(a) Description of discovery. As used in this chapter, discovery is the process by which a party may, before the hearing, obtain evidence relating to the disputed issue or issues from the other parties and witnesses. If the evidence is not produced voluntarily, the party may request a subpoena, as provided in §142.12 of this title (relating to Subpoena). Discovery includes:
(1) parties’ exchange of documentary evidence;
(2) interrogatories, as prescribed by §142.19 of this title (relating to Interrogatories); and
(3) witness depositions, as follows:
(A) a health care provider may be deposed only on written questions; and
(B) other witnesses may be deposed within their county of residence or employment, orally or on written questions, if the administrative law judge determines the party has good cause to request such testimony.
(b) Sequence of discovery. Parties shall exchange documentary evidence in their possession not previously exchanged, as described in subsection (c) of this section, before requesting additional discovery by interrogatory, as described in subsection (d) of this section, or deposition, as described in subsection (e) of this section. Additional discovery shall be limited to evidence not exchanged, or not readily derived from evidence exchanged.
(c) Parties’ exchange of documentary evidence.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (g) of this section, no later than 15 days after the benefit review conference, parties shall exchange with one another the following information:
(A) all medical reports and reports of expert witnesses who will testify at the hearing;
(B) all medical records;
(C) any witness statements;
(D) the identity and location of any witness known to have knowledge of relevant facts; and
(E) all photographs or other documents which a party intends to offer into evidence at the hearing.
(2) Thereafter, parties shall exchange additional documentary evidence as it becomes available.
(3) Parties shall bring all documentary evidence not previously exchanged to the hearing in sufficient copies for exchange. The administrative law judge shall make a determination whether good cause exists for a party not having previously exchanged such information or documents to introduce such evidence at the hearing.
(d) Interrogatories. Interrogatories as prescribed by §142.19 of this title (relating to Interrogatories) may be used to elicit information from claimants and insurance carriers. Except as provided in subsection (g) of this section, interrogatories shall be presented no later than 20 days before the hearing, unless otherwise agreed. Answers to interrogatories shall be exchanged no later than five days after receipt of the interrogatories. Answers to interrogatories shall be made under oath.
(e) Witness deposition. A party wishing to depose a witness shall request permission for deposition from the administrative law judge. The request shall:
(1) be made in writing;
(2) identify the witness to be deposed;
(3) state why the testimony is needed;
(4) propose a date, time, and place for taking the deposition;
(5) include a copy of the questions to be asked, if the deposition is to be on written questions;
(6) if needed, include a request for subpoena, as provided by §142.12 of this title (relating to Subpoena);
(7) be filed with the division no later than 10 days before the hearing; and
(8) be delivered to all parties, as provided by §142.4 of this title (relating to Delivery of Copies to All Parties).
(f) Additional discovery. The administrative law judge may grant a party permission to conduct discovery beyond that described previously upon a showing of good cause at a hearing held for this purpose.
(g) Time for discovery when the hearing is expedited or held without a prior benefit review conference. The notice setting an expedited hearing, or a hearing held without a prior benefit review conference, shall include time limits for completion of discovery.
The provisions of this §142.13 adopted to be effective February 12, 1991, 16 TexReg 463; amended to be effective February 18, 1992, 17 TexReg 949; amended to be effective January 7, 2019, 44 TexReg 108.