Few people will ever be deposed in their lifetime. While it’s a relatively common legal practice, it’s not one that most people will encounter unless they’ve been involved in some kind of accident. When such an accident occurs, and a person learns they’ll face a deposition, it’s natural to feel nervous. Any unfamiliar legal experience can rattle a person. It’s important to remember, though, that a deposition is simply a question and answer session designed to gather information about your accident and injuries.
The First Section of Questioning
Depositions are typically made up of three parts. The first section of questions usually cover details about the plaintiff’s personal life.
- Who are you?
You might be used to answering this question at cocktail parties or first dates, but in a deposition, the attorney deposing you isn’t looking for information about your astrological sign or where you went to college. Instead, you should plan to give information about your home address, your work history and details about your family. This information will be used to create context for your accident.
2. Before the accident, how was your health?
If you’re seeking compensation for medical bills you accrued because of your accident, you’ll likely be asked about your health before the collision occurred. For example, if you injured your neck in a crash, the attorney will likely question the condition of your neck before the accident. It’s important to be honest when answering such questions. Even if your neck was fine before the incident, it’s important to mention any previous injuries relating to the area. If you broke your shoulder ten years ago and fail to bring it up when asked, you could be perceived as hiding something.
The Second Section of Questioning
The next section of the deposition typically revolves around the incident in question. You’ll be asked for precise details about your experience, so it’s important to be honest about the things you know. Don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know the answer to something.
- How did your accident occur?
You’ll likely be asked to recount your experience on the day of your accident. Information about where you were heading, what the road conditions were like and what led to the collision will all be important when answering this kind of question. Give an honest, accurate and direct description of the incident and don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” if you really don’t know the answer to a question.
2. What caused your injury?
A discussion of how exactly your injury occurred will also likely be part of the deposition. You can describe the injury you sustained and detail the exact moment the injury occurred. In some cases, you might have been unconscious when you were injured. That’s okay. Explaining what happened to the best of your ability is all the attorney is looking for.
3. What kind of treatment did you receive?
The discussion of your injuries continues with questions about treatment. Outline the steps you took to get examined, to have tests and X-RAYs performed, and to care for the injury as it healed. Everything from your initial interactions with EMS at the scene of the accident, the surgeries and procedures you endured, all the way through the physical therapy you continue to receive should be included in your answer to this question.
The Final Section of Questioning
The final stage of questioning often revolves around the impact the accident and resulting injuries had on a plaintiff’s life. Before answering such questions, consider all the ways your life has changed since your accident. Think about things you’re no longer able to do and about the tasks you can do only with great difficulty.
- How has the injury impacted your life?
It’s easy to think of the physical ways your injury might have changed your life. Perhaps you can no longer perform your duties as a waitress because of your broken leg, or maybe you can’t coach your son’s baseball team because of your whiplash. Be aware that proof of these changes may be required in some cases, so it’s best to be honest about the way your injury has impacted your life
2. How much have you incurred in medical bills thus far?
The sheer number of appointments after sustaining an injury in a car accident can be dizzying. It’s even harder to put a number on the money you’ve spent or the debt you’ve racked up. While it seems like a straightforward question, speak to your attorney about the best ways to determine this figure. It’s never a good idea to guess.
Find Legal Allies
If you’ve been in a car accident, speaking with an experienced lawyer can ensure your rights are protected. Lawsuit Info Center can help connect you with a local car accident attorney who can prepare you for depositions, handle the insurance company and take on negligent drivers. No matter where you’re at in the process of pursuing compensation after an accident, a call to an attorney is always a good idea.