In the case of Walsh v. Wong, the Massachusetts Superior Court addressed the issue whether a statement given by the defendant to her insurance company could be withheld from the injury victim.
In December 2010, the plaintiffs were struck by the defendant Wong who failed to stop at a stop sign resulting in the crash. The defendant gave a statement to both the police officer at the scene and, shortly thereafter, to her insurance company. The defendant refused to provide the statement given to her insurance company claiming the document was protected by the Work Product Doctrine. The Superior Court judge disagreed and ordered the statement to be produce as the Work Product Doctrine was inapplicable and that the statement could not be obtained by any other means. The court found the statement was important as the defendant for the first time raised the issue of the sun being a factor in the accident only after the lawsuit had been filed and had not made any reference to the sun in either her statement to the police and/or to her insurance company.
This decision is important to injury victims as it levels the playing field in automobile accident cases. Many times the defendant will obtain the injury victims’ statement to her insurance company but will refuse to produce the defendant’s statement given to them. Insurance companies often argue that the statements given by the defendants are protected and this decision narrows the instances in which the statement may be withheld and thereby allowing for full disclosure and the truth to be established.
If you have any questions regarding a car, automobile, motorcycle, pedestrian or truck accident, whether in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, please contact an attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan to discuss. Let Hamblett & Kerrigan use their experience in representing injury victims to your advantage.
Kevin P. Rauseo is a former director at Hamblett & Kerrigan P.A. and has since been appointed as a Justice for the New Hampshire Circuit Court. Please feel free to contact another attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan to discuss your legal issues.