What Are Interrogatories and How Should You Respond?

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There are many aspects of the legal process. Discovery occurs towards the beginning of a lawsuit. During that time you may receive what are called “interrogatories.” Interrogatories are a written list of questions that must be answered in writing under oath in much of the same was if you were answering them in person. While interrogatories can seem extremely intimidating, a personal injury attorney can help to make the process much smoother. 

Sometimes interrogatories require that you are deposed, a process in which you are sworn in by a court reporter and asked questions by an attorney. After the deposition, you will receive a transcript of what was said. Sometimes interrogatories require you to provide specific supporting documents.

The purpose of these interrogatories is to discover specific information about a party to a lawsuit so that the other side can better prepare for trial. 

Common Questions

Interrogatories are different, but many ask questions surrounding the same information:

  • Your address
  • Your place of employment
  • Specifics of the accident in question
  • Injuries you have suffered
  • Treatment of your injuries
  • Location of your treatment
  • Injury-related issues

When you receive interrogatories you must either respond to them or object to them on the legal basis that they are unduly burdensome. Interrogatories may be considered unduly burdensome if answering them would take an extremely long amount of time and an unfair amount of effort. For example, if you receive 50 pages of interrogatories, each with several sub-questions, you may be able to argue that they are unduly burdensome. However, you are still obligated to answer any questions that you do not object to. 

Deadline to Respond 

If you don’t respond to the interrogatories by a specific date, the other side can ask the judge to order your answers. But if you still choose not to do so you can receive a fine or even lose the case if the judge strikes your pleadings. 

It’s really important to remember that although interrogatories are written answers, they must still be answered honestly to the very best of your ability, as you are still under oath. If you lie on your answers to the interrogatories, you can be found in contempt of court or your answers can be used to impeach you during your trial.

Most of the time you have about a month to provide your responses to the interrogatories, whether that’s to answer the questions or to object to them. 

MPJ Law Firm Can Help Those in NM Who Have Been Served with Interrogatories

If you or a loved one has been served with interrogatories, it’s important that you provide your answers by the proper date. While you may feel overwhelmed, it’s important to know that you don’t have to deal with the trial process alone. 

At MPJ Law Firm, we have a deep understanding of personal injury law and understand the in’s and out’s of interrogatories and the discovery process. We will always act in your best interest. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Personal Injury