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What Are Interrogatories in a Personal Injury Case?

Although most personal injury claims in Texas settle, some require lawsuits to deliver justice and fair compensation to injured accident victims. If your personal injury case has to go to trial in Houston, you will go through what is known as the discovery phase. Interrogatories are a key aspect of the discovery phase.

What Are Interrogatories?

The discovery phase is an opportunity for both sides of a personal injury case to find out what the other side knows. The plaintiff’s attorney and the defendant’s attorney will request information from each other, such as documents and evidence related to the case. They will also submit interrogatories to gather more information.

Although the word sounds daunting, interrogatories are nothing to fear. They are a list of written questions sent from one party of a civil lawsuit to the other. These questions request basic facts and information about the accident and the victim’s injuries, as well as details about medical treatments and any pre-existing conditions. Filling out an interrogatory clearly, fully and in a way that does not hurt your case is very important as a plaintiff.

In addition to interrogatories, a lawyer may also submit requests for disclosure, production and admission. A request for disclosure is a written form asking you to disclose basic information about the accident and injury. A request for production is a request to produce requested evidence. A request for admission is a request for one party to admit or deny a fact under oath. These are all tools both sides of a case may use to gather as much information as possible about the accident before proceeding to trial. They make the justice system fairer and more efficient.

How to Prepare for an Interrogatory

If your personal injury claim goes to trial in Texas, expect interrogatories. A lawyer can help you prepare the information needed to successfully answer the questions on an interrogatory form. Your lawyer can also help you fill out these forms in a way that will protect you from self-incrimination. A lawyer will know how insurance companies work and how to answer their questions the right way. Questions on interrogatories may include:

  • General information about you, such as your name and Social Security number.
  • Information about your employment history in the last 10 years.
  • A detailed account of the accident.
  • The names and contact information of everyone involved, including eyewitnesses.
  • The amount of any past and future damages you are claiming.
  • A description of all personal injuries sustained in the accident.
  • Information about other accidents you have been in and lawsuits you have been a part of.
  • Information about your medical care, such as the name of your doctor and your official diagnosis.
  • Health insurance information, if applicable.
  • Questions related to the injury trial, such as witnesses your lawyer plans on calling to the stand.

You are legally obligated to answer the questions sent to you on an interrogatory form honestly. If you knowingly misrepresent a fact during interrogatories, you could face serious consequences, including criminal charges for insurance fraud and/or perjury.

Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

You do not have to deal with interrogatories in a personal injury case alone. You have the right to hire a Houston personal injury lawyer to represent you during this phase of your lawsuit. Having a lawyer by your side, advocating for your rights and best interests, can provide peace of mind when you need it the most.

Your lawyer can advise you on what to write in your answers on an interrogatory document, as well as how to stick to the facts of your case without offering too much information. A lawyer can make sure you fill out the document completely, correctly and in a way that will not hurt your case.

For more information about interrogatories during a personal injury case in Texas, consult with a lawyer near you.