Meetings can be scheduled by appointment at various locations for the convenience of our clients. If you can't come to us, we'll come to you.
Baltimore, MD
410.576.4287410.576.4287
Tysons Corner, VA
888.540.2599888.540.2599
By Appointment Only
Bethesda, MD
301.470.7201301.470.7201
Washington, DC
202.659.0555202.659.0555

What Is Discovery?

What is Discovery in a Maryland Car Accident?

There is a lot of activity that goes on outside the courtroom as attorneys are preparing a civil case for trial. Discovery is the pre-trial phase in a lawsuit where the parties use different tools, as designated by Maryland law, to obtain information and evidence about the other side, or sides, in a situation involving multiple parties.

Scope of Discovery

In general, a party may use discovery methods to obtain any information that does not qualify as privileged. Privileged information would include communications between the parties and the lawyers working on the case. The information must also be relevant to the cause of action, relating to a claim or defense of any party. It is important to note that information may be subject to discovery rules even if the evidence would not be admissible at trial. As long as the information sought could lead a party to find information that would be admissible, the discovery would be allowed.

The Purpose of Discovery

Through discovery methods, the parties are seeking to determine the existence, description, condition, and location of documents and tangible things, including electronically stored information, such as email communications. When the respective attorneys have a full picture of the evidence involved in a case, they can better assess the strengths and weaknesses of both sides. The lawyers can also determine which issues they agree upon and where there are contested matters. Often, the discovery process leads parties to engage in settlement discussions rather than go to a full trial, where the risk is considerable.

Methods Used for Discovery

There are different methods allowed by law for parties to engage in discovery. Asking another party for information is a discovery request, and Maryland law allows for five types.

  • Production of Documents: Attorneys use a production of documents request to obtain paperwork that is relevant to their clients’ claims or defenses. In a Maryland car accident case, these documents may include police reports, medical records, statements of witnesses, statements of parties, and other written or electronically stored materials. A party is required to turn over this information as long as it is not privileged, but it is not necessary to give information that is not within the party’s possession.
  • Interrogatories: An attorney may use written interrogatories to ask questions to other parties involved in the litigation. The questions may be “Yes or No,” or open ended. The party answering the interrogatories must give truthful responses to the inquiries because the information is sworn on oath: Dishonesty is a perjury offense that may be punished under Maryland law.
  • Mental or Physical Examinations: It is common in a car accident case for the defendant to use discovery methods to arrange a medical examination of the injury victim. These exams may be mental or physical, depending on the circumstances. A party may want to retain their own medical expert to conduct a mental or physical assessment of the plaintiff, instead of relying on the plaintiff’s medical records. The exam may lead to information that disproves the victim’s claims or supports the defendant’s defense.
  • Requests to Admit Facts: This discovery tool is similar to interrogatories, but instead of supplying questions, the requesting party states facts and asks the other party to admit or deny them. The request for admission may also ask the party to admit or deny the genuineness of a document. Timing is critical when a party receives a request to admit, as the facts are considered as truth by a court if they are not specifically denied within 30 days after service.
  • Depositions: A deposition is a question-and-answer session attended by a party, his or her own attorney, and the lawyer for the requesting party. The process begins with a notice of deposition, requiring the party to appear for the proceeding. There will be a court reporter present to record the deposition through audio and written transcript. At the start of the deposition, the person is sworn in by the court reporter. Like interrogatories, the deponent must give truthful answers to deposition questions, or be subject to the penalties of perjury.

Read Some of Our Recent Client Reviews!

