Discovery is an important part of the trial process. The discovery phase is as it sounds: an opportunity to learn more about the opposing party before trial. One part of the discovery process is the serving of interrogatories. Interrogatories are written questions that are answered under oath.
Whenever we receive legal documents in the mail it can feel very intimidating. However, with the assistance of a personal injury attorney the process can be much less daunting.
Sometimes these interrogatories require that you submit certain documentation or that you are deposed. A deposition is a legal questioning in which you are sworn in by a court reporter, who will later provide both sides with a transcript of what was said.
Depositions occur in person, with questions being asked by an attorney. Alternately, interrogatories do not occur in person, but rather through written questions on paper that are intended to help provide information about a party to a lawsuit in order to assist with the preparation aspect of the trial.
While they aren’t all the same, many interrogatories include questions such as the following:
- What is your address?
- Where do you work?
- Can you explain your accident in detail?
- What are your consequential injuries?
- Can you describe those injuries in detail?
- Which medical personnel treated your injuries?
- Where were you treated?
- Do you have issues related to your injuries?
Since they can be so overwhelming, you may desire to simply ignore the interrogatories, which you are served. However, this is not an option. You must respond to these interrogatories by a specific date or else the opposing side can request that the judge order you to do so. If you still fail to answer the interrogatories, the judge can strike your pleadings or charge you with a fine.
Unduly Burdensome Interrogatories
Yet, there is another option. You can choose to object to any and all of the interrogatories if they are “unduly burdensome.” For example, if you receive a list of 400 questions, each with five sub-questions, there’s a good chance that answering these interrogatories would be unduly burdensome.
However, even if you object to interrogatories on the legal basis that answering them would be unduly burdensome, you are still required to answer all other questions.
If you are caught telling a lie at trial the judge can find you in contempt or the opposing side can use your answers to impeach you during the trial.
Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC Can Help Those in VA Who Have Been Served with Interrogatories
If you or a loved one has been served with interrogatories, it’s important that you answer properly as soon as possible. You don’t have to deal with these questions on your own. It’s in your best interest to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney at Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!
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