If your personal injury case is proceeding to a lawsuit there is a process referred to as discovery. An element found within the discovery process is referred to as interrogatories. This article and subsequent ones will discuss written interrogatories and personal injury lawsuits.
“Interrogatories are written questions that are sent by one party to another as part of the pre-trial investigation process called Discovery”. So, discovery the section of interrogatories allows each party to write a list of questions for the other party. Once received, the party responding must submit answers under oath.
Interrogatories are not written like a typical question with a question mark. Rather, they are written as statements that are open ended needing more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. For example, a normal question would be: do you own a black 2002 sedan? Instead, it would be worded as: “state whether you own a vehicle, and if so, describe it in detail”.
Some states have form interrogatories, however, this is not the best for personal injury cases that are very fact-specific. As such it is better to draft interrogatories that lean toward specific information that you want.
It must be noted that it is not only the plaintiff who can send interrogatories, even the defendant can too. However, the same interrogatory rules and guidelines are applicable. Bearing in mind that the point of the discovery stage is to get as much information as possible.
While there are a number of rules and guidelines with regards to the interrogatories, you are able to object these. However, there must be reasons for it. Some of the reasons to object to interrogatories include the following:
- they are confusing
- ask for inadmissible evidence
- may be overboard
- ask for information that would likely take too long to compile
It must be noted that even if you have objections you must respond to what you are not objecting to.
Speak to your attorney to find out more about what happens during the discovery process.