If you're a party who is involved in a personal injury case, you have probably come across the word "interrogatories," either because you were the subject of a request for one or because you are now employing one to gather evidence.
What exactly is an interrogatory? The discovery phase of a litigation in personal injury claims can be drawn out. During this phase, both sides exchange a variety of documents and interrogatories have a role here. In New Jersey personal injury cases, both parties frequently employ interrogatories to retrieve information concerning damages the plaintiff has claimed or the defendant's knowledge of something that resulted in the injury of the plaintiff.
We are going to explain what an interrogatory is and when it is used, but for anyone seeking answers, speaking with a personal injury attorney in New Jersey can save yourself a lot of time. Many will discuss your case free of charge, including the team at Brandon J. Broderick. We will answer questions and assist you in deciding whether or not you have a case.
Interrogatories During the Discovery Process in New Jersey
As previously explained, a process known as discovery during a case is when two parties get the chance to learn more about the witnesses and evidence that will be used in court when someone files a personal injury claim.
During the discovery stage of a personal injury case, interrogatories are requests for written responses to particular inquiries. These queries and responses are always delivered in writing. These questions must be asked in search of factual information, rather than a legal interpretation or conclusion.
Information Commonly Asked For From Plaintiffs in Personal Injury Interrogatories
In New Jersey, personal injury cases are filed using standard forms that contain questions that all plaintiffs must answer. This includes information such as your name, address, and contact information, followed by a description about what happened in the accident that led to your injuries.
Information about your injuries will be needed, such as ongoing physical or medical issues, as well as any permanent injuries and any preexisting injuries that may have worsened from the accident.
You will be required to include diagnostic tests, a copy of the results, records of all injury treatments, reports from testifying healthcare professionals, and other evidence to support all assertions, including the dates of admission and discharge if a hospitalization took place.
The questions in an interrogatory form are required, but the defendant may add 10 additional interrogatories, known as supplemental interrogatories. Both parties may do so without the need for the court's permission. If there are more than 10 interrogatories, a party will need permission from the court to submit them. These additional questions could be about what you did the day of the accident, any previous medical conditions you may have, your present physical limits, and more.
How Much Time Do I Have to Answer Interrogatories in a NJ Personal Injury Case?
In a New Jersey personal injury case, if a defendant receives a complaint, they are also considered to have received the necessary standardized interrogatories. The defendant has 60 days to answer with replies to any applicable uniform interrogatories after serving the plaintiff with an answer to the complaint.
The plaintiff must provide answers to the uniform interrogatories within 30 days after receiving the defendant's response to the complaint.
After being served with the interrogatories, any further parties have 60 days to serve an answer.
Am I Allowed to Change An Answer to an Interrogatory After It is Submitted?
You can only revise an interrogatory response if new information comes to light that makes the prior response insufficient or incorrect. This modified answer must be submitted no later than 20 days before the discovery period expires. A party may only change a document after the discovery period has expired if they have new information that was not previously known or discoverable.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer To Help With Interrogatories?
In New Jersey, personal injury claims are subject to a wide range of rules, including applicable uniform interrogatories that must be answered in a timely manner.
Understanding personal injury claims is necessary to responding to these questions and any supplemental interrogatories you may get in a manner that is truthful, comprehensive, and protects your interests. You may need to file extra interrogatories on the defendant to improve your case, but you may not realize this. To properly identify these questions and serve the interrogatories, you will need the advice and help of an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney.
The personal injury attorneys of Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, are prepared to put all of our expertise to work for you. We have success in winning verdicts and negotiating settlements for our clients in various types of personal injury cases.
If you were involved in any personal injury case, you may be entitled to compensation. Call or email us now to set up an obligation-free appointment with one of our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys.
Brandon J. Broderick serves the entire state of New Jersey, as well as New York, Connecticut and other areas of the North East.