Most car accident claims settle without ever going to court. However, when parties cannot come to a fair settlement, a claimant may file an auto accident lawsuit to get the compensation amount they deserve. When they file suit, depositions will ensue and your personal injury lawyer will be able to interview the defendant. It is also likely that opposing counsel will interview you as well. The following considers what a deposition is, and what some common deposition questions are during an auto accident lawsuit–
What Is an Auto Accident Deposition?
Depositions are one of the tools that lawyers use during the discovery – or investigative – process of a lawsuit to gain information. Simply put, depositions are oral statements given by parties under oath, and deposing a person is the act of the lawyer asking the person questions. In an official deposition during the car accident lawsuit process, the deposition is recorded, and all persons questioned are required to answer truthfully. Multiple parties, including the plaintiff and the defendant, as well as any medical providers and witnesses, may be deposed.
Auto Accident Deposition Questions for the Defendant
Your car accident lawyer will be responsible for deposing the defendant, the person against whom you are filing a car accident lawsuit. In addition to several background questions, such as the defendant’s name and address, your attorney will probably ask:
- Where did you start your travels prior to the collision?
- Where was your destination if the car crash did not happen?
- Who else was in the vehicle with you?
- What were your activities prior to operating your vehicle that day?
- Had you consume anything alcoholic to drink, or taken any other impairing substances, including prescription drugs within 24 hours prior to the accident?
- Were you in scope of employment at the time of the car crash?
- How fast were you going at the time of the accident?
- Were you talking on a cellphone at the time of the incident?
- How large was the impact between the two vehicles?
- Did you see the other vehicle that was involved in the collision prior to the accident?
The list of questions goes on and on, and will vary significantly depending upon the details of your crash. Your lawyer’s goal is to secure facts for an admission of fault from the defendant in order to prove negligence and strengthen your case.
Auto Accident Deposition Questions for the Plaintiff
You will also be deposed during the car accident process. Just like your lawyer will try to secure an admission of liability from the defendant, the legal representation for the defense will try to gain information to lessen their scope for fault and damages for your injuries. For this reason, it is very important that you are careful in what you say, do not provide more information that you are asked, and are prepared for even the most difficult of questions. Some common deposition questions include:
- Background questions regarding name, birthday, school and work history.
- Describe the details of your accident. Where were you going? Did you make any stops? What did you see before the accident happened? What were you doing at the time of the crash?
- How fast were you going? Did you see the other vehicle involved in the accident prior to the collision?
- Were you wearing a seatbelt at the time of collision?
- Did you call the police after the accident?
- When did you seek medical care after your accident? How much time had elapsed after the accident did you see a medical provider? Whom did you see for your injuries? How long did you see your doctors? What did the doctors do for your injuries? What are your bills?
- Describe the details of your injuries.
- Did you lose any time off of work? How much?
- Are you fully healed? What limitations are you now experiencing? What can you not do currently that you were able to do before the collision?
In addition to deposing the defendant, and being deposed yourself by the defendant’s lawyer, you should also consider deposing key witnesses and experts. Witnesses may be key to prove the defendant is at fault for the car crash and to strengthen your pain and suffering claim. Experts can make opinions on how your body moved due to the impact of the crash and future medical needs.
Luckily, when you work with the experienced auto accident lawyers at the Beliz Law Firm, we will handle all aspects of the deposition for you, and help you to prepare for the defense’s questions. Contact us today for your free consultation and information.