Ashley Poole
Ashley Poole
01:05 08 Nov 18
Attorney Bob Katz and his staff are highly recommend. Customer Service was impeccable. Every phone call and email was responded to in a timely manner. Natalie Ulrich was very professional, helpful and thorough every step of the way, which resulted in a stress free experience. I will recommend this law firm to family and friends!
Tania Jefferson
Tania Jefferson
17:51 06 Nov 18
Customer service was A+. All questions were answered promptly and information was shared appropriately. Concerns were addressed and I was made aware of all updates on my case. I would whole heartedly recommend this firm.
edward Robinson
edward Robinson
03:00 06 Nov 18
I highly recommend Mr. Katz and his staff. They were friendly, compassionate and really showed they had their clients best interest at heart. There was never a time you called them they didn't respond or returned your calls and answer your questions.They took the worry, and stress and turn it into reassurance. They were diligent and just down right professional. My wife and I really thank God for allowing us to cross paths on a professional business experience. Ms. Rebecca Slatery is the most courteous, compassionate soul. We wish you all peace, love and blessings. Thank you for your service.
J JR
J JR
20:11 31 Oct 18
I decided to use this firm again for an accident I was involved in. As always they were professional and caring. Rebecca slattery was the paralegal assigned to my case and she was professional and kept me up to date with everything. I would recommend this firm to friends and family!
Cedric Jones
Cedric Jones
19:04 23 Oct 18
Erica Z is amazing with keeping you to date and staying communication with you during the entire process. Meghan Young was a wonderful lawyer made me feel extremely comfortable in the courtroom and she also fights for the best possible outcome for you..GREAT LAW FIRM
Nguyen Le
Nguyen Le
16:44 23 Oct 18
It was a great experience being taken care of by Rebecca Slattery and Meghan Young, they helped me resolve my case and were very courteous and professional. Highly recommend working with this law firm
Soun Gil
Soun Gil
21:35 17 Oct 18
Ms. Park helped me out through my whole accident process. She took her time with me and made sure I understood everything. I would recommend to her all of my friends if they were to get into any accident.
Yejin Chung
Yejin Chung
15:40 12 Oct 18
I highly recommend. My family’s experience with this office was great. Christina Franetovich was very helpful throughout the whole process, which made this experience less stressful. She responded to my questions immediately and made sure that I understood everything.
Claudette Pope
Claudette Pope
13:18 30 Aug 18
I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
UniversalSniping
UniversalSniping
02:32 04 Aug 18
The lawyer who was initially handling my case parted ways with the company and I was assigned a new lawyer. This new lawyer was amazing! Christina Franetovich made me feel secure by double checking all the facts and notes in my case so that I was not worried during this transition. I was on disability from an a different accident while she was finalizing my case, and I had called and hounded her about the time frame of my settlement very frequently to the point that I felt guilty for calling so much. Christina was very sympathetic to my situation and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the situation would be resolved quickly. She actually finalized my case before the time frame she had given me, was always very courteous and knowledgable on the phone, and I feel extremely lucky that she ended up handling my case because the previous lawyer was not as amazing with customer service as Christina. She also has a way of making you feel comfortable and builds incredible rapport quickly. I am going to highly recommend her to my friends and family. Thank you Christina!!!
Richard Hose
Richard Hose
02:26 27 Jun 18
On Feb 23, 2017 I was in a bad accident on the JFX. I had been rear end by another driver. Almost immediately I felt pressured by the other drivers insurance. Everything from wanting a recorded statement; to failing to acknowledge responsibility. No one would answer my questions, nor would anyone take responsibility. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with everyone from the towing company, to the repair shop, to the insurance company nightmare I just entered. I reached out to Attorney Robert Katz and I was assured they were here to help. He provided with some much needed information, and told me not to worry, Sarah his Paralegal would be in touch to help get things moving. Sarah reached out as expected and explained their process and walked me through what my expectations would be. She as well assured me they were here to help me navigate the obstacles. What Sarah really did was so much more than help. She took the stress and burden off my shoulders and assumed ownership for handling everything on my behalf. I knew what to expect, and I received regular updates throughout the entire process. Honestly, I received so much more than I anticipated. Some of the most frustrating items to chase after are medical records and hospital charges. While I was trying to recall events and timelines, she had already obtained my records and information. She made this process so painless. I truly cannot say enough about the exceptional service she provided. Many thanks for all your help. Sincerely, Richard Hose
Andrea Barajas
Andrea Barajas
15:13 16 May 18
My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
TheOfficalCeeandDee
TheOfficalCeeandDee
15:24 09 Feb 18
My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
Next Reviews