Interrogatories are one way to gather evidence in personal injury cases. They are written questions that one party to a lawsuit sends to another party, who responds in writing and under oath within 30 days. Before your case goes to trial, there is a lot to do because you and your attorney need to build a personal injury case. Aside from helping you gather evidence, interrogatories can also be used to obtain information relevant to your case and to resolve disagreements during trial. What else happens during interrogatories? Let us find out how they work and what you should do.
How Do Interrogatories Work?
After you file a personal injury lawsuit, you enter the discovery phase of your personal injury case. In this phase, both parties have the right to send each other interrogatories. You and your attorney must find out how the defendant describes the accident. This process can take anywhere from six months to a year and is used by both parties to exchange arguments and evidence in preparation for trial.
Common Interrogatories to Ask
Interrogatories narrow down disputed issues, which will help you prepare for a deposition. For example, you can ask for agreement on the location of the accident and the color of the traffic light at the time of the accident. You can also use interrogatories to identify witnesses relevant to your case. Other common questions to ask the person who caused the accident include their insurance information, a description of any medications they were taking at the time of the accident, and the validity of their driver’s license. You can send up to 40 interrogatories in each personal injury case; if you want to send more, you will need permission from the court. It is best to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you decide what questions to ask.
How Are Interrogatories Written?
Most interrogatories are not written in a typical question format, but rather in a way that requires the respondent to give a rather open-ended answer. Although “yes” or “no” questions are acceptable, this is not a good strategy for personal injury cases that are fact-specific. It is better to draft interrogatories that will get the other party to reveal information you need to make your case.
Objection to Interrogatories
There are instances when you are not required to answer a question. For example, this applies to questions that are irrelevant to your case or questions about information that is protected by privilege. If you have a legitimate objection, you need only state the question, followed by your objection and the reason for it. Note that the opposing party may ask the court to order you to answer the interrogatory question.
About Corradino & Papa, LLC
Deciding what questions to ask and drafting interrogatories can be challenging to do on your own. Corradino & Papa, LLC is located in the heart of New Jersey and has a team of dedicated attorneys who can help you build a strong case. With extensive financial resources and over 25 years of experience, we advocate for accident and injury victims. Contact Corradino & Papa, LLC today for a free initial consultation.