A deposition is a procedure that happens before a trial where one party asks questions to the opposing side to obtain information. Depositions are not typically carried out inside the courtroom, but the courts still play a role.
Participants in a deposition may need to take an oath that they will state the truth before a judge. If the deposition is compulsory, a judge can issue a subpoena, which mandates that a person participates in a deposition.
In a typical personal injury deposition, an attorney for one party (the insurance company) will ask the deposed person (that’s you- “deposed” is a fancy legal term that means, “questioned under oath”) questions connected to the personal injury claim. The questions and answers are recorded, and a copy of the deposition can be presented as evidence in a trial.
Types of Questions
Information obtained during a deposition can not only determine how much money a victim may receive but can also help decide the outcome of a case. Due to the importance of depositions, some of the questions may relate to your personal life. These can include:
- What injuries have you had in your life?
- What illnesses have you had?
- Have you ever been involved in litigation before?
- Do you have a criminal record?
- What do you do for work?
Questions will also relate to the facts of the car accident case and the auto accident injury. In addition to specifics about what happened on the day of the accident, other questions can include:
- Was anyone with you when the injury occurred?
- Were there witnesses?
- Did you file an insurance claim?
- What happened to you?
- Did you call the police?
- Did you see a doctor?
- Did you receive treatment?
- How have you been feeling since your original treatment?
- Has the injury affected your life in any specific way?
Other questions may be asked of you that help attorneys determine your reliability as a witness. For example, you may be tested on your memory, vision, or hearing ability. You may also be asked to give a history of where you have lived or other historical information.