In many lawsuits arising out of car accidents, the parties will engage experts to testify in support of their claims or defenses. The law is well established as to whether certain information regarding the relationships between law firms and experts must be disclosed. Recently, though, a Florida court was presented with the question of whether the current law treats defendants in car accident cases unfairly, and therefore must be overruled. If you were hurt in a collision, it is prudent to meet with a trusted Florida car accident attorney to assess what evidence you must produce to prove liability.
The Underlying Accident
Allegedly, the plaintiff was injured in a car accident involving the defendant. He then filed a negligence lawsuit seeking compensation from the defendant. During the course of discovery, the plaintiff served interrogatories on the defendant seeking information regarding the financial relationship between the defendant’s attorneys and the defendant’s liability insurer and experts.
It is reported that the defendant objected to the request, arguing that her insurance company and attorney were not parties to the case. She sought a protective order as well. The trial court denied the defendant’s motion, however. The defendant then appealed.
Information Discoverable in Car Accident Cases in Florida
On appeal, the defendant argued that the current case law, which only protected plaintiffs from the disclosure of information regarding retained or related parties, and required defendants to produce such information, equaled a denial of due process, equal protection, and the right to access the courts.
The court explained that in Florida, plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury cases are not treated equally under the law with respect to the disclosure of information about the relationships between medical experts and law firms. Thus, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. In doing so, the court explained that the trial court’s ruling was proper under the current precedent established by the Florida Supreme court, and the trial court upheld the essential requirements of the law in denying the defendant’s motion.
The court noted, however, that the defendant presented a question of great public importance. Thus, the court certified the question of whether the ruling in which the Florida Supreme Court held that information about the relationship between a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney and experts retained in a case was protected from disclosure should also apply to preclude a defendant’s attorney or liability insurer from being forced to disclose their financial dealings with the defendant’s medical experts, as none of the aforementioned parties were named in the case. It is anticipated that a ruling on the question will be forthcoming in the near future.
Confer with a Dedicated Florida Attorney
In many car accident cases, parties will develop evidence through expert testimony, but whether the relationship between legal counsel and experts is discoverable is currently in dispute. If you were injured in a car accident, dedicated Florida attorney Jarrett Blakeley can advise you of your potential claims and aid you in seeking the best outcome available under the facts of your case. You can reach Mr. Blakeley via the online form or at (800) 602-5000 to schedule a meeting.