Discovery is one of many stages in the personal injury claims process, and it begins after your case has been filed in court. The discovery process is the exchange of information between the plaintiff and the defendant. This process is a vital step in your claim because it ensures that both parties have access to the facts surrounding their dispute, and gives them the information they need to make informed decisions during the proceedings.
What Information Is Exchanged In The Discovery Process?
The discovery process typically exchanges broad information about the claim filed. This information may include:
- Facts relevant to the case
- Documents related to the case such as medical bills, photographs, accident reports, insurance policies, and more
- Information on witnesses
- Collected electronic information related to the case including social media posts, voicemails, text messages, e-mails, and more
There are several different processes you may go through to obtain this information, such as:
This is the first step of the discovery process. Each party is required to share basic information with the other party such as a list of all documents that are relevant to the claims that are being made, the names and contact information of persons who may have information relevant to the lawsuit, insurance agreements, and a full description of the damages being sought after.
This is when one party asks the other a list of written questions that are to be answered and may potentially be used later in court if the case proceeds to trial. The court will determine the number of questions allowed.
This is the face-to-face questioning of a witness or party under oath but does not occur inside the courtroom. This sworn testimony is admissible, meaning that it may be used later in court.
Request Document Production
Parties may be asked to provide the other with physical evidence such as employment reports, school records, medical bills, and contracts. However, it is important to note that due to Colorado Civil Procedure Rule 16.1, each party is limited to five requests for production.
Requests for Admission
This is a written request sent from one party to the other, requesting they admit or deny the truth of the statements enclosed. The other party’s answer and response to these questions will be considered under oath. In Colorado, parties generally have 35 days to respond to these requests.
What Information Is Not Disclosed In The Discovery Process?
During the discovery process, much information is exchanged, however, it is important to note that there are limits on the scope of discovery. According to Colorado law, information exchanged between husband and wife, attorney and client, or doctor and patient, can not be required to be disclosed. Additionally, the court limits how much information can be discovered about an individual who is not a party in the lawsuit.
If you have questions about the discovery process, or what information can and cannot be requested, contact an experienced Fort Collins personal injury attorney for help.