Preparing for an auto accident deposition can be stressful. If you have been involved in a Houston car accident, knowing what to expect can help you navigate this process more easily. Plaintiffs in personal injury cases involving auto accidents are nearly always deposed by the defendant’s lawyer. Your own attorney will typically provide you with valuable guidance on how to dress and how to behave during these question-and-answer sessions. He or she can also provide you with a general overview of the deposition process. Here are three of the most common areas of questioning to expect during your upcoming deposition.
Who Are You?
You will be asked to give your name, your date of birth and your current address. Other questions may focus on your employment or educational history, your relationship status and the names of your immediate family. This information is used to verify your identify at the beginning of the deposition. You may also be asked if you are currently on any medications.
What Happened During the Accident?
The deposing attorney will then move on to questions about the accident in which you were involved. He or she may ask some or all of the following deposition questions:
- When and where did the accident take place?
- Did weather play a role?
- How did the accident happen?
- Was excessive speed involved?
- Did either driver receive a ticket for a traffic infraction after the accident?
- Do you know of any witnesses?
- Did you talk to the other driver? If so, what information was exchanged?
- Was your vehicle damaged? If so, where was it repaired and how extensive were the damages?
- Was the other vehicle damaged?
- Were you under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications at the time of the accident?
- Were you transported to the hospital by ambulance after the accident?
It is important to note that, in most cases, the attorney questioning you is working for the opposing side in your case. If you do not remember the answer to a specific question, say so. Accuracy is the most important factor when describing the conditions leading up to your accident. Do not volunteer more information that what is asked and remember that you will be under oath, so tell the truth.
How Badly Were You Hurt?
Plaintiffs in injury accident cases must usually complete a deposition regarding the extent of their injuries and the medical care they received. These lines of questioning are intended to determine the validity of your Houston car accident insurance claim or lawsuit. Some of the most common questions include the following:
- What injuries did you sustain in the accident?
- When did you first seek medical attention for these injuries?
- Where did you seek treatment?
- What is the total amount paid for medical treatment for these injuries?
- Did you miss time from work because of your injuries? Are you claiming damages for lost income?
- How have your injuries affected your daily activities?
Your answers to these questions may be used to undermine your claim for damages against the driver responsible or against his or her insurance company. Consulting with an experienced Houston traffic accident lawyer before your deposition can help you avoid making mistakes that could result in a lower settlement offer or award for your injuries.
Professional attire is generally recommended for depositions; most experts suggest dressing as if you were going to an important job interview. Sticking to the subject and answering questions honestly but briefly will generally produce the best results. Even if some questions seem overly intrusive or personal, try to answer them as politely as possible. This can help the deposition process go more smoothly and can ensure the best possible results for your case. Your attorney will usually be present and will step in if the questions stray too far afield from the subject at hand. By working with an experienced legal professional, you can be sure that you receive the best possible representation throughout your personal injury case.