Nagel Rice, LLP discusses the discovery process in medical malpractice cases.

What Is the Discovery Process in a Medical Malpractice Case?

The discovery process in a medical malpractice case allows both sides to obtain information from the other party that relates to the claims in the case. The parties may also obtain statements and copies of documents from the other party. Discovery is an extremely important phase in a medical malpractice case because it allows you to gain information from the defense that you can use as evidence at a trial.

However, the defense can also obtain information from you regarding the case. A New Jersey medical malpractice attorney familiar with the discovery process aggressively pursues information from the other party while carefully monitoring the information requested from you to ensure that it is a legal request related to the case.

What Type of Information Will the Defense Request During the Discovery Process in a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Each case is different. Therefore, it can be difficult to state what a defense attorney may request during a medical malpractice claim. However, some common requests during discovery include:

  • Copies of medical records from before and after the alleged incident of malpractice.
  • Names and contact information of expert witnesses the plaintiff intends to use at trial or rely upon during the case.
  • Information regarding medical literature and medical references the plaintiff intends to use as evidence.
  • Copies of tax returns, pay advice, and other information related to allegations of loss of income.
  • Evidence related to out-of-pocket expenses included in damages, such as receipts, bills, and invoices.
  • Names and contact information for all witnesses the plaintiff intends to call at trial.
  • Information related to the plaintiff’s social media accounts and online blogs.

How Do Defendants Obtain Information During Discovery?

Interrogatories and requests to produce are used during discovery to obtain information and documents from the plaintiff. A request to produce is a list of documents the defendant wishes to obtain from the plaintiff. Interrogatories are questions for the plaintiff to answer. The responses to interrogatories and requests to produce are provided under oath. Both parties have an ongoing obligation to update the responses to interrogatories and requests to produce if new information or documentation comes to light.

However, the defendant may also schedule several depositions to discover information during a medical malpractice case. The defendant may wish to depose the plaintiff, witnesses, and expert witnesses. A deposition is a testimony provided under oath. The questions and answers are recorded and transcribed by a court reporter or other person authorized to administer oaths. Because the rules of evidence do not apply in depositions, the parties may ask questions they may not necessarily be allowed to ask at trial. Therefore, depositions can be extremely useful for gathering evidence in a medical malpractice case.

Contact a New Jersey Medical Malpractice Attorney If You Have Been Injured Because of Medical Negligence or Medical Errors

Medical errors and medical negligence can result in severe injuries, disabilities, and death. If you or a family member has suffered an injury because of medical malpractice, you may want to contact a New Jersey medical malpractice attorney to discuss your legal rights. Time to file a claim is limited, so act now to protect your right to seek justice for yourself and your family. Schedule a consultation with our New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers today to discuss your options for filing a claim.