Deposition

By Daisy Rogozinsky
/
March 24, 2022

If you are in a motor vehicle accident and take the case to court, it is likely that part of the legal process will include a deposition. In this article, we’ll explain what a deposition is and how it might go for a typical motor vehicle accident case.

Key Takeaways

  • A deposition is when a witness gives testimony under oath outside of the courtroom
  • Usually, at a motor vehicle accident deposition, the claimant will be deposed 
  • It is recommended to attend a deposition with an attorney
  • Typical motor vehicle accident deposition questions are about one’s background, details of the accident, and negative impacts of the accident such as injury

What Is a Deposition?

A deposition is a legal term referring to a witness giving testimony under oath but outside of the courtroom. Depositions are done as part of building a case, used as an opportunity for attorneys to gather information that can help their clients win their case. An attorney’s goal in a deposition is to find out any and all relevant information so that there are no surprises in court when a witness takes the stand. 

What to Expect During a Motor Vehicle Accident Deposition

In a motor vehicle accident, depositions are typically attended by the individual being interviewed, the parties to the lawsuit, attorneys for both parties, and a court reporter to administer oaths. The court reporter will record all testimony and make a written transcript of the deposition available to all parties afterward.

Most of the time in a motor vehicle accident legal case, the claimant will be deposed. It is not mandatory for the claimant to be represented by a lawyer, but it is recommended. In addition to being present for the deposition, an attorney can also help individuals prepare. 

Questions that are commonly asked at motor vehicle accident depositions include:

  • Questions about one’s personal, medical, and criminal background such as:
    • Name
    • Address
    • Occupation
    • Pre-existing conditions
    • If you’ve ever been convicted of a crime or filed any lawsuits
  • Questions about the accident and how it happened such as:
    • When and how the accident occurred
    • The circumstances leading up to the accident such as weather and traffic conditions 
    • What kind of damage happened to your car
    • What you did immediately following the accident
    • Any conversations or interactions you had with the other driver
    • Whether or not there are photos of the scene
    • If you drank alcohol in the 24 hours before the accident
  • Questions about one’s injuries and treatment such as:
    • The injury, loss, and property damage happened as a result of the accident
    • How the accident has impacted your day-to-day activities 

If you are being deposed and you don’t know the answers to one or more of the questions being asked, it is best not to guess. 

What Happens After a Motor Vehicle Accident Deposition

After a motor vehicle accident deposition, both parties will have an opportunity to review the transcripts. The attorneys for either side will typically evaluate the transcripts for their impact on the case. Sometimes, further depositions or evidence-gathering will be needed. The defendant’s team may make a request for the claimant to undergo an independent medical examination to verify their claims. 

Ultimately, the defendant’s legal counsel may offer a settlement and, if it is not accepted, the case will then go to court. 

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