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Deposition re: auto accident w/o an attorney. Is there a list of questions that are out of bounds? What can I object to?

Los Angeles, CA |

Already submitted to an interrogatory form that asked many questions. I am the Plaintiff, at what point can I object to the same or additional questions regarding this accident. Do I have to answer questions about my health, or the health of members of my family. etc.?

Attorney Answers 10

  1. You may have already harmed your chances of recovering fair compensation by proceeding this far without an attorney's help. I would strongly encourage you to retain an experienced injury lawyer and not try to defend yourself during your own deposition. Under applicable rules of civil procedure with which you may not be familiar, the scope of discovery is quite broad. Deposition questions may generally cover not otherwise privileged that is anything reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, including medical information.

    This answer is made available by an attorney licensed to practice in the state of Oregon. The communication is intended for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. Actual legal advice can only be provided by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law in which your concern lies. By using or participating in this site, you understand that there is no attorney/client relationship or privilege between you and the attorney responding.

  2. Your question exposes why you should be represented by counsel. The rules of evidence and proper objections to made during a deposition are well beyond the scope of this limited forum. If you do not want to hire a lawyer to properly represent you, it is suggested that you take a trip to the local library to study up on the deposition process, civil procedure, rules of evidence and rules of court. Good luck.

  3. So, you'd basically like me to every question and objection out of bounds in one tiny paragraph? Questions about your health?? Well, wouldn't any physically injury affect your health??

    Your question on AVVO is unreasonable. This is why you'd hire an experienced attorney to defend you. I once had a criminal client who handled his own disposition. It was for a PI case where he admitted that once his money ran out, he bought Vicodin off a friend. Now, most people would see this as a reasonable solution to not having insurance and not being able to afford pain meds due to a very very serious car accident. Unfortunately, the DA saw it as felony drug possession without a prescription. And the poor guy who sold it? Drug sales - Kid You not.. and the insurance company's lawyer thought he was just "doing a public service"

    Look, there's no possible way any lawyer could predict what the attorney will ask you that is deemed out of bounds, and I promise you, most lawyers will take liberties with people who aren't protected by an attorney if they can get away with it... especially when it's in the best interest of their client.

  4. I get really concerned when I see people try to litigate cases by themselves. When you are out of small claims, it is a totally different ball game. I have seen (and maybe done so myself) attorneys take advantage of the discovery rules on pro pers, hitting them with sanctions and motions to compel. If requests for admissions are part of the discovery packet, you may have lost the case already. You may be trying to avoid contingent fees, but I would lawyer up fast.

  5. In Depositions, the attorney can follow up on information that you provided in response to the Interrogatories. As the case involves an auto accident, questions about your health would be relevant (assuming that you're suing for personal injuries).

  6. You pretty much have to answer everything. Why don't you have a lawyer?

  7. There is no way to explain what you can or can't object to in a short post, but you shouldn't be playing lawyer, as you will surely sabotage your good claim.

  8. Well, one set of questions that would be completely out of bounds would be asking about what you and your lawyer talked about regarding the case. That would be considered privileged communications. To be able to assert this privilege, you will need a lawyer... so step one is hiring a lawyer. Step two is communicating with your lawyer.

    - Paul

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
    Attorney at Law, Physician

    * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy. ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of defective drug and medical device litigation (Actos, Accutane, Actonel, Antidepressants, Avandia, Bextra, Byetta, DePuy Hip Implant, Digitek, Ephedra, Fosamax, Gadolinium, GranuFlo, Guidant Implantable Defibrillators, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), Ketek, Kugel Mesh Patch, Lipitor, Mesothelioma, Nuvaring, Ortho Evra, Paxil, Pradaxa, Prempro, Prisma Dialysis Recall, Reglan, ReNu with MoistureLoc, Smith and Nephew Hip Replacement, Stryker Hip Replacement, Tequin, Topamax, Transvaginal Mesh, Trasylol, Vioxx, Yaz, Zelnorm, Zimmer Durom, Zyprexa, and More), medical malpractice, personal injury, and real estate law and does so anywhere in the State of California. *** If you enjoy my posts, enjoyed a consultation with me, or are a happy satisfied client, please give me an Avvo recommendation/review.

  9. Anything relevant and not privileged is fair game. You can raise form of question objections to preserve the record for future proceedings. Hire an attorney.

  10. The opposing side is entitled to answers which are related to the case, even if remotely. This means a seasoned lawyer could pretty much ask anything (reasonable), as he will come up with some relation to the incident. I STRONGLY agree with everyone else. You should really get a lawyer.

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