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What Is Written Discovery, And Why Am I Answering It?

Written discovery, also known as discovery requests or interrogatories, is a legal process in which one party to a lawsuit seeks information and evidence from the other party through written questions or requests for documents. Written discovery is a crucial part of the pre-trial discovery process in civil litigation, allowing parties to obtain relevant information and evidence from each other in order to prepare their case for trial.

Written discovery serves the purpose of allowing parties to gather information and evidence to build their case, uncovering relevant facts, identifying potential witnesses, and obtaining documents or other evidence that may be used in court. It helps parties to prepare for trial, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their case, and facilitate settlement negotiations. Compliance with written discovery requests is typically required by law, and failure to respond or provide requested information may result in sanctions or adverse consequences in the litigation process.

When parties cannot come to a settlement agreement, oftentimes a lawsuit must be filed.  After a lawsuit has been filed by the plaintiff, and the defendant or defendants have answered, “discovery” is conducted.  Oftentimes, clients are confused as to the questions they are asked and the documents they are asked to produce.  This is a process known as “written discovery”.

Though discovery typically includes other things such as depositions, the main focus here is on the written discovery that you, as a client, are sent. Written discovery typically involves several types of requests, including:

1. Interrogatories

Interrogatories: Written questions that one party serves on another party, who is required to provide written answers under oath. Interrogatories may cover a wide range of topics, such as the facts of the case, relevant documents, witnesses, and legal theories.

These are questions that the opposing side asks you in written form.  There is usually a limit to how many they may ask.  Here, they will ask questions such as “Where were you heading on the day of the accident?” or “Where had you been prior to the accident on August 10, 2016?”  It is important to answer these questions truthfully, as you are swearing to them being true.  If your answer changes later on in a deposition or at trial, the opposing side will most likely use this against you to make you sound untruthful.

2. Requests for Admissions

Requests for Admission: Written requests for the other party to admit or deny the truth of certain facts or the authenticity of documents, which can help streamline the litigation process by narrowing the disputed issues.

Requests for Admission are pretty self-explanatory; in them, the opposing side will ask you to admit or deny certain facts.  For example, in an accident regarding a car wreck that happened on August 10, 2016, they may ask you to admit or deny that you were involved in an accident on August 10, 2016.  It may seem silly, but this helps to save time and money by allowing the attorneys to not have to argue over certain facts.  If both sides concede they were at the same time and place when the accident occurred, they both know they don’t have to prove it in a trial.

3. Requests for Production

Requests for Production of Documents: Written requests for the other party to produce specified documents or tangible items relevant to the case, such as contracts, emails, reports, or other records.

Requests for Production are when the opposing side asks you to produce certain documents.  In a car accident case, as the plaintiff, you would typically be expected to provide things to back up your damages claims.  If you are claiming you are injured, you will need to produce medical records and billing.  If you are claiming you missed work because of the accident, you will need to produce documents supporting the missed time and your pay rate.  It is important to timely produce these documents to the defendant(s) or they may not be admissible at trial.  If you do not have the evidence to support your damages at trial, the court may not let you recover from them.  It is up to your attorney to determine what documents the defendant is entitled to.  You are allowed to object to producing documents, and it is up to the opposing side whether they want to take it up with the court.

4. Requests for Inspection

Requests for Inspection: Requests to inspect and/or photograph tangible property or premises, such as a vehicle, a piece of equipment, or a location relevant to the case.

Requests for inspection may be made by serving a formal written request on the opposing party or their attorney, specifying the items or premises that are being requested for inspection, and the purpose for which the inspection is sought. The requested items or premises could include a wide range of tangible objects or locations, such as vehicles, buildings, machinery, equipment, products, or other physical items that are relevant to the lawsuit.

5. Requests for Medical or Mental Examinations

Requests for Medical or Mental Examinations: In cases involving personal injury or mental health issues, requests for the other party to undergo a medical or mental examination by a qualified professional.

Requests for medical or mental examinations are typically made by serving a formal written request on the opposing party or their attorney, specifying the type of examination being requested and the purpose for which the examination is sought. The requested examination may be conducted by a qualified healthcare provider, such as a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other relevant medical or mental health professional.

About Herrman & Herrman Personal Injury Lawyers

Written discovery can be tedious but it is the backbone of your claim.  It is important to have an experienced attorney to help guide you through this process.  If you feel as though you’ve been wrongfully injured, contact the lawyers at Herrman & Herrman to evaluate your claim today.

With over 100 years of combined experience among the legal team of Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., our Texas personal injury attorneys have successfully resolved over 20,000 cases. When representing injured Texas residents, we fight for justice against wrongdoing and aggressively pursue the best resolution to complex personal injury claims.

If you or a loved one was injured, please contact us for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., is a locally based law firm focused on holding negligent individuals and companies accountable for their wrongdoing. We are not a personal injury mill that advertises nationwide. We provide individualized advocacy in attending to all aspects of claims that involve. Our firm has offices in the following locations: Corpus ChristiCorpus Christi South SideBrownsvilleMcAllenSan AntonioHouston, and Ft. Worth, TX.

We remain by our clients’ side, handling all aspects of their claims and attending to all legal, medical and financial needs. That dedication is combined with experience, legal knowledge, and insight from a former insurance adjuster and several former insurance defense attorneys. Whether our clients are suffering from physical pain from an accident or the emotional grief of death, we treat clients with compassion. We put their mind at ease during difficult times by answering their questions concerning the length of their claim, medical bills, financial compensation and their overall need for a lawyer.