The legal process of discovery is unfamiliar to most people. But when you must pursue a case against an insurance company through litigation, discovery — the ability to obtain certain information or documents from the opposing side — is key to building a strong case.
However, not all requests for information are allowable. You and your attorneys have the right to object to specific interrogatories, document requests, or admissions. On what basis might you object to a request? Here are a few of the most common.
Questions and requests to admit or deny something must be relevant to the facts of the case at hand. Discovery is not simply a fishing expedition by your insurer or your old employer, for example. You may object and state why the item is irrelevant.
Well-worded admissions or interrogatories seek a specific point of information. But, through bad intent or inexperience, another party might ask a question that's simply too broad for the specific circumstances. For instance, you may object if the other side asks for all your medical records. They should pinpoint particular needs better.
Along with overly broad requests, overly vague requests may be an attempt to get more information than the other party has a right to. Asking you how you felt after an accident is an example of vague wording that can't be answered confidently.
Invasion of Privacy.
What may be kept private depends on the circumstances of the case, of course. In many situations, details about your Social Security number, financial condition, tax information, unrelated medical details, or social media information may be outside the purview of the case.
A legal case is generally a burden on both sides, but is something being requested during discovery unduly burdensome? If the insurance company requests a binder of photocopies that they could easily obtain on their own, it may be appropriate to object to the unnecessary burden on you.
The concept of an argumentative discovery request may be confusing. It essentially calls for an assumption in order to answer. For example, if the insurance company's lawyer asks when you stopped drinking the day of the accident, the question assumes that you had been drinking. If this is not a previously-determined fact of the case, they may be trying to argue a point prematurely. You may object based on this assumption.
Where to Learn More
Clearly, answering interrogatories, providing admissions, and responding to records requests can be complicated. You have the right to object, but you also don't want to frustrate the court by objecting at inappropriate times. Protect your rights and complete discovery with confidence by meeting with an experienced insurance litigation attorney in your state today.
Reach out to a company like Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval, LLP to find out more.Share
8 August 2022