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Interrogatories: Why Must I Answer These Annoying Questions?

Confused by Kalavinka on Flickr
Confused by Kalavinka on Flickr

Question: I was injured in an accident and now my attorney has sent me a long list of multiple questions sent by the insurance company lawyers called interrogatories. I don’t see why I should have to take my personal time to answer these when I was the one that was injured. Do I absolutely have to answer these?

Answer: Yes. If a law suit has been filed on your behalf, you must answer interrogatories. But, don’t spend from here to eternity writing a book. It it’s any comfort, your attorney has the right to send questions and requests for documents to the insurance company lawyers. Make sure these have gone out, and get a copy of the answers.

Rise to the challenge and do a great job. Like a baseball player stepping up to the plate against that feared pitcher with the fastballs, take your best swing and hit it out of the park. If they throw curveballs, you have an opportunity to connect with the ball and slam it over the green monster. (That’s what us Red Sox fans call the left field wall.)

That’s your job here. The law is that the mere fact of an injury does not automatically entitle a person to recover. Court rules place the burden of proof on the injured person. So, accept the opportunity to state all of the facts, whether they are your observations at the time of the accident, or the recounting of what you went through afterward.

Never answer interrogatories or draft any other legal document without an attorney.  You have a legal obligation to be truthful and thorough.  But, the limits of your obligation are defined in the rules of civil procedure in each state.  Rules can vary from court to court.  We study the rules for 3 years in law school and there are amendments every year.  So, the above is intended as information and not advice.

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Attorney Myers is a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association, Massachusetts Academy of Trial Lawyers, and New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association. The Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers offer a broad range of legal services in personal injury cases in Massachusetts (MA) and New Hampshire (NH) areas.

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