In Part 1 of this series we discussed the first of four discovery tools, the deposition. Here are the other three processes used to collect evidence to prepare for a nursing home neglect cases.
Requests for Production of Evidence
Another very common method of discovery is a request for documents. In these requests for production, one party asks the other for physical evidence, in the form of documents or related materials, that have a bearing on the dispute. These requests can be extensive, asking for all manner of documents such as billing statements, real estate closing documentation, employment and other contracts, even pictures or other documentary evidence. This may even be a physical investigation of objects. An expert may be called in by either side to inspect something pertinent to the dispute.
Document production can lead to rather voluminous results. In injury cases involving seniors there may be a backlog of paperwork, medical records, daily reports, and similar information. As communication and digitization have become the norms, both social media communication (including text messages) as well as digital records are now including in discovery requests. Increasingly, courts are allowing access to computer files as part of document discovery..
Yet another method of retrieving information is through written questions posed by one side to the other. These written questions are called interrogatories. These questions are to be taken as if asked in court or a deposition, as fully and truthfully answered under penalty of perjury. While not complete, the range of questions that can be asked in Interrogatories can be wide, because they are simply attempting to get a version of events constructed. However, some questions may be overbroad and therefore not answered. The right interrogatory questions are narrow enough are questions that are closely related to specific evidence needed, but broad enough to invite a wide range of responses.
Requests for Admission
A second kind of written questions come in a different form. In this case, rather than more open-ended questions, one side submits specific questions asking the other side to admit or deny the statements made in each request. Usually this is designed to limit the issues in disagreement at trial.
Get Legal Help
As always, when trying to better understand these unique issues, it is critical to get information from an experienced nursing home abuse attorney. Discovery remains a critical part of all nursing home neglect cases–perhaps “the” critical phase. It is here where the true nature of the situation is revealed and information that will decide the fate of the matter is brought to light. It takes a skilled attorney to fully appreciate what information may be available and how best to acquire information. Experience is paramount. You will want to secure a law firm that has a track record of success on these exact cases. That record is an indication of past skill in all phases of the civil law process including discovery.
For help with these matters in the Chicagoland area (or throughout Illinois), please reach out to our team at Levin & Perconti today.