Truck Accident Interrogatories
The term “interrogatory” stems from the Latin verb “interrogare,” which means “to ask.” In basic terms, interrogatories are questions that parties ask each other during lawsuits. For example, those approaching truck accident lawsuits may need to either submit or answer interrogatories as they pursue compensation for their injuries. Plaintiffs can establish a more complete understanding of how interrogatories work before they move forward with their truck accident lawsuits in California. During a consultation with the truck accident lawyers at Heiting & Irwin, those injured in truck accidents can learn more about interrogatories and other new, potentially-unfamiliar legal concepts. James Otto Heiting is the only past President of the State Bar of California ever elected from the Inland Empire, and he has fought for the rights of injured victims for over 45 years. Call 951-682-6400 today to get started.
During the pre-trial discovery phase of a personal injury lawsuit, both parties attempt to gather as much information as possible. Discovery can help plaintiffs find out more about facts, witnesses, documents, and even the general strategy that the defendant plans to employ. There are strict rules that govern this process, and both parties must provide certain documents and information upon request. Examples of this information include:
- Vehicle records including maintenance and ownership
- Medical records
- Financial documents
- Wage history
- Various reports and statements
During the pre-trial phase, parties may also submit interrogatories to one another. interrogatories are written questions, and all responses to these questions are under oath. Plaintiffs injured in truck accidents must respond to a certain number of interrogatories, but we also have the opportunity to submit our own interrogatories to defendants.
Examples of Interrogatories in Truck Accident Lawsuits
A sample list of interrogatories can help plaintiffs understand what to expect. Interrogatories often take the form of questions, although imperative statements are also common.
Interrogatories Plaintiffs May Face
Here is a list of sample questions plaintiffs in truck accident lawsuits may face:
- Are you required to wear glasses while driving a motor vehicle?
- Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions?
- List all of your past employers over the past 10 years
- What is your annual income?
- Do you have any substance abuse issues?
- Have you filed any personal injury lawsuits in the past?
- Have you made any auto insurance claims in the past?
- List all eyewitnesses to the accident and their contact information
- Provide any pictures, photographs, or video recordings related to the accident
- What did you experience during the accident, to the best of your recollection?
- Did you take any prescription or other medication 24 hours prior to the accident?
Interrogatories Plaintiffs May Submit
In addition, plaintiffs and their attorneys may submit interrogatories to defendants:
- When was the truck last inspected prior to the accident?
- What is the driving record of the truck driver?
- Does the truck driver have a history of substance abuse?
- Did the trucking company conduct a background check of the driver prior to hiring?
- For how many hours was the truck driver operating the vehicle prior to the accident?
- Is the trucking company fully licensed, with all necessary permits?
- Identify any eyewitnesses and their contact information
- Provide any photos or footage of the incident – including dashcam footage
- Provide the full itinerary of the driver 48 hours prior to the accident
- Describe the cargo carried by the truck at the time of the accident
How to Answer Interrogatories
When answering interrogatories, plaintiffs must follow a number of rules:
- They must respond within a certain amount of time
- They must sign their answers and make an oath of truthfulness
- They must answer accurately
- They must answer truthfully
- They must answer completely
- They do not need to volunteer information that was not specifically requested
Before answering interrogatories, it is best to have a personal injury firm such as Heiting & Irwin representing you.
Interrogatories vs. Depositions
Interrogatories and depositions both occur during “discovery” and require responses under oath. In addition, they both have the underlying goal of collecting information from the other party.
However, interrogatories and depositions have notable differences. While interrogatories take the form of written questions, depositions are conducted like interviews. When answering interrogatories, plaintiffs have more time to think about their responses. Although they must answer truthfully, they can exercise more care and caution when it comes to the specific wording of these responses. In contrast, depositions put plaintiffs in potentially high-pressure situations where they must verbally answer deposition questions in a relatively quick manner. Both may be used in court as if the answering person made the statements from the witness stand in court.
Contact Riverside Truck Accident Attorneys Today
Aside from interrogatories, there are many other issues and concepts that plaintiffs will encounter as they seek compensation for truck accident injuries in Riverside. To gain a more complete understanding of these concepts, consider booking a consultation with Heiting & Irwin. During this initial meeting, plaintiffs have the opportunity to ask questions, receive targeted guidance, and establish a greater sense of confidence about the legal process ahead. Call 951-682-6400 today to get started.