When an individual is injured by the negligence of a medical professional, the damages can be quite extensive. A medical malpractice victim may suffer serious physical and emotional pain and suffering and the financial losses can be ruinous. In cases where hospital negligence results in death, the extent of these damages can increase exponentially for surviving family members. Although a wrongful death lawsuit may prove beneficial in helping surviving family members recover compensation for their damages, the legal process involved in a successful claim can be quite challenging and sometimes burdensome.
One of these legal issues is discovery. In short, discovery is the process through which one party to a case obtains information held by another party to the case. The information sought must be relevant to the issue in question, and it must not be privileged. These privileges include the attorney-client privilege and spousal privilege.
Why is discovery important to the civil litigation process? First, it allows one side to figure out what information the other side is using to develop its legal arguments. Therefore, once this information is obtained, a party can anticipate the other side's arguments and create counter-arguments. Second, conducting discovery can allow a party to see what evidence the other side holds that can be damaging to his or her own claims. With this information in hand, a party can seek ways to strengthen its case before entering negotiations or litigation.
Discovery can be a great way to ensure that one can proceed with a civil claim with confidence. There is nothing worse than going into a courtroom and being surprised by unexpected evidence. However, there are very specific rules that apply to discovery, and failing to abide by them can result in unwanted consequences. Therefore, those who are considering pursuing a wrongful death claim may want to turn to a qualified legal professional for assistance.