Request For Production Of Documents & Plaintiff Discovery Request To Defendant’s
Under the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 34, parties through their attorneys in a civil suit are permitted to serve upon any party requests to produce and to inspect and/or copy designated documents, which can include many types of evidence, including, but not limited to, medical records, photographs, videos, charts and other documents.
In any suit for an injury due to a construction accident, the Plaintiff or injured worker, along with their attorney, will need to provide all documents that they intend to introduce to the jury during trial and/or are requested by the Defendant. Failure to provide requested documents will result in the Plaintiff or injured employee not being able to use these items during the trial.
If you are a Plaintiff who was injured, the defense attorney will typically want all the medical records you are claiming are related to the accident. Below are the documents which the Defendant requested in our roof fall injury case.
This Defendant wants all medical bills, records and items that will be used at trial. He also wants a medical release so he can obtain medical bills and records himself.
It has become standard for defense attorneys to want medical releases in order to obtain medical records not only related to the injury, but also medical records for up to 10 years prior to the accident.
The Defendant’s attorney will attempt to find past injuries prior to the incident for suit so they can claim the injuries were pre-existing and did not arise from the accident. If the suit involves a work-site injury, they will also want all prior records from Workers’ Compensation or any work-related injuries.
In these responses, the lawyer has been protective of the Plaintiff and is not agreeing to provide a medial release and instead provided the bills and records.
Request for production of documents similar to interrogatories will need to be supplemented periodically throughout the case.Plaintiff Discovery Request To Defendant’s
The Plaintiff in a Civil Action suit has the right and the duty to request discovery from the Defendant. Most defense firms hired by the insurance industry approach a case with the mindset of attacking the Plaintiff and the Plaintiff’s credibility.
Remember it is easier to tear something down than to build it up. The defense attorneys are trained to tear down a Plaintiff’s case, often with little regard for the truth or the actual facts of the incident.
The Defendant does not have the burden of proof and therefore are often reluctant to provide discovery. This can be detrimental to the Plaintiff because the Defendant can have key pieces of evidence that are needed by the Plaintiff in order to prove his case. The attorney for the Plaintiff needs to be persistent in requesting these items in discovery and to continue asking for supplements from the Defendant.
This attorney in the roof fall suit requested the following:
The Plaintiff’s counsel uses written discovery to find each and every person who worked on this construction site, provided materials to the job or were witnesses to the accident. The Plaintiff was injured and hospitalized after only a couple days on this job and may not know all the workers, contractors or sub-contractors who worked on this job site, before, during and after his serious injuries.
Counsel is also attempting to find all documents that relate to the job. Defense counsel will often refuse to provide or take months to respond. It is the Plaintiff’s counsel’s duty to remind the Defendant’s attorney that these items are required to be produced. The Defendant’s attorney provided the following answers to the Plaintiff’s request:
You can see from these responses that the defense attorney made little effort to answer discovery. Again, the Plaintiff has the burden and his lawyer will send letters to the defense counsel requesting that the discovery be answered completely. Why do Defendants refuse to answer discovery? Sometimes the Defendant will not want to cooperate with his attorney and other times it can be the defense lawyer hiding the ball. This will have to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
The defense attorney has a continuing duty to provide answers that he will need to be reminded.