Interrrogatories are written questions which the Industrial Commission requires parties (injured workers, employers, insurance adjusters) to answer. They are usually written by the attorney representing the other side. The idea is that when there is a dispute it is efficient if both sides trade information and answer questions before getting into a hearing. That’s the theory.
In practice you have to understand that most defense attorneys get paid by the hour. This means unless they are working they are not billing time or getting paid by the insurance company. So they need to find work to do. One of the ways we feel that they find work to do is to send out a lot of unnecessary interrogatories asking questions which are either irrelevant or to which they already know the answer. It’s something we just have to suffer through as the Industrial Commission routinely allows them.
Keep in mind that your attorney will screen your answers and will object where appropriate. We have found, however, that it is often simpler to answer the interrogatories unless they are truly offensive or too personal. Getting into a fight over them simply plays into the defense attorney’s hands. He gets paid to fight plus if he knows it gets under your skin he may do it all the more just to see if you’ll give up your case and settle cheap. It’s not exactly how the system is supposed to work but that’s the way we’ve seen it operate for a long time now.