What are “Defendant’s Requests for Production to Plaintiff”?
When you are involved in a personal injury case and you need to file a lawsuit, one of the earliest things you encounter will likely be a discovery document called a “request for production of documents.” This is just the technical term for a long list of requested materials that your attorney – like the experienced Marietta personal injury attorneys at The Strickland Firm – will help you with. The requests can generally be broken down into a few main categories.
Evidence from the Scene
Both sides in an injury case are entitled to know what physical evidence the other side may possess about the incident. Further, each side is required to provide copies or access to those materials to the opposing side. In an injury case, you may see a requesting materials like this:
“All photos, videotapes, diagrams, plats, and other documents illustrating persons, places, products and tangible things concerning this occurrence, or that are relevant to the subject matter involved in this lawsuit.”
If you have any materials that fit this description, you and your experienced Marietta personal injury attorneys at The Strickland Firm will copy them and provide those copies to the other side (as required by law).
Other commonly requested materials include requests like this:
“All statements (written, recorded, or transcribed) from the Defendant(s) and agents, representatives, employees or former employees of these Defendant(s) concerning this occurrence or relevant to the subject matter involved in this lawsuit.”
If we have materials that fit this description, we provide copies of those to the other side. It is important to remember that while the defense is requesting this information from you, your experienced Marietta personal injury attorneys are requesting the same information from the defense. Many people do not expect that this level of information sharing occurs in a civil case because on television and movies we routinely see a “surprise witness” or a “smoking gun” document that an attorney produces for the first time at trial. While this makes for exciting entertainment, it is not reality. Under most civil rules, each side is entitled to know exactly what evidence the other side possesses – and if a party withholds some evidence, they are usually not allowed to use it at trial an/d or could be penalized by the judge for doing so.
Medical Records and Bills
Another category of documents regularly requested in an injury case include your medical records. WE often see requests like this:
“All medical reports, hospital records, letters, office notes or other documents prepared by physicians or other practitioners of the healing arts or by hospitals, clinics or other institutions that have treated or evaluated you for injuries allegedly received in this occurrence.
In reality, the defense already has copies of all of your medical records and bills because, in most cases, the experienced Marietta personal injury attorneys at The Strickland Firm have provided these documents as a part of the Demand Package before the lawsuit was even filed. However, the defense will serve this request just to be sure that we have provided all of your treatment records and to confirm whether or not you have treated any more since the time of the Demand Package. Because your medical records help us prove the nature and extent of your injuries, there is no down-side to providing this information. At this stage, it is a good chance for your attorney to confirm that their office has all of your treatment records and bills. If for some reason your attorney is not aware that you treated with a particular provider, make sure that you provide this information to your attorney so that they can request those records as well.
The Marietta personal injury attorneys at The Strickland Firm can help you understand your options going forward, and protect your rights if trial becomes necessary. Contact the offices today for a free consultation.