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Discovery: Requests for Admission

You are injured in a car accident or a slip or trip and fall, and believe someone else is liable for your damages. Whether the driver of another vehicle crashed into you because they were texting or a business owner forgot to put up a hazard sign near a slippery surface, there are many instances where a defending party can and should be held liable for your personal injury.

Knowing this, when you can’t reach an appropriate settlement for that claim, you file a lawsuit. Now, you’re undergoing the discovery process–which is the pretrial phase when both sides gather crucial evidence and develop court strategies.

Written discovery, such as interrogatories and request for production of documents, and depositions are discovery tools that we have previously detailed in our blog. The next tool that can be used during the discovery phase of litigation is requests for admission.

What are Requests for Admission? 

The plaintiff, the party bringing the lawsuit, must prove everything they claim by a preponderance of the evidence. Requests for admission allows the plaintiff to narrow the issues that are actually in controversy and thereby determine the issues that the plaintiff must present evidence to prove at trial.  Requests for admission go both ways: you can submit requests to the defendant, and the defendant can submit requests to you.

Requests for admission are written as statements that must be admitted, denied, or objected to by the party that receives them. Requests for admission may relate to statements or opinions of fact or the application of the law to fact, including the genuineness of any documents described in the request.

Under Virginia Supreme Court Rule 4:11, the recipient of requests for admission must respond (admit, deny, or object) to the request within 21 days of it being served. Any request for admission that is not responded to within the 21 day period is considered admitted to and established as fact.

Sample Requests for Admission

Requests for admission can be used to get medical bills into evidence. For example, a plaintiff could supply the defendant with copies of all medical bills the plaintiff claims are related to the lawsuit. The plaintiff would then request that the defendant admit that the bills are genuine, the services listed on the bill were necessary to diagnose and/or treat the plaintiff’s injuries, and that the charges were reasonable. This helps the plaintiff narrow down which injuries and corresponding medical treatment the defendant is admitting and what the plaintiff will have to prove through expert testimony.

Limits and Objections to Request for Admission 

In Virginia, each party can send no more than 30 requests for admission total, including subparts of questions, that are not related to whether a document is authentic/genuine. There is no limit to the number of requests for admission related to whether a document is genuine (unless the court issues a protective order to protect the responding party).

Conclusion 

Parties can object to admitting or denying requests for admission if the request meets a disqualifying circumstance, such as if it violates lawyer-client privilege or asks for information that is irrelevant to the case. Your personal injury attorney will work with you throughout the process to help you understand what you do and do not have to disclose to the defendant during discovery.

Next, we talk about one final discovery tool: medical examinations.

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Thomas J. Curcio
Founder

Tom Curcio, the driving force behind Curcio Law, is a dedicated trial lawyer with more than 37 years of experience in Northern Virginia. He has dedicated his career to representing people who have been seriously injured through no fault of their own. He works tirelessly to obtain the compensation his clients are legally entitled to…

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Rakin Hamad
Associate

Rakin Hamad is a graduate of the George Mason Law School and joined Curcio Law as an associate in August 2018. Rakin works closely with Tom Curcio and staff in preparing cases from the initial client meeting through trial and has been a perfect fit for the firm. During law school, Rakin interned at the…

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Justin Curcio
Associate

Justin Curcio received his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 2015, where he was awarded an academic scholarship. During law school, he worked for the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and the law firm of Bartlett, McDonough & Monaghan, LLP. Justin also spent a semester studying law at the University of Glasgow…

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Kathy McAfee
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As the firm’s office manager, Kathy McAfee is dedicated to making sure the office runs smoothly and that the team has what it needs by way of resources, technology, and supplies to best serve our clients. Kathy graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from Roanoke College in 1986 and afterward, returned to Alexandria. She began…

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Riann Winget
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Riann Winget, a native Texan, graduated with a BA in Psychology and a Minor in Legal Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. She was a member of the varsity soccer team, Chi Omega Sorority, and was on the university board for Big Brothers Big Sisters. After graduation, she joined AmeriCorps and taught preschool…

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