As a personal injury victim, there are a lot of tools that you can use to build your case and prove your right to compensation. Knowing what these tools are and how to use them effectively is key to getting justice in your case.
One thing you’re almost certain to encounter in any personal injury case is interrogatories.
What Are Personal Injury Interrogatories?
Personal injury interrogatories are questions under oath that you can ask another party to the case. Interrogatories are a formal, written demand for information. The other party must answer the questions and provide information about the case.
What’s the Purpose of Interrogatories?
There are two primary purposes of interrogatories:
- Each party can build their case. Getting the information that the other party has about the case allows you to have a level playing field in the litigation.
- When all the information is out in the open, the parties are more likely to reach a settlement. Open information sharing narrows the disputed issues in the case and helps facilitate a non-trial resolution.
Who can send interrogatories in a personal injury case?
Any party to a personal injury case can send interrogatories.
Who can you send interrogatories to in a personal injury case?
You can send interrogatories to any other party in a personal injury case.
If you need information from someone who is not a party, there are other ways to get it including through a deposition or subpoena for production of documents.
Do personal injury interrogatories have to be answered under oath?
Yes, personal injury interrogatories must be answered under oath. The party responding must give truthful answers.
Do you have to send interrogatories in a personal injury case?
While you don’t have to send interrogatories in a personal injury case, you absolutely should! They allow you to see the other side’s evidence. Then, if they try to present evidence in trial that contradicts with the interrogatories, you can use the interrogatories to impeach what they present or object to the evidence. When used correctly, interrogatories can be critical to building your case and advancing your legal strategy.
What to Know About Interrogatories
Using interrogatories to your advantage can be a complex task. As a personal injury victim, there are several important points for using them effectively, including:
- Questions don’t have to be answered if an objection applies; it’s important to understand allowable objections evaluate questions for them
- A plaintiff should include questions about third-party claims and potential questions of joinder, if applicable
- There are time limits for responding to interrogatories (28 days in Illinois and 30 in Missouri, with some exceptions)
- Standard interrogatories should include questions about witnesses and evidence
- Parties have an ongoing duty to supplement their answers if appliable
- You can take action if the other party doesn’t respond in compliance with the law