Court Discusses Discoverable Materials in Texas Car Accident Cases

People involved in car accidents often suffer substantial losses. As such, they will frequently choose to pursue claims against the parties responsible for the collision. In order to prevail, they must demonstrate liability, which means, in part, they have to prove causation. Medical records are usually a key component in proving fault in car crash cases, and as discussed in a recent opinion issued in In Re Westside Roofing, LLC and Paul Scott Lowery (No. 03-23-00219-CV), a Texas car accident case, they are typically relevant and discoverable. If you sustained injuries in a collision caused by another party’s reckless actions, you have the right to pursue compensation, and you should consult a Texas car lawyer to assess your potential claims.

Case Setting

It is reported that the plaintiff sustained injuries in a collision with a truck driven by the defendant driver, who was an employee of the defendant company. The accident occurred when the defendant driver attempted to pass the plaintiff’s vehicle, resulting in contact between the truck’s rear bumper and the plaintiff’s vehicle. The plaintiff, claiming severe bodily injuries, sought damages exceeding $1 million.

Allegedly, the defendants disputed causation and sought extensive medical records from the plaintiff’s treating physicians, extending six years before the collision. The plaintiff moved to quash the discovery, alleging it was overbroad and irrelevant to the claims. The trial court conducted a hearing, after which it granted the motion to quash as to some, but not all, of the plaintiff’s providers. The defendants filed a petition for a writ of mandamus, asserting an abuse of discretion by the trial court in quashing the discovery.

Discoverable Materials in Texas Car Accident Cases

The court, in its review, considered the scope of permissible discovery under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, which allows discovery of relevant and non-privileged matters. The court acknowledged the balancing act required by the rules, emphasizing that discovery must be proportional to the needs of the case. Relying on a recent decision issued by the Texas Supreme Court, the court concluded that the defendants’ requests for medical records were relevant and discoverable.

Specifically, the court found that the requested information was crucial to the defendants’ defense, allowing them to challenge the causation of the plaintiff’s injuries by presenting evidence of his pre-existing medical conditions. The court rejected the plaintiff’s arguments of overbreadth and irrelevance, highlighting the importance of discovering evidence related to pre-existing conditions in personal injury cases.

Additionally, the court underscored that denial of the requested discovery would severely compromise the defendants’ ability to present a viable defense at trial. Consequently, the court conditionally granted the writ, directing the trial court to vacate the order granting the motion to quash unless it complies with the court’s directive.

Talk to a Skilled Texas Car Accident Attorney About Your Case

Car accidents can cause significant physical, emotional, and financial harm, and the parties responsible for causing collisions should be held accountable for any losses that ensue due to their negligence. If you were hurt in a car crash caused by another motorist, it is in your best interest to talk to an attorney about what damages you may be able to recover. Earl Drott is a skilled Texas attorney who is proficient at helping victims of negligence protect their interests, and if you hire him, he will advocate zealously on your behalf. You can contact Mr. Drott for a free meeting through the online form or at 903-531-9300.

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