reports and statements taken shortly after an accident, must be turned over to the other side.
These cases, where plaintiffs’ lawyers and insurance companies have duked it out, are extremely “fact-based,” according to Virginia “Super Lawyer” Doug Landau. These cases often turn on, “Whether the report was prepared IN ANTICIPATION OF LITIGATION.”
In other words, Herndon personal injury lawyer Doug Landau explains that if the report was prepared because somebody thought they were about to get sued, it is protected from disclosure by the courts, just like the things that someone says to their lawyer.
Virginia Trial Lawyer Doug Landau points out that Courts have ruled that if the Insurance Company was getting ready for a lawsuit, the injured plaintiff (and her lawyer) could not have a copy of the statements collected by the Insurer. Herndon trial lawyer Doug Landau believes that a new decision handed down December, 2007 will give guidance in an unsettled area of law. In the case of McKinnon v. Doman, Judge Martin ruled that the Insurance Company must fork over the taped statement an adjuster got from its insured driver (the Defendant) shortly after the wreck.
The McKinnon v. Damon case was brought by an injured bicyclist. The cyclist claimed that the Defendant caused her to collide with a truck as she attempted to avoid hitting the Defendant’s car. The judge looked at whether the Defendant insured had hired a lawyer before talking (he had not). He also looked at whether the plaintiff’s lawyer had notified the insurance company before the statement was taken. Since the plaintiff’s lawyer was hired 3 days AFTER the statement was taken, the judge took the view that the statement was NOT taken “in anticipation of litigation.” The plaintiff’
s motion to produce the statement was granted.
The team at ABRAMS LANDAU recommends that if you or someone you know is injured in an accident or attack, call us at once; the Insurance Company will seize every advantage to deny, delay and minimize the claim.