What Are Interrogatories in a Personal Injury Case?

If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the actions of another individual, business, or entity, you will likely be able to recover compensation for your losses. This can include coverage of your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering damages, and more. However, securing this compensation may involve going through the personal injury lawsuit process in civil court. When this occurs, you will likely have to deal with interrogatories. Here, we want to define what interrogatories are as well as what role they play in a personal injury case.

What are interrogatories?

The first part of any personal injury lawsuit is going to be the “discovery phase.” This is the portion of the lawsuit processed that ensures both sides have all relevant evidence and information that they need to proceed forward with the case. Often, the discovery phase of the process is when one or both sides realize that they need to either drop the case or make a settlement offer and avoid going to trial.

Interrogatories are used during the discovery phase of the process, and they are questions that both the plaintiff and the defendant get to pose to one another that help establish what facts are currently in dispute about the case and what facts are not disputed at all.

Both the plaintiff and the defendant should be working with attorneys to help them with their case. The attorneys for both sides will be heavily involved in crafting interrogatories to send to the other side as well as answering the interrogatories they receive.

What types of questions do interrogatories address?

There are many types of questions that can be asked through interrogatories. In general, these are going to be open-ended questions that one side will ask the other that seek as much detail as possible. Actually, in some cases, interrogatories will not be questions at all. They may simply be a list of topics that one side needs to respond to.

Some of the most common examples of interrogatories that could be posed to the other side during a personal injury claim include the following:

  • When was the last time your vehicle was inspected and maintained by a qualified mechanic? What type of work was done at that time? Was there any type of maintenance that you chose to forego?
  • Did you consume any drugs, alcohol, or medications of any kind in the 24 hours preceding The incident? If so, list the names of each substance you consumed. Also, list the amount of each substance that you consumed, the time you consumed the substance, and where you obtained the substance.
  • Please describe exactly what actions (if any) the other party could have done that would have prevented the incident from occurring in the first place.

Of course, these are only three examples of possible interrogatories that could be posed during a personal injury lawsuit process. Interrogatories will look for meticulous and detailed answers. Because of the level of detail required, interrogatories can seem intimidating. That is why it is crucial for any person involved in a personal injury lawsuit to work with an attorney who can help them through the interrogatories process.