April 8, 2019 in Personal Injury
The legal term “interrogatories” simply means “questions.” Attorneys use the interrogatories because the structure of these questions when compiling discovery for personal injury litigation is very specific. An experienced personal injury attorney strategically forms these questions to obtain the facts necessary to build a strong case for their clients. An effective interrogatory must be drafted based on the premise that such questions and answers are necessary to build compelling discovery for competent litigation.
Injured Ark-La-Tex Injury Victims Have Questions That Demand Answers
During the process of personal injury discovery, each side—the plaintiff and defendant—prepares written questions to solicit written answers about the accident or illness that occurred, allegedly caused by the defendant’s negligent or reckless misconduct. https://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/interrogatory.html
For example, the structure of an interrogatory question should be posted as a statement to create space for an open-ended response rather than a barely useful yes or no. In the following hypothetical case, a person suffered injuries because of a slip-and-fall accident on a commercial property’s icy sidewalk. An interrogatory (question) should be drafted to glean as much information as possible to support an injury case.
To clarify, here’s how an interrogatory “question” is different from the structure of a general, non-legal question:
Non-Effective Plaintiff’s Interrogatory Question: Do you keep your sidewalks clear of ice and snow?
Effective Plaintiff’s Interrogatory “Question”: Describe in detail the number of maintenance staff who were available on the date of the incident who were immediately available to clear ice and snow from sidewalks.
The latter interrogatory strives to prove that the facility where the slip-and-fall accident took place did not have adequate outside maintenance employees to responsibly remove snow and ice thereby negligently causing the plaintiff’s injuries.
A skilled defense attorney, who seeks to deny responsibility for the slip-and-fall victim’s injuries, will respond with interrogatory structured questions to determine if the alleged victim had a pre-existing condition such as:
Non-Effective Defendant Interrogatory Response: Before you allegedly slipped on our sidewalk, had you previously injured your back?
Effective Interrogatory Defendant Response: “State in detail whether you visited or received medical treatment for back pain in the last four years.”
The defendant’s response strives to determine whether the accident injury was preceded by a pre-existing back condition. If a pre-existing condition can be proven, the property owner’s liability may be reduced or eliminated.
Federal and Louisiana Law Deadlines For Interrogatory Responses
Federal and Louisiana laws require a response from both sides of interrogatories within 30 days after being served. https://law.justia.com/codes/louisiana/2009/ccp/ccp1458.html A shorter or longer time may be stipulated or ordered by a civil court judge. https://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/rule_33
Also, interrogatory federal and state rules require that the written questions and answers are made under oath to affirm their truthfulness and are signed in the presence of a notary public.
How Many Interrogatories Can Be Submitted and Answered?
Louisiana civil court law Article 1457 limits the number to 35 of interrogatory documents each side can submit without a court’s permission to demand more. https://codes.findlaw.com/la/code-of-civil-procedure/la-code-civ-proc-tit-iii-art-1457.html
Once the interrogatory process is complete and discovery compiled, a civil lawsuit can proceed to trial. Because interrogatories are critical to building a solid personal injury case, they must be prepared with exceedingly high attention to detail.
Gordon & Gordon Personal Injury Law Firm Can Help with Interragatories
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by the negligence or recklessness of another person or entity, the qualified, experienced attorneys at Gordon & Gordon Law can build an effective case on your behalf by writing decisively worded interrogatories.
With 30 years’ personal injury experience behind us and a reputation of multi-million-dollar settlements, founding partners Stephen Gordon and Daniel Gordon are prepared to act as your vigilant advocates to win fair monetary compensation for the harm you’ve endured.
What’s more, as your personal injury law firm, we’ll never charge you a cent up-front because we work on a contingency basis which means we only get paid when you get paid.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims Are Strict
As your personal injury law firm, we’ll discuss what happened, learn the details of your case, and provide you with superior service and skilled representation backed by our full commitment to win your case. And if you’re too injured to visit us, we’ll visit you in the hospital, at home, or a rehabilitation facility.
To begin the fight for the injury compensation you deserve, call 318-716-HELP (318-716-4357) for a free, no-obligation meeting in one of our Shreveport, Mansfield or Bossier City offices with Northwest Lousiana’s premier personal injury advocates, Gordon & Gordon Law. Or if it’s more comfortable for you, send us a message on our notepad, and someone from our office will be in touch with you promptly.