The process of deposition involves question and answer sessions between a witness and the opposing attorney. The witness is required to testify under oath. The witness can be a person involved in the accident or an eyewitness. The deposition process is a key part of the discovery phase before trial.
The whole session can be summarized into three broad areas which are your personal background, the narration of how the accident took place, the injuries sustained, and their treatment. The lawyer can ask a number of questions pertaining to these domains.
Typical questions which may be posed in a deposition:
Your background history can say a lot about you and your credibility in a case. Here are some of the major areas you need to focus on while preparing for deposition:
- Your personal details regarding your full name, residential address, contact number and date of birth can be noted. Additionally, your residential history for the last 10 years can be questioned.
- The lawyer may take into account your educational background including school, degrees, and trainings undertaken.
- Minute details about your family status may be inquired about. These may include your relationship status, children, and your living situation.
- Your sound health can make you a potential credible witness. During deposition, your medical background will be thoroughly analysed for any injury or health issues before and after the accident. Any chronic illnesses and the doctor you have been seeing for the past 10 years will also come into the picture.
- Your employment history will also be checked. Your last job and reason for quitting may be discussed, in addition to your current job including the duties, shifts, pay, and colleagues.
- The attorney can also examine your criminal background, if any. He may ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime.
- Your legal background history can also act as probable questions. Any claims made and other files lawsuits can lead to strong potential questions.
The accident narration
If you are a witness to a car-accident, you will likely receive a lot of questions regarding how the accident took place.
- The exact day, time and location where the accident took place.
- The direction of your vehicle.
- The typical weather conditions on the day of the accident.
- The traffic conditions of the place where the accident occurred.
- Specific questions like the speed at which you were going, visibility of the other driver’s car, the exact parts which collided, etc. If you do not know the answers do not guess.
- If you spoke with any parties involved following the accident, you may be asked on what was said and whether anybody took responsibility for the crash.
- The physical damages sustained and the cost for treatment will also be brought into question.
- You may be required to sketch a non-scale diagram picturing how the accident happened.
- Your intake of any medically prohibited substances will also be questioned.
- Your filed accident report, if any, will also generate questions which can be asked from you for verification.
The injuries and their treatment
Your lawyer may advise you to file a lawsuit if there were heavy damages to life and property. In such a scenario, you will likely be questioned about your injuries and treatment costs. Here are some questions worth considering:
- The nature of the injuries resulting from the accident.
- Your health conditions before and after the accident, including your medical background.
- The doctors who treated you for the injuries.
- The gravity of the injuries sustained and whether you recovered completely.
- An approximate cost for the medical expenses incured.
- Your job status and missed workdays from your work due to the injuries.
- The effect the injuries have made on your daily routine and your personal relationships.
If you have been involved in a car accident it is important to consult with an experienced car accident attorney. They will help you prepare for deposition and will work to protect your rights throughout the entire procedure.