In a previous blog, we discussed the initial overview of commencing a civil complaint when negotiations break down when attempting to settle a personal injury claim (e.g., car, truck, motorcycle and bicycle accident, trip/slip and fall, dog bite/attack, etc.). This post will generally discuss four methods of conducting discovery on the at-fault party: General or Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, Request for Production of Documents and Depositions. General or Form Interrogatories are a standard packet-based collection of questions that cover a very wide range of topics. From basic contact information of the responding party to insurance information to medical treatment requests, Form interrogatories are a quick and easy way of obtaining a lot of information from the opposing party. What’s more, the questions are already typed out for your convenience; all you have to do is check the questions you want the opposing party to answer. Form interrogatories can be found here. Special interrogatories are written questions sent to the opposing party that are much more specific than form interrogatories. These questions seek very specific answers and are often used when the information sought is not found withing the form interrogatory list. Under California law, you are only allowed to ask 35 special interrogatories. If you need to ask more than the 35, you’ll have to provide a declaration to the opposing party indicating, in a nutshell, why more questions are necessary. A Request for Production of Documents is exactly what it sounds like. This request seeks documentation that goes to the subject matter of the litigation (e.g., insurance records, phone records, medical records, etc.). Lastly, the deposition is a formal question and answer session between a party or witness in the subject litigation and an attorney. An attorney does not depose his own client, only the opposing party or witnesses. A deposition is conducted before a court reporter and is recorded. It is conducted under oath and will become a permanent record in the matter. Depositions in a personal injury case typically last only a couple hours for minor accidents with minor injuries, but can legally last up to seven hours for more complex matters. An attorney will question the injured party about the nature of their accident, the injuries they sustained, the medical treatment they have and will receive, the claims they are making against the at-fault party, and pretty much anything else they want to know. Our Personal Injury lawyer has extensive experience with litigation discovery and can address your questions related to personal injury litigation. Feel free to contact The Steven Dhillon Law Firm anytime, day or night.
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