Interrogatories Definition in a Personal Injury Case
Interrogatories are questions you must answer during the discovery process, before your personal injury lawsuit goes to trial. Your lawyer will receive these written questions from the defense attorneys and you will respond in writing. The other party will also need to answer the interrogatory questions we send them.
Interrogatories allow both parties to learn facts of the case known only to the other side and to confirm basic information. You must answer these questions honestly to the best of your ability, as if you are under oath in the courtroom.
The lawyers at Berger and Green can help you navigate the legal steps necessary to resolve your personal injury lawsuit. In many cases, we submit information from interrogatories as evidence during a trial or use them to help us build our case against the liable party. For help with your case, call us at 412-661-1400.
What Is the Interrogatory Process?
Many people overthink interrogatories. In most cases, we will receive a list of questions from the defense attorneys. We will forward them on to you to answer and let you know when we need them. For most clients, answering these questions should not take more than a couple of hours. Often, it is even less time.
They should all be questions of fact relevant to your accident, injury, or other related factors. If there is anything you do not understand or that is not relevant to your case, let us know. We can walk you through answering tough questions, review your responses, and sometimes ask they remove irrelevant questions.
What Are the Rules Regulating Interrogatories?
Every court has its own rules for civil cases that outline exactly how interrogatories should look and what the other party can ask. Some of the rules include:
- How many questions there can be;
- When you must give them to the other party;
- How long you must give the other party to respond; and
- The type of questions allowed.
Most courts do restrict the number of questions we can ask in an interrogatory. This means you will never have to answer hours’ worth of questions. As an example, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that govern cases in U.S. Federal Courts only allow each party to include 25 questions in an interrogatory.
The Role of Interrogatories in Civil Trials
The primary purpose of interrogatories is to gather information so we can build our case. Of course, the defense is attempting to do the same thing. In addition to the answers to these questions, we recover other evidence, request documents from the defense, and take depositions of potential witnesses. This process, called discovery, is the investigation that must take place before we can take your case to trial.
Interrogatories play an especially important role in preparing for depositions. We use the answers we receive in the interrogatory to know what to ask in the deposition and you can expect the defense to do the same. Depositions are similar to interrogatories, except you answer them verbally in front of your attorney, the defense attorney, and a court reporter. You can think of this as practice for the trial.
How Can I Get Help My With Personal Injury Case?
If you have questions about your personal injury case, your attorneys at Berger and Green are here to help you understand what to expect and to continue fighting for the full value payout you deserve. Call us today at 412-661-1400 if there is anything we can help you with.