This article is part of our continuing series on civil litigation in Oregon. We explore the pre-trial discovery device known as "request for admissions."
Overall, the purpose of "discovery" in the months leading up to trial is to facilitate the exchange of information. This could take the form of document exchanges, sworn testimony, and even medical examinations. A Request for Admissions is an effective way to get to the heart of the matter as to what facts are agreed upon, and what facts are in dispute.
In requesting omissions, one party will simply ask, in writing, whether or not the opposing party admits or denies certain facts. The rules require that the admissions be stated in a certain fashion, and puts a limit on the number of requests that can be filed. Some of the most common requests in an injury case include the following:
1. A request to admit or deny whether or not a party was negligent in causing an injury;
2. A request to admit or deny whether or not the negligent party's behavior caused any injury whatsoever to the plaintiff;
3. A request to admit or deny whether or not certain medical care was necessary, and whether the medical bills were reasonable.
Requests for Admissions are also helpful to determine whether or not certain evidence is admissible in a trial. For example, one party to the lawsuit might ask the other whether a photograph is a true and accurate representation of an accident scene, or whether a document is capped in the regular course of business. This helps establish the "foundation" that courts require in order to make sure that documents are sufficiently reliable to be admitted into evidence.
As with any request for discovery, if there is a disagreement, the parties can seek a ruling from the court.
We have used this discovery device in several cases. We find that it helps to narrow the issues, and allows our client to prove their case in an efficient manner. If you have questions about a potential case, and what issues may be in dispute, call us at 503-325-8600. We are here to help.