your objection. It’s not enough just to say that you have an objection.
One of the ways that the defense might try to misuse discovery in a Nevada personal injury case is by asking detailed questions of the plaintiff that are unrelated to the case. For example, the defense might ask you questions that pry into your personal relationships or your medical history. Questions about your personal life or embarrassing medical issues may not have any relevance to the case. If the discovery request contains intrusive or irrelevant questions, rest assured that the defense may be just trying to embarrass you or discourage you. There are things that you can do to object to unfair or irrelevant questions in a discovery request.
What’s the Effect of the Answers to Discovery?
Answers to discovery are admissible in court. It’s the same as if you told the answer to someone else. Either side can seek to admit the responses to discovery as they might otherwise be admissible under the Nevada Rules of Evidence.
Our Nevada Personal Injury Discovery Lawyers
If you use the discovery process well, it can help you build a strong case. If you make errors, you can damage an otherwise great case. Our experienced attorneys can help you respond to your discovery request. We can help you protect against harassment from the other side using the discovery process. Contact our legal team today.