Interrogatories are an important part of building a legal case after a personal injury. However, most ordinary persons aren't familiar with interrogatories and may be intimidated by them. To help you navigate your case successfully, here's what you need to know about interrogatories.
What Are Interrogatories?
The process of discovery allows each party to a case to request specific information, documents, or access from the other side. This allows them to build their own case and gauge the strength or weakness of the other side's case.
Interrogatories are part of discovery. These are written questions asking the receiving party to answer honestly under oath. The questions are usually delivered by mail or in person and the receiver has a deadline to respond. They're inexpensive but effective tools to develop your case.
What Two Types of Interrogatories Exist?
Oftentimes, similar types of cases involve similar types of common questions. A personal injury case, for instance, may involve requests for medical documentation, insurance or driver's license information, or the number of lost wages.
To make things easier, many jurisdictions have prepared a standard set of relevant interrogatories known as form interrogatories. These cover many of the common needs in the case and are crafted so as not to be objectionable.
However, if you need information beyond these form interrogatories, you may add special interrogatories to your request. These questions address specific details relevant to your particular case. Special requests and questions are trickier and should be handled with the assistance of a legal professional to protect your rights.
Do You Have to Respond to Interrogatories?
Form interrogatories are generally designed so as to follow the rules of law and therefore not be objectionable. So, usually, the court expects each party to respond to all of the standard questions and requests. Failure to do so can harm your case.
Nonstandard, special interrogatories are more likely to be objected to. You can object to a request based on things like vagueness, irrelevance, argumentative nature, undue burden, or information the other party already has.
Where Can You Get Help?
What interrogatories are appropriate for your case? Have you received any interrogatories in an ongoing case? Should you object to any particular requests you have or will likely receive? Start by learning more about discovery in consultation with an experienced attorney in your jurisdiction. They'll help you navigate this confusing subject successfully and enjoy a better outcome for your case.
To find out more, contact a law firm like Jones, Boykin & Associates, P.C.