Questions You May Need to Answer in a Car Accident Claim
During a car accident claim, you might be required to provide information and answer questions from the other party. The answers to these questions need to be in writing, under oath, and served within a specific time period. Every state has its own rules of procedure and case law that will detail the number of questions that can be asked from either party, how and when you need to object to specific questions, how long you have to respond back as well as how the answers can be used in the case.
Our skilled New Jersey car accident attorneys at Lynch Law Firm, PC may explain what you will likely be required to ask the other party and answer about what caused the accident. If you have a valid car accident claim and decide to move forward, we may be able to advise you during this process so you can better prepare your case to obtain the compensation you need for your injuries.
The Discovery Phase
After a lawsuit is filed in a car accident case, either party can initiate the formal discovery process in which they attempt to gather important information about the case and the other party. This phase of the case can result in the exchange of information, including:
- Information requests
- Requests for admissions
- Requests for the production of documents
What Are Interrogatories?
Interrogatories are a set of written questions that one party involved in a lawsuit asks to the other party during the discovery phase. The questions must be answered truthfully because if you are caught in a lie, you may face a fine or jail time. Interrogatories help the party requesting them learn about the evidence and perspective from the other party. The plaintiff (party filing the lawsuit) and the defendant (party being sued) can send interrogatories to the other side.
Information Exchanged in Car Accident Interrogatories
Car accident interrogatories may ask the parties to exchange a variety of information, including:
- The identify of any treating physician or health care provider
- Medical records
- Expert witness reports
- Qualifications of expert witnesses
- Identity of any business that provided vehicle repairs
- List of damages incurred
- Identity of any person who knows about the details of the accident
Questions Asked in Interrogatories
Each party in New Jersey is subject to uniform interrogatories for car accident cases. Except for 10 additional questions or other questions that the party specifically gets permission from the court to ask, the parties are limited to asking about the following matters when the case only involves property damage in a car accident:
- Ownership of the vehicles involved in the accident
- When and where the vehicle was purchased
- Whether the vehicle was used or new at the time of the accident
- The make, model and year of the vehicles
- The purchase price of the vehicle
- Whether the vehicle had been repaired and when
- Market value of the vehicle before and after the accident
- Whether the vehicle was used for the party’s business
- Whether the vehicle was sold or disposed of after the accident
- Identity of witnesses
Both parties should also plan to be asked about injuries caused by the accident and full details about these injuries and other losses he or she sustained. Some other questions that parties involved in a car accident case may be asked include the following:
- How did the accident occur?
- Where were you going and coming from at the time of the accident?
- Did you have insurance at the time of the accident?
- Were you speeding at the time of the accident?
- Have you been involved in any other accidents in the ten years leading up to the accident?
- Did you suffer injuries in the accident?
- Did you have a pre-existing injury to the same body part that was injured in the accident?
- Are you required to wear eyeglasses when driving?
- Were you taking any medication at the time of the accident?
- What damages have you sustained?
- What medical treatment did you receive for the injuries you suffered in the accident?
Served by the Plaintiff
Interrogatories served by the plaintiff must be answered within 60 days from the date of service if they are sent at the time of the filing of the complaint under New Jersey law. If the interrogatories are sent separately, the defendant must answer them within 40 days of the date of service.
Served by the Defendant
The defendant must serve the plaintiff with interrogatories within the same 40-day window that they have to respond to the plaintiff’s interrogatories.
Schedule a Free Consultation to Get Started
If you need help with your car accident claim, our legal team is ready to assist. We may be able to provide answers to these questions and advise you on how to properly address them. We may also seek protective orders or make objections to questions that go beyond the scope of this aspect of the discovery phase or that are otherwise objectionable. Your consultation is 100 percent free and at no risk or obligation to you.
Give us a call at (800) 518-0508 to get started.