It is important to recognize that much work goes into a successful injury lawsuit. Before the case enters a courtroom, your personal injury attorney will spend months gathering evidence to help your case. One way of gathering this useful information is through what are known as interrogatories, which are forwarded to opposing parties in the case.
Interrogatories refer to written questions used to help your personal injury lawyer reconstruct the accident that caused your injury and help better determine fault. Of course, interrogatories are used by both sides in a personal injury lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence and are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, you might be wondering what the process entails and what sort of questions you will have to answer as part of an interrogatory.
Interrogatories play a key role in personal injury claims. When you consult an Irvine personal injury attorney, they will go through the process of answering interrogatories with you in detail. In the meantime, you can read on for more information regarding how interrogatories may play a role in your personal injury claim.
Personal Injury Claim Interrogatories
A Personal injury interrogatory is a request for specific information regarding the accident in question.
When a formal personal injury lawsuit is filed, each side submits interrogatories. Answers to those questions paint a portrait of how either side sees the accident. They also help to establish a chronological outline of the accident.
One of the most important things to remember about interrogatories is that the questions contained within must be answered. Furthermore, the answers must be given under oath, with each side searing, under the penalty of perjury, that their answers are factual and truthful. That process helps to ensure that the complete truth is revealed. Because lying in an interrogatory is perjury, anyone caught doing so could face fines or even jail.
How Interrogatories Help Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
The questions in an interrogatory will be crucial to the “discovery” phase of your personal injury lawsuit.
Once the official lawsuit is filed, each party will engage in discovery as a way of unearthing as much relevant information as possible. The personal injury attorney you hire will request and exchange vital information with opposing counsel during this time. This information can include your healthcare provider’s contact information, birth date, insurance carrier, insurance policy information, social security number, etc. During this phase, you and the attorney will hear details regarding the other side’s version of the story surrounding the accident. That will help you to better prepare for your day in court.
While the interrogatory helps to build the foundation for gathering evidence during discovery, the discovery process is more in-depth and can also involve the following:
- Requests for document production: This refers to the legal request for e-files and documents related to the case.
- Requests for admission: This refers to a formal request for each party to either admit or to deny the allegations contained in the personal injury lawsuit.
- Requests for depositions: Depositions are testimonies that are given under oath.
Interrogatories vs. Depositions
While depositions and interrogatories are essential to a personal injury lawsuit’s discovery process, each one is quite different from the other.
As mentioned, interrogatories represent written reports. An interrogatory can be forwarded to and answered from virtually anywhere, with the responses signed under oath. On the other hand, a deposition is an in-person interview, usually given in a lawyer’s office. During a deposition, a lawyer can pose direct questions to defendants, plaintiffs, and witnesses regarding key events and facts as they relate to the lawsuit.
It is not necessary to file an interrogatory with the court. Instead, interrogatories are sent between parties involved in the case. The main objective of the interrogatory is to allow each side to be well-prepared for a court trial. Conversely, a deposition is recorded through a court recorder or videotape and will be used as evidence in the case.
The legal team at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas is dedicated to helping accident victims and their families get the compensation they deserve after they have been in a California car accident. Our expert staff has the trial experience necessary to conduct proper interrogatories that can help you win your case and get you the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s recklessness or negligence, our experienced California accident attorneys can help. Call us at 1-888-848-5084 to schedule a free, complimentary consultation with our legal team today.
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