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What questions will be asked in a deposition?

When you have filed a lawsuit in an accident case, you have to develop your case by discovering facts. One of the ways to conduct discovery is through a deposition, which is a recorded interview with the opposing attorney.  The deposition can be taken at the courthouse, but it is usually taken at the other attorney's office, your lawyer's office, or at a court reporter's office. The person, who is giving the testimony to the attorney, is referred to as deponent and it is testimony given under an oath. Depositions form a vital part of discovery in car accident lawsuits. The main purpose of the deposition is to let the parties learn more about the facts and the persons before the actual trial begins. The witness can be anyone, ranging from an eyewitness to an accident, drivers of the cars involved in the crash, or a passenger of those cars. The deposition provides an opportunity to the victim to understand the case better so that he or she can prepare a winning strategy before the trial begins. The questions in a deposition vary from case to case but the introductory and background questions are common in all the cases.  The questions for deposition preparation are standard across different kinds of cases. Here are sample questions and issues that will be discussed by the attorney in a deposition.

Background Questions

Personal Identification

  • Name, nickname, date of birth, age, phone number
  • Residential address and the duration of residing, addresses of the past residences
  • Work and schedule

Family Background

  • Marital status
  • Spouse name, his or her occupation
  • Number of children, if any
  • Activities with the family both before and after the accident

Educational Background

  • Name of the school where you studied
  • Level of education
  • Degrees
  • Educational training

Medical Background

  • Health issues before the accident
  • Health issues since you have met with the accident
  • Disability or chronic health problems
  • Treatment you have taken in the last few years

Legal and Criminal Background

  • Any conviction for the crime
  • Type of crime you committed and its penalty
  • Ever made any claims or lawsuits previously

Questions Related To The Accident

The common questions by the attorneys regarding the accident can touch on the following topics:

  • Time and date of the accident
  • Place you were coming from and you were headed to
  • Traffic and weather condition on the accident day
  • Any traffic lights or signs involved
  • Location of the accident
  • Many specific questions about speeds and distances
  • The speed of both the cars
  • Part of the vehicles collided
  • Injuries and Its Treatment
  • Now, the attorney will question about the injuries you got and treatment
  • Injuries caused due to the accident
  • Doctors you consulted
  • Symptoms you suffered during the accident
  • Time and duration of medical care
  • Cost of medical care
  • Income lost and claimed amount
  • Loss of income and opportunities in future
  • Loss of consortium and sex
  • How injuries affected personal relationships

These are some of the questions that can be asked by the attorney in a deposition. If you don't know the answer to any of the questions, don't answer because these answers will be used as a testimony during the trial in the court. You can also give estimates when appropriate.  Even you can depose the defendant and get the information about the events leading to the accident.  You also have the right to depose any witness you think will make your case stronger. Remember the session can be really aggravating due to irrelevant and intrusive questions that are asked. Be calm and answer the questions politely. If you refuse to answer the questions, it can place you on a bad light and it can have a negative effect by having a judge impose sanctions. However, if they ask you harassing questions, you have the right to object and refuse to answer.    

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