Sample Discovery in Personal Injury Cases
Below are the links to examples of discovery you can use in preparing and defending negligence claims:
- Designation of Experts
- Request for Admissions
- Request for Production of Documents
What Is Discoverable in Maryland?
Rule 400(c) sets out the general scope of discovery in a Maryland personal injury case:
- Scope of Discovery — In General.
Unless otherwise ordered by the court parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action,
- whether it relates to the claim or defense of the party seeking discovery or to the claim or defense of any other party, and
- including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition and location of any books, documents or other tangible things, and
- including any information of the witness or party, however obtained, as to the identity and location of persons having knowledge of any discoverable matter, and
- whether or not any of such matters is already known to or otherwise obtainable by the party seeking discovery, and
- whether or not the information will be inadmissible at the trial, if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
What Does This Discovery Rule Mean for Plaintiffs Bringing a Claim?
This rule means that you are going to get a lot of questions that you don’t like in interrogatories and, more annoyingly, at your deposition. Just because a question seems irrelevant to your case, defense counsel can still ask the question if it might lead to information that could be admissible. Whether our interrogatory responses are substantive or we object depends on how invasive the interrogatory is.
Let’s take an example: do you have a boyfriend? On its face, this is completely irrelevant to the claim you are making, right? What does that have to do with your injuries and the harm that was done to you?
But you are required to answer these types of questions because it could lead to information that would be important at trial. Let’s say you give the name of this boyfriend. The defendants might take his deposition and find out that you had a knee injury hiking just a week before your traffic collision.
How far can the defendants’ attorneys go with this? It is not always clear. It is the job of the plaintiff’s counsel protect their client if the defendant goes too far asking questions that could not lead to evidence that could be used at trial.