First of all, what are Interrogatories?
Interrogatories are a formal set of written questions propounded by one litigant and required to be answered by an adversary, in order to clarify matters of fact and help to determine in advance what facts will be presented at any trial in the case.
In claims which involve personal injury, the written questions submitted to the Plaintiff can be very detailed and even seem intrusive. Several questions will even require that you disclose your personal medical history even though it does not relate to your more current medical treatment.
Although this information may seem unrelated and “none of their business,” you are required to truthfully and completely (to the best of your ability) answer each question in full. Section 735 ILCS 5/2-1003(a), of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure specifically states:
“Any party who by pleading alleges any claim for bodily injury or disease, including mental health injury or disease, shall be deemed to waive any privilege between the injured person and each health care provider who has furnished care at any time to the injured person.”
Why would a Defendant be interested in my prior medical history when it has zero relation to my current injuries and why do I have to allow counsel to investigate my medical records?
The simple answer is, all parties involved in a lawsuit are entitled to an investigation of the facts in order to properly pursue their claim or defend themselves. Accordingly, defense counsel will most likely be interested in any previous illness or injury you have received treatment for to ensure there is no relation to the current claims for your injuries.
For example, if your claim involves an injury to your back such as a disc herniation, counsel may look to ensure that you have not had prior complaints of back pain to your primary care doctor or received any treatment for any prior back problems.
If you or someone you know has questions or needs assistance with litigating their claim, contact my office today for a free consultation and legal opinion at 312-888-6058
We are experienced in litigation for personal injury cases and would be happy to help!