If you were recently injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you will likely be making a personal injury claim against the negligent party. In some cases, these kinds of claims must go to trial. If they do, you will become familiar with a term known as “interrogatories”, which will be a vital factor to your overall injury case.
Continue reading to learn more about interrogatories, including how it may affect your car accident lawsuit.
The Discovery Phase
When a car accident lawsuit is set into motion, a complaint and answer are filed with the court. Once this occurs, the discovery phase can begin. During this phase, both the plaintiff party (you) and the defendant party (the party being sued) will exchange information about the facts of the accident. There are two main methods the court system uses to obtain this type of information: depositions and interrogatories.
Depositions are formal, recorded interviews under oath used to learn what a person knows pertaining to the case in question, and as evidence for later use during the trial. Either parties in a lawsuit can have anyone provide a deposition 20 days after a lawsuit is filed.
Interrogatories are a little different, but are used for much of the same purpose. Rather than a formal interview in person, interrogatories are a set of written questions that each party sends to the other. Each party must fill out the entire list in writing, under oath, and within a limited period of time (usually between 20 and 40 days depending on the state).
Although they are not always phrased in the form of questions, interrogatories always pertain to specific factors surrounding the case, such as reckless driving, distracted driving, and intoxicated driving. Since it is common for both parties to have different versions of what happened in an accident, they are designed specifically to get both sides of the story so that each party can prepare their case before trial.
What to Expect on the Form
The number of questions and requests on an interrogatory form is generally limited to 25 or so; however, it is possible for a court to approve more questions. Here are some examples of what you might see on an interrogatory form:
✏ State the make, model, year, and current registrant of the vehicle you were in at the time of the accident.
✏ State the company, address, and policy number of the insurance for the vehicle that was involved in the accident.
✏ State the exact location and time of the car accident.
✏ State where you were traveling to and from when the car accident occurred.
✏ List the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
✏ In your own words, how did the accident occur?
✏ How fast were you driving when the accident occurred?
✏ In the 24 hours prior to the accident, did you consume any alcohol? If so, which kind and how much?
✏ Were you on any medications when the accident occurred? If so, state the name, dosage, and prescribing doctor of the medication.
✏ As a driver, how many car accidents have you been involved in over the past 10 years? List the dates, nature of accident, and legal outcome for each one.
✏ List all of the traffic violations you have been cited for in the last 10 years.
✏ List all of the physical evidence or documents you know of regarding the accident, including photographs, sketches, diagrams, and reports.
Where to Get Started
Contact a licensed and experienced Indianapolis car accident attorney to make a personal injury claim. They have the knowledge and resources to navigate your case in a way that recovers the full and fair compensation you deserve after being injured in a car accident by a negligent driver.