What questions can I expect to be asked during a deposition?
A deposition is pre-trial discovery tool used to gather information and evidence. During a deposition, a person appears at a scheduled time to give a sworn testimony. A court reporter is normally present to record the answers. A person can be compelled through a subpoena to attend a deposition. The anticipation and the actual deposition can be a scary experience. Deposition preparation can help ease the tension. If you have received a deposition schedule in New York, it is best to consult with an attorney. A personal injury lawyer can take you through the process and advise you on the right way to answer the questions. This will make the process less intimidating.
The following are some of the questions you can expect in a personal injury deposition.
• Where do you currently reside? Where have you resided over the last 10 years?
• Where do you work? Are you employed or self-employed? How much do you earn currently? How many jobs have you held over the last 10 years? What were the reasons for leaving your previous jobs? Did you leave voluntarily or were you terminated? (If you are claiming lost wages, you can expect more questions on your income and employment history.)
• Have you been previously involved in other lawsuits or legal claims? (Claims include insurance claims and other lawsuits including divorce).
• Do you have a criminal record?
• Have you had illnesses or injuries in the past? ( This part can be very detailed. You should have your medical history and the treatments you received for the injuries or illnesses. If you cannot recall all the details, you can tell the court that is all you can remember at the time.)
Accident and Injury Questions
• Describe the details and the circumstances surrounding the accident. (If you were injured as a result of a car accident, you can be asked to give the following information. What time did you leave, where were you headed, what route were you using, did you make any stops, were you alone, what were you doing prior to leaving, were you wearing a seat belt, did you make any turn signals, what condition was your car in prior to the accident, were you texting when driving, what did you tell the police officer at the scene of the accident, etc.).
• Describe the injuries suffered. (here you will be expected to describe the injuries incurred in the accident. The details include areas in your body where you felt pain or were bleeding. You also need to describe any symptoms you incurred after the accident. Details of the injuries also include the doctor who treated you, the physical complaints you made to the doctor and the treatment received. You may also be asked how and if you paid the doctor. The frequency of the treatment is also included. You may also be asked how you are feeling at the time of the deposition. You can be asked to explain why you sought alternative treatment such as a chiropractor instead of another doctor.
• Describe any physical limitations that you are experiencing. ( This line of questioning is for people who are claiming temporary or physical disability. The claimant is expected to describe in detail what they used to do before and are not able to as a result of the injury. A doctor’s report is also crucial to prove the credibility of any of the claims made.)
At a deposition, there will be yes and no questions. To avoid saying anything that could jeopardize your case, it is best to stick to brief explanations. You can offer lengthy explanations when the attorney asks you to. While these questions are mainly straightforward, some questions can be asked to paint you in a negative light. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer prior to the deposition is crucial to ensuring that you receive full compensation commensurate with your injuries.