A Critical Piece of Evidence in Your Personal Injury Case to Fight For
If you are injured at a store or at a company they will usually prepare an incident report. It often contains statements of the persons involved. Since it is fresh at the time it often contains helpful information. Later on the story may change.
When you file a law suit your attorney can ask questions of the other side and ask them to produce the incident report. Often this will be resisted as the “work product” of an attorney or “material prepared in anticipation of litigation.” Many discovery laws do not require an attorney to give up his own investigation.
However the immediate accident record is more accurately termed a document made in the usual course of business. You must make this distinction. Ask who took the statement, when was it taken, and whether this statement or incident report was taken in the usual course of business.
If the statement was not taken by an attorney and was taken close in time to the injury is should be given to you. Also normally any statement you gave is always discoverable in Ohio. You may have to fight for the incident report but its worth it. This means that you may have to file a motion to compel the production of the incident report.
Recently I had a case where I asked for the the accident report in the request for production of documents. The lawyer objected as work product. I wrote the attorney with my position and inquiring if this was in fact something he prepared. It was not and he sent it over without a formal motion.