Discovery refers to the informational phase during a lawsuit where each side gathers evidence, testimony, and other information relating to a case. Courts will hear and resolve any disputes relating to discovery via the discovery rules of each court.
In Kentucky, the discovery process is governed by the Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure. It starts soon after a lawsuit is filed and allows both sides to seek all essential evidence in a case. Once the parties file a petition, answer, and counterclaims, then the discovery period will commence.
Discovery can take up to several months or even a year or longer to complete. It is essential to get all of the potential information available in your case to avoid missing out on any potential compensation.
If you have questions about discovery related to your case, then you should speak to an experienced attorney in Lexington, KY to get help.
The Main Types of Discovery
There are four main types of discovery in Kentucky personal injury cases:
- Interrogatories: Interrogatories are written questions. Each side submits these questions for the opposing party to answer. These are usually basic questions that lay the foundation for claims.
- Requests for Production: Production requests are written requests/demands to produce and hand over some type of printed document. A party can request several kinds of documents, including medical records, police reports, or a business record of some kind.
- Requests for Admission: Admission requests are written requests/demands for a party to admit to certain facts or circumstances in a case. This is usually done to zero in on the actual issues of the case and avoid litigation on uncontested issues.
- Requests for Disclosure: Disclosure requests are written requests/demands for a party to disclose specific facts that are important to a claim. The Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure outlines what information must be disclosed when requested. Required information involves names of everyone involved, what claims are being made, and how to calculate compensation and recovery.
- Deposition: Parties use depositions to acquire another party’s (deponent) oral testimony under oath. A party’s attorney will ask the deponent questions directly and can follow up with other queries. Depositions typically happen outside of court during the discovery process.
If a party to a case is not complying with the discovery rules or is refusing to turn over discoverable evidence, a court can force them to comply with the discovery rules.
Why Discovery is Important in a Personal Injury Case
The discovery process allows both sides to hear and see the evidence that each party will present in trial. This knowledge will allow both sides to see the strengths and weaknesses of their case and potentially lead to a settlement.
Courts are always interested in efficiency and will try to encourage parties to settle their case if possible. If a settlement agreement is made, then there won’t be a trial, and the case is resolved. A settlement typically means guaranteed money in a plaintiff’s pocket to help with the expenses incurred because of an accident.
Examples of Discovery
Discovery is available in many forms. Examples of discoverable information that are often vital to a personal injury case include:
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Property damage repair estimates
- Photographs depicting important information
- Phone records
- Business records
- Video evidence
These are just some of the potential types of discovery you will encounter in a personal injury case. Any information that is relevant to the parties’ claims is discoverable.
Kentucky State Civil Procedure Limits on Discovery
The Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure limit discovery to information that is relevant and not privileged. The discovery rules preclude parties from asking for and obtaining irrelevant information and information that is considered privileged.
Privileged information includes documents or records that implicate attorney-client privilege, doctor-patient privilege, or other protections. If you have questions about how discovery works and how it might apply to you, contact us at Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP to help.
Get Your Discovery Questions Answered in a Free Consultation Today
If you have been hurt in an accident, it’s natural to have questions. Call us or contact us online for a free consultation with a Lexington personal injury lawyer. Have your questions answered by an experienced professional!