Understanding the Discovery Process In Nevada

Madeleine Jones
July 10, 2016

Discovery is the procedure that facilitates the collection of evidence that makes it possible to proceed with the case and show that the other party caused a car crash. It is conducted by an individual’s lawyer prior to the case going to trial. The process aims to ensure that there are no evidentiary surprises when the case is put before the court. If you or a family member was seriously injured in car accident, or you lost a loved one, call a Las Vegas accident attorney at Cogburn Law Offices today for a free case consultation.

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understanding the discovery process after a car crash, infographic

In an auto accident case, a Las Vegas injury attorney will conduct various types of discovery. These include the following:

Written Discovery

These involve taking statements through interrogatories, and requests for admissions. These are gathered by providing questions to the other party and witnesses to the accident. These questions are submitted in writing and must be answered under oath. Written discovery also includes requests for documents so that they may be inspected and copied as necessary. In many cases, a car crash lawyer will also seek requests for admission so that the truthfulness and accuracy of facts won’t be disputed in court.

Oral Depositions

Oral depositions are gathered from people who have knowledge of the facts of the case. In a car accident case, they may be taken from the other party, witnesses, police officers, insurance agents, qualified experts, etc. On the designated date of the deposition, the parties to the deposition proceedings will meet with a court reporter, a notary public, or other individual authorized to take sworn statements under oath.

Those being questioned are sworn in before providing their statements. The testimony gathered will be used to pursue the case at trial. A judge is not present at a deposition, so this means that neither counsel can raise evidentiary objections to the information that is requested or provided.

Medical and Mental Evaluations

It is common in car accident cases to request physical examination of the injured party. This is done to prove that an individual has some sort of physical injury that may be the result of a car crash. This may be required by the opposing party’s insurance company or the opposing counsel. This requires the plaintiff to submit to an independent medical examination arranged by the opposing party. The information from this examination may include test results, diagnosis, and conclusions. If the information gathered during the examination is in dispute, it may be countered in court by an examination conducted by the individual’s own physician.

When Disputes Arise

It is not uncommon for disputes to arise during the discovery process. Some requests may be challenged as being irrelevant, too broad, or vague. Disputes can occur when the opposing party’s counsel considers the information requested to be an invasion of privacy, harassment, etc. If the information requests are denied, an individual’s car crash lawyer in Nevada may request the court to intervene via a motion to compel discovery.

Discovery in Nevada

These discovery methods may be used in any order unless the court orders otherwise. There is no time line on the discovery process. These actions can take place at any time the parties agree to meet, and at any location they choose to meet at. In some cases, an opposing counsel may ask for more time to respond to the discovery; this occurs when an individual’s lawyer is concerned that the questions being asked may negatively impact an individual’s rights under the law.

Excluding Information

It is common for new documents, examinations, witnesses, and other evidence to arise between the time a lawsuit is filed, and the time it goes to trial. This new information must be provided to the opposing counsel. If it is not, the opposing counsel can request the court to exclude it from the case.

The Process

Once the request for information has been answered by the defendant, the plaintiff and defendant must meet to exchange information within 30 days. The meeting is arranged by a lawyer who will designate the time and place for the meeting to occur. The information requested can be exchanged at the meeting, or within 14 days of the meeting taking place.

Once the initial disclosures are made, both counsels are required to file an Early Case Conference Report with the court within ten days after the information is received. This report is essentially a listing of all the information the parties have shared with one another.

Discovery in Arbitration

If the car accident case involves sums less than $50,000, it is assigned to the District Court and an arbitrator is assigned. This arbitrator will determine what discovery is allowed and required. They will also set a timeline for depositions, production of documents, etc.

Settling in Discovery

A case can be settled in the discovery process if the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor or the plaintiff. If this occurs, the settlement process will begin immediately foregoing the need to take the case to trial.