July 15, 2024

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Understanding the “Production Of Documents” Phase in Personal Injury Lawsuits.

What is a Motion to Compel? - Discovery Law Explained

Accidents and mishaps can happen at any place and leave on badly injured. Car accident, slip and fall mishaps, or dog bite cases take place all the time. When one gets into an accident due to someone else negligence, that person can file a compensation lawsuit against the at-fault person. People approach personal injury attorney Hampton VA to handle personal injury lawsuits as such cases can get complicated.

There are times when personal injury claims can’t settle without legal intervention. When this happens, one has the option to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. After filing a legal lawsuit, both parties’ lawyers dedicate their time to collecting and gathering evidence. This is referred to as the discovery process. During the discovery process, lawyers prepare the case strategy based on the evidence and information they have gathered.

The discovery process is an essential part of any lawsuit. Since one has to rely on various tools and methods to uncover the evidence, the discovery process is equally complex. A plaintiff is required to use Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents to collect information from the at-fault party—the majority of lawsuits concerning personal injury use requests for production of documents tool for evidence collection.

What are Requests for the Production of Documents?

During the initial discovery phase in any personal injury lawsuit, the requests for production of documents and interrogatories are used simultaneously.  However, there is an overlap between the request of documents and interrogatories. You may use the interrogatories to ask the carrier’s name and know about any liability coverage policies provided to the defendant. Further, you can request the production of documents tool to request all the documents stated in the interrogatories. It should be noted that both the plaintiff and defendant can serve the request to produce information from each other.

According to the Virginia Supreme Court rule, one gets 21 days to answer the RFPs and interrogatories. If you have served interrogatories and RFPs to the defendant with a complaint, the other party must respond in 28 days.

Objecting to Requests for the Production of Documents

There are certain situations wherein you can object to the RFPs served by the defendant. Let’s look into some of these circumstances.

If the documents requested by the defendant are confidential and protected under the lawyer-client privilege, your injury lawyer Virginia may ask you to object to the RFPs.

Similarly, if the information requested is broad, you can deny the process. Moreover, if the requested information is not relevant to the evidence, you have the option to object to the RFPs.

When objecting to the RFPs, the plaintiff must state whether or not any information is being unreported. It’s usual for the attorneys of both the parties to discuss what can be deemed as discoverable and what can’t during the initial stage.

There are times when the lawyers of both parties are unable to conclude whether or not the documents are discoverable. In such a scenario, the attorney on behalf of the person requesting the documents can file a motion in the trial court. The matter is then taken up by the trial judge who conducts the hearing.