Regular people with day-to-day activities normally could care less about how certain aspects of law work. Only when an individual is injured, it becomes apparent that knowing as much as possible about the process of filing an injury case can actually significantly affect the outcome of the claim. The following information is provided to educate an individual about the process of case building and information gathering. Having the right information ahead of time can help individuals come prepared and know what to expect as well as picking the right attorney.
Lawsuits are governed by a set of rules and regulations designed to give both sides the ability to discover important information. Lawyers rely on a set of specific tools that are used for gaining valuable information during court cases, especially when it comes to cases involving injuries. Interrogatories, for example, are considered discovery tools that are used by both sides of a case. Obtaining information and discovering useful information about the other party is achieved by using interrogatories. Understanding specific terms and time frames of interrogatories helps a person or a lawyer obtain the information they need for personal injury cases.
The Process of Interrogatories
Each party of a personal injury case develops a set of questions that are sent to one another to be answered. A party that receives interrogatories must follow the guidelines when it comes to providing answers. There is always a time frame to consider and a deadline that is usually around 30 days. Once a party receives a set of questions they are required to answer those questions to the best of their ability within the time frame that is given. All answers must contain a written verification stating all content is true to the best of the individual’s knowledge. Interrogatories often involve questions that dig into an individual’s background. Past injury claims, work histories, and medical issues in the past, are usually the type of questions asked about in interrogatories.
Asking a certain set of questions helps a party discover evidence that is and is not admissible in court. Questions can also involve potential witnesses and how certain injuries were obtained from the incident in question. Not all states have the same set of rules and guidelines that dictate how interrogatories are handled. Therefore, it is important to hire a personal injury lawyer that is familiar with how their particular state deals with questions and answers used for discovering information and evidence. Using a standard set of interrogatories forces the responding party to answer questions because they are court approved and it is mandatory to comply by answering court approved interrogatories.
How Responses Affect a Personal Injury Case
All responses to the questions sent to the other party are extremely important and play a key role with which direction the attorney may take the case in. Answers to interrogatories are considered admissions which result in the ability of a lawyer to read the answers out loud in a court room. Experienced lawyers realize the power behind admissions that are used in court. Admissions can be used the entire time a case is being held in court, which helps to add supporting evidence to discoveries that are made during all phases of a court case. When interrogatories are not answered by the side asking for answers, a motion for “sanctions” may be filed with the court, up to and including contempt of court.
Knowing how the process works certainly won’t make you an expert on personal injury law, nor should you try to avoid hiring someone who actually specializes in law for a living. However, an educated person can make the right decision when it comes to working with attorneys and help their own case by coming completely prepared.