Interrogatories legal definition: Interrogatories are formal questions or inquiries made in civil legal actions such as personal injury cases. These written questions must be answered under oath, and are generally made after a complaint has been filed and answered. Interrogatories are issued during the discovery portion of legal proceedings.
The purpose of interrogatories is to glean important information in preparation for your court case. Interrogatories are generally open-ended questions designed to be answered in detail. In some instances, attorneys must limit the number of interrogatories made to a number defined by the court – generally no more than 25. It should be noted that interrogatories may include requests for documents, as well (such as insurance policies, crash photos, etc.). In federal court, interrogatories must be answered within 30 days of receipt. Most states also adhere to the 30-day interrogatory deadline.
Interrogatories and Car Accident Injury Cases
In car accident injury cases, interrogatories are used to determine key facts to support your claim. During this process your lawyer may ask you and the person liable for your injuries to answer several questions related to the accident. These interrogatories may require you and the other party to relay information about:
How the accident occurred (the time of day, where you were traveling, the road conditions at the time of the crash)
The make, model, and insurance information for each automobile involved in the crash that caused your injury
Historical information about your driving record, including speeding tickets and other infractions
Your history of alcohol and drug use – both prescription and otherwise
Interrogatories and Medical Malpractice Cases
If you’ve been injured as a result of a medical or surgical error, interrogatories will be used to discover myriad information, including:
Details related to the professional experience and expertise of the physician or healthcare provider liable for your medical malpractice injury
Information related to the medical relationship between you and your medical provider, including the dates on which you were seen and the action taken
Historical information about any past malpractice claims made against the medical provider
Interrogatories and Personal Injury Cases
In personal injury cases, interrogatories are generally focused on two subjects:
The cause of the injury
Who is liable for that injury
Interrogatories and Workers’ Compensation Cases
Interrogatories are used in workers’ compensation cases to establish information about:
How the workplace accident occurred
Your injuries and how they limit your ability to perform your job
Whether your injury was disabling, and if so, whether that disability was caused by the workplace accident
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