A car accident deposition is a question-and-answer session with an attorney before a trial where a witness provides testimony under oath regarding the occurrences of the accident.
Depositions play a huge role in gathering and discovering new information that could help or harm your accident case. Therefore, it is vital to know the questions to expect during a deposition to ensure that it goes well and strengthen your claim. At Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, we will counsel our clients on several occasions prior to their depositions so they will be prepared with the questions that will be asked in their case. We always caution them to tell the truth, but not provide additional information not asked and feel free to review their medical records in the deposition if needed. Preparation for depositions is one key to winning a lawsuit.
Here are the common questions that you’ll get asked during a Bowling Green car accident deposition.
What’s In This Post:
Your opponent’s attorney will ask you introductory questions for 2 purposes. First, to make you feel at ease, and second, the responses will keep you honest during trial.
The frequently asked preliminary questions include:
- You understand that you’re under oath and that this means you swear to tell nothing but the truth?
- Have you ever done a deposition before?
- Are you ready to respond to my questions today?
- Do you understand that your responses today hold as much weight as before a jury in court?
- Are you on any medication that may prevent you from answering any of my questions?
- In case you need a break, just let me know, and we’ll go for one. Is that okay?
- You’ll alert me if you don’t understand any of my questions, okay?
Basic Personal Background Questions
Upon recording your introductory responses, the attorney will proceed to specific information on your historical background and personal data. These questions are divided into 7 sections:
- What’s your full name? Do you have any nicknames? What’s your date of birth?
- Where were you born? How old are you?
- What’s your social security number?
- What’s your current address? How long have you lived there?
- Where were you staying before (for the past 10 years or so)? For how long?
- Why did you relocate?
- Were you living with someone? Who? For how long?
- Where and when did you attend school?
- What schools did you attend? Did you finish school? If not, why?
- What’s your education level?
- Do you have a degree/degrees? Which ones?
- What’s your marital status? If married, what’s your spouse’s name and occupation?
- Do you have children? If yes, how many?
- Are your children employed? If yes, where?
- Have you ever been arrested? If yes, when? Why?
- Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
- What was the crime? What was the penalty?
Health and Medical Background
- Did you have any health issues or injuries before this accident?
- Have you experienced any injuries or health issues since the accident?
- Do you have any chronic illnesses?
- Have you seen doctors during the last 10 years? Who are they? What treatments have you received?
- Are you employed? If yes, where? For how long?
- What are your previous jobs (e.g., past 5 years)
- Have you missed going to work during the last 5 years? If yes, why? For how long?
Details of Your Car Accident
The next set of questions from the attorney will now focus on how the car accident occurred. Here are the common questions to expect:
- What was the date, time, and place of the accident?
- How did the accident occur?
- Where were you coming from, and where were you going?
- What was the weather condition?
- What was the traffic condition? Were there any traffic control devices e.g., traffic lights, stop signs
- What were you and the other driver doing when the accident occurred? How fast were you going? How far was the other car from you? How fast was it going?
- Where on the road was the scene of the accident?
- What areas of your car collided (e.g., side mirror, the passenger’s side door)
- Were there eyewitnesses on sight?
- Do you have any photos of the accident scenes?
- Did you take any drugs or alcohol 24hrs before the accident?
The Nature of your Car Accident Injuries
The attorney will also question you about your injuries and how they’ve affected your quality of life. Be ready to provide answers to questions like:
- What injuries did you suffer from the accident? How severe were they?
- Have you been previously injured in the specific area of your body for different reasons?
- What symptoms did you experience during and after the accident
- What kind of medical care have you received for the injuries? Did they perform diagnostic tests?
- What medical bills did you receive
- How have these injuries affected your life?
- Have you lost any wages since the injury occurred
- How long have you been away from work, and when do you expect to return?
How Should You Prepare For A Car Accident Deposition?
Do not make the mistake of going for a deposition without knowing what to expect. The best thing you can do for your case is hire a personal injury lawyer. They will help you prepare for your deposition and protect you from unnecessary interrogations.
To prepare for a car accident deposition, you should:
- Review the commonly asked questions and think of your answers.
- Look through your witness statement and other documents like legal information and medical records to refresh your memory
- Answer all the questions truthfully. Presenting false information is unlawful, and you can get you penalized like when you lie to a car insurance company.
- Get enough sleep and food before you come. Depositions can take up to 7 hours a day.
Below are the “unwritten” but relatively necessary do’s for any car accident deposition
- Have knowledge concerning the deposition process and the attorney’s objective
- Be truthful in your answers. If you don’t know the answer to a question, it is perfectly okay to say that. Your answers should be “Yes, No, I don’t know, and I don’t remember”
- Attentively listen to the attorney’s questions, pause, and think before answering.
- Answer the questions according to your personal knowledge
- Whenever asked about a document, request for a review before answering
- Answer your questions truthfully in the shortest possible way, then stop talking
- In case the attorney interrupt you before you finish, let them know and proceed
- Always stay calm.
- Talk slowly and correct any mistakes you make during your deposition
- Dress formally and appropriately
- Be very courteous to the opposing attorney since the jury may be watching one day, especially if the deposition is video-taped
- If you do not know the answer, do not answer. Many times in a deposition, you may forget dates or other details, so do not be concerned if you do not recall everything
There are certain things you just shouldn’t do or say during a deposition:
- Do not lie. We can’t stress this enough. Depositions are given under oath, and lying leads to severe consequences
- Do not interrupt any question
- Do not let the attorney put words in your mouth. When asked to assume a fact, inform them that it’s their assumption, not yours
- Do not guess or speculate anything
- Do not answer any question unless you clearly understand it
- Do not fix or restate the attorney’s question
- Do not look at your own lawyer for help or sympathy
- Do not take drugs or alcohol that will affect your performance prior to the deposition
- Do not let the attorney limit your choices or incorrectly summarize your testimony
- Do not offer to do anything after the deposition ends
Do You Need a Bowling Green Attorney for Your Deposition?
Going through a deposition without any help can be challenging and intimidating. The best way to prepare for your deposition is with the help of a personal injury lawyer who will navigate you through answers to questions both good and harmful to your case.
If you need help with your deposition, contact the experts at Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers or visit our locations in Bowling Green, Glasgow, Gallatin, and Greenville. Our attorneys will review your case and present you at the deposition and during trial.