If you were hurt in an accident, you may be eligible to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury claims are complicated; there are many different steps to the process, including discovery. Essentially, discovery is a pre-trial procedure through which litigants can obtain relevant evidence from the other party.
In personal injury cases, one of the most common (and most important) parts of the discovery process is the deposition. A deposition is a sworn testimony that is given under oath.
There are rules and regulations that govern personal injury depositions along with all other aspects of legal discovery. For example, if you were injured in an accident in Yakima, any oral personal injury deposition will be governed by Washington State Court Rules (CR 30).
Going through a personal injury deposition can be stressful. Even if you are not hiding anything and you are more than willing to provide all of the information that you have, it is still normal to be worried or to have some form of generalized anxiety.
One of the best ways to calm your nerves is to learn a little bit more about how the deposition actually works. In this article, our Yakima personal injury attorneys list some of the sample questions that are most commonly asked in personal injury depositions.
Sample Deposition Questions: Personal Injury
Category #1: Your Personal Background
- What is your full name?
- What is your current address?
- What is your date of birth?
- Can you provide an overview of your educational background?
- Are you currently employed?
- Are you married?
- Do you have minor children or any other dependents?
- Have you filed other personal injury claims in the past?
Generally, the most basic background questions come first. If you are asked these type of questions, try to use this opportunity to calm your nerves and relax. Make sure you answer every question honestly.
Remember, you are allowed to take as much time as you need when answering questions. There is nothing wrong with thinking about an answer. Do not be intimidated by silence. Thoughtfulness matters. You can go as slow as you need.
Remember, your personal injury lawyer should be at the deposition with you. In part, you should rely on them to object to any misleading or unfair questions.
Category #2: The Accident — Causes and Circumstances
- When did the accident occur?
- How did the accident occur?
- Describe what happened prior to the accident?
- What happened after the accident?
- Did you tell anyone else about the accident?
- Were there any witnesses?
- Do you have any physical evidence?
- Do you have photos of the accident?
- Were any reports generated related to the accident?
Be ready for the opposing attorney to ask you a ton of specific questions about the accident itself.
Once again, you can take your time in answering these questions. When responding, you should only give concise, narrow responses to the specific question that was asked. Never speculate or give your general opinion. You have no obligation to make guesses.
You should simply answer factual questions to the best of your ability. As with the background questions, let your Yakima personal injury lawyer object to unfair or misleading questions.
Category #3: Your Injuries and Medical Treatment
- What are the injuries that you have that are related to the accident?
- What medical treatment have you received?
- When did you first seek medical care?
- Do you have medical records?
- Did you have any pre-existing injuries or conditions?
- How much pain do you have?
- Have you been forced to miss time at work?
- How are the injuries affecting your day-to-day life?
In many personal injury cases, insurance companies and defendants try to reduce settlement offers by underplaying the victim’s injuries or blaming the injuries on pre-existing conditions. When answering questions about injuries and medical treatment, you need to be honest, but you should not ‘undersell’ your injuries or ‘downplay’ your pain and suffering.
Once again, do not speculate and do not answer questions that you do not fully understand. Often, opposing attorneys will try to trip people up with complicated or irrelevant questions. Let your Yakima personal injury lawyer protect your rights.
Prepare for Your Deposition: Get Help From a Yakima Personal Injury Attorney
At Kapuza Lighty, PLLC, our Washington personal injury lawyers fight tirelessly to help our clients recover the maximum available financial compensation. We are prepared to guide you through every aspect of the personal injury claims process, including the deposition. To find out more about what our personal injury attorneys can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact us at (509) 866-4166 for a free initial consultation.