If you were injured or involved in a personal injury case, you may have received some written documents regarding the production of documents or requests for information from the attorney who represents the person or entity who caused the wreck or injury. These requests to obtain information from an opposing party are called “discovery requests” and are part of the litigation process once a lawsuit has been filed in your personal injury case. An attorney will help you understand what these specific legal requests are, how and when you are required to respond, how to answer them, and can help you feel more comfortable when you receive these discovery requests.
Requests for Admission
Requests for admission are written requests that the other side specifically admits or denies certain facts about the case. Each party can typically give 25-40 requests for admission to the other side. However, there is no limit regarding how many questions may be asked simply if a particular document is genuine. You typically have 30 days in Missouri to produce your responses, and if you do not respond, the specific matter will be admitted as it is and the court will consider it valid.
There are rules that accompany requests for admission. You must retype every request for production and then follow the request with your specific response. If you are unable to answer due to some objection, you must attempt to respond to the best of your ability, and then state why the remainder is objectionable. Remember that you will be signing the requests for admission under penalty of perjury, so make sure that your responses are accurate and truthful.
Requests for Production
Requests for production are written requests that demand that the other side provide specific documents or items with respect to the case. Typically, a request for production of documents will be in reference to documents that you already have in your possession, or could easily obtain. There are more rare circumstances under which a request for production would require you to inspect or test an item, but these are uncommon. In Missouri, you typically have 30 days to provide your written responses with copies of the documents the other side has requested. Your response to the Requests for Production is generally not filed with the court, but rather they are sent directly to the opposing party’s attorney and a Certificate of Service is filed with the Court to verify you’ve responded timely to the Requests.
There are rules that accompany requests for production, similar to requests for admission. You must retype every request for production and then follow the request with your specific response. If you are unable to answer due to some objection, you must attempt to respond to the best of your ability, and then state why the remainder is objectionable. Remember that you will be signing the requests for production under penalty of perjury, so make sure that your responses are accurate and truthful.
Interrogatories are questions that one side gives to the other that are specifically relevant to the case. Each party can typically propound 25-40 interrogatories to the other side unless a judge has determined a different number would be appropriate. If you have received any interrogatories from the other side, verify with your local court rules to see when your answers are due. Typically, you will have 30 days to prepare and submit your written answers. You do not file these answers with the court, but rather send them directly to the other side.
There are important rules that accompany interrogatories. For instance, you must enter your response after the typed out interrogatory question. Additionally, if you are unable to answer an interrogatory for any reason (i.e. the question is vague, objectionable, irrelevant, ambiguous, etc.) you should state in your response the reasons why you can’t or won’t provide an answer. It is important to note that objections are legally problematic, and consulting with an experienced litigation attorney can help you answer interrogatories or object to them in the most appropriate legal way. Finally, you will need to sign your interrogatories on the “verification” page in front of a notary and swear that your answers are true.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
Navigating the legal landscape of responding to requests for admission, requests for production and interrogatories can be daunting and legally complex. We suggest hiring a qualified, experienced personal injury litigation attorney to help you with your lawsuit. Contact our experienced personal injury attorneys at Griggs Injury Law at (816) 474-0202 to help you build a strong personal injury case, protect your interests during litigation and help you with your discovery requests and responses to the other side.