When a law suit is filed in a personal injury case, the parties will engage in the discovery process. This is a process where the parties exchange information regarding the facts and circumstances of their cases. Discovery comes in a few different forms. There can be requests for documents, requests for admissions, subpoenas duces tecum, depositions, and interrogatories. This exchange process is designed to ensure that both sides have all the information that is out there regarding the case so that both sides can get a fair trial based on all available evidence. Discovery is also an opportunity for both sides to weigh the pros and cons of their cases and helps parties in deciding to settle and avoid the necessity and costs of a trial if the evidence favors one party or the other. One common form of discovery are interrogatories.
Interrogatories are a set of questions that can be served directly to a part in the lawsuit. Interrogatories cannot be served on a person or business that is not a named party in the lawsuit. Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.340 provides the rules regarding interrogatories. The Florida Supreme Court has approved standard interrogatories in certain kinds of cases. For example, there are standard interrogatories available in car accident cases, medical malpractice cases, and general personal injury cases. In order to answer the questions in the interrogatories, the party must file written answers as well as swear to the truth of those answers by signing and swearing in front of a notary. Interrogatories served to Plaintiffs are usually questions asking about how the injury happened, what the injuries are, what doctors have treated the injuries, and what medical bills are outstanding, as well as questions regarding the plaintiff’s employment and history with insurance claims. Answers to interrogatories must be accurate because those answers can be used to impeach and attack a party’s credibility if those answers are later proven untruthful through other evidence and discovery. Interrogatory questions can often be confusing, intrusive, and demanding. At Givens Givens Sparks we can help guide you through the sometimes tedious discovery process in order to ensure that your case moves forward in the best possible manner.