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All Press Releases for January 10, 2014 »
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New discovery rules in Minnesota could expedite your car accident case

A change to legal rules governing the early stages of car accident cases and other civil matters could benefit you.
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    January 10, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- If you have not been involved in a lawsuit before, you might not be familiar with the process of discovery. Discovery begins long before any potential trial, and it is essentially comprised of each side requesting certain kinds of information from the other through a formal legal process.

Discovery is very important, and it can be critical to getting the evidence you need to win your car accident lawsuit. On the other hand, it can also be cumbersome, expensive and time consuming.

In civil lawsuits, like a car accident case in pursuit of monetary damages, the discovery process is governed by the Rules of Civil Procedure. Several amendments to the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure took effect in 2013, and these changes could mean a quicker resolution of your case when you take legal action in the wake of a car accident.

Changes discourage abuse of discovery, help get parties talking

Discovery is meant to facilitate, not impair, the legal process. Yet, in some cases, discovery is misused. Sometimes this is an intentional tactic used by one side to drain the other of time, resources and patience, but in other instances discovery merely becomes overbearing because those involved lose their perspective. For example, when one side requests a hundred documents as part of discovery when a dozen would have likely adequately fulfilled their need, it takes the other side an undue amount of time and expense to produce the extra documents.

A portion of the new rule changes in Minnesota is meant to help prevent discovery from being misused in this way. One new addition requires the scope of discovery to "comport with the factors of proportionality, including without limitation, the burden or expense of the proposed discovery weighted against its likely benefit, considering the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, the parties' resources, the importance of the issues at stake in the action, and the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues."

Another change to the rules includes a specific timetable for the parties to communicate with each other about discovery. Rule 26.06 now states in part that the parties must "confer [on discovery] as soon as practicable -- and in any event within 30 days from the initial due date for answer."

While the 30 day requirement may get things moving in cases where one or both sides are being sluggish, it has already proven to be a boon in another way: requiring a discovery conference gets parties talking to each other. Simply opening a line of communication often leads to cases being settled earlier. Resolving a case quickly tends to be beneficial for both sides; in a car accident case, the plaintiff gets the money he or she needs faster, the defendant gets to wrap things up and move on to other matters, and both sides save the expense and potential headaches that can accompany drawn out litigation.

Talk to a Minnesota car accident attorney today to get help with your case

If you have suffered serious injury in an accident, the new changes to the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure could directly benefit you. Get in touch with a Minnesota car accident attorney today to take advantage of the new rules and to ensure you get the full, fair compensation you deserve in a timely fashion.

Article provided by McSweeney & Fay, P.L.L.P.
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