What Are Interrogatories for a Car Accident Claim? Interrogatories for a car accident claim are written questions that the plaintiff and defendant may send to be answered by the other party.

Interrogatories are questions one side in a lawsuit sends to the other side. Both the Plaintiff (person filing the lawsuit) and Defendant (person being sued) can send interrogatories to each other. In Florida, you can only ask 30 interrogatory questions unless the court approves more. You must answer them in writing, usually within 30 days or so. If you are filing a lawsuit, interrogatories are very important for making your case.

You must answer interrogatories “under oath.” This means you are swearing the answers are true. If you lie on purpose, you may have to pay a fine or go to jail.

In a car accident, both sides may have different ideas of what caused the accident. Car accident interrogatories can ask about what caused the accident – for example, to find out if speeding, texting, or drug/alcohol use was a factor. Interrogatories let you hear the other side’s story, so you can better prepare your case for the court.

Do you have questions about interrogatories? Do you need help with a car accident insurance claim or lawsuit? Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine: 1-800-747-3733.

For a free legal consultation, call (800) 747-3733

Are Interrogatories Different from Depositions?

Yes. In some cases, one or both sides may also want to take depositions, which, unlike written interrogatories, are in-person interviews.

Depositions usually take place in attorneys’ offices. The attorneys ask questions about facts and events related to the accident. You must swear to tell the truth. A court reporter records everything word for word and gives both sides a copy of the transcript. In some cases, the depositions are videotaped. Depositions are used as evidence in court.

Sample Car Accident Interrogatory Questions

Interrogatories will differ from case to case, but some common questions you might ask or be asked include:

  • How did the accident occur?
  • What injuries did you suffer in the accident?
  • What is the value of your lost wages?
  • What medical treatment did you receive for your accident-related injuries?
  • List any financial costs related to your injuries, lost wages, or vehicle damage caused by the accident.
  • How fast were you driving when the accident occurred?
  • State the location where the accident occurred.
  • Provide the names and contact information of eyewitnesses to the accident.

Some of these questions are very personal. If your lawsuit includes a claim for personal injury, the Defendant can ask questions about your physical and mental health treatment history.

Are you claiming lost wages because the accident made you miss work? Then the Defendant has the right to ask if you have a history of quitting or being fired from previous jobs.

It is important to choose the 30 questions you want to ask the other side very carefully. A lawyer at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you create and submit interrogatories to the Defendant and answer interrogatories submitted to you by the Defendant.

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How Do I Answer Car Accident Interrogatories?

Above all else, it is very important that you provide honest and sufficiently detailed responses. At the same time, you do not want to say anything that:

  • Sounds like an admission of guilt
  • Comes off as inconsistent, which would give the Defendant a chance to question your trustworthiness
  • Is irrelevant to the question, which could make it seem like you are avoiding the response and have something to hide

Since you have about 30 days to answer interrogatories, you do not have to answer all 30 questions in one sitting. You have time to consider your answers before submitting them. If you are unclear about what a particular question means, your attorney can clarify it for you before you answer.

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What Other Evidence Goes into Car Accident Claims?

If you are taking legal action against a negligent driver or other party, you will want as much evidence as possible to back up your claim. Interrogatories are an important part of building a case, but they are just one part. Other sources of evidence may include:

  • Police reports: This may be the first piece of evidence your lawyer requests. It contains critical information about the accident basics, including who was involved and where it occurred.
  • Eyewitness testimony: If anyone saw the accident as it happened or even the immediate aftermath, your lawyer will want to talk to them. Witnesses can corroborate key aspects of your story.
  • Medical records: Whenever you get treatment for any condition, your visit is recorded in your permanent medical record. A lawyer can use these records to prove that you were injured how and when you say you were.
  • Paperwork: Did you get a bill for your medical care or an invoice for repair work done on your car? Do you have paystubs that prove your regular income level? All of this can help establish damages.
  • Videos and photos: If you or a witness took photos of the scene or a traffic cam caught it on tape, your attorney can use that to further prove your story.
  • Expert statements: For instance, vocational rehab specialists can confirm your inability to work, while a medical professional can confirm the severity and nature of your injuries.

The Defendant may also have materials important to your case, like personal photos or documentation. Your lawyer and their lawyer can agree to engage in discovery, which means that they will freely exchange relevant information: you get the materials you need from the Defendant, and the Defendant gets materials they need from you.

In addition, you must be sure to collect all relevant evidence and start your case within the allotted timeframe. Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a) gives accident victims four years to begin proceedings; otherwise, you lose the right to collect damages. If you contact a car accident attorney within this deadline, they can help you file a timely lawsuit.

Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?

A lawyer may be beneficial, especially if your case proceeds to court. A lawyer can help you:

  • Understand the law.
  • Manage your car accident insurance claim.
  • Decide if you have a good case for a lawsuit.
  • Decide how much money to ask for from the liable party.
  • File the paperwork for the lawsuit.
  • Meet all the court deadlines.
  • Help you get any proof you may need.
  • Come up with the 30 interrogatory questions you will send to the Defendant.
  • Understand the interrogatories from the other party.
  • Decide how to present your case to the court.
  • Help you get ready for a deposition.
  • Follow court rules during the lawsuit.

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Were you injured in a car accident? The auto accident attorneys of the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help. We have helped many auto accident victims throughout Florida get the money they deserve. We only help Plaintiffs in auto accident cases, not insurance companies. We are dedicated to helping you achieve the best possible outcome in your insurance claim, at trial, or through pretrial settlement. For a free consultation, call 1-800-747-3733.