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Sample Deposition Questions

A deposition takes place any time an individual answers questions while under oath that are posed by a lawyer. It normally takes place outside of a courtroom and generally in a court reporter’s or attorney’s office. Examination before Trial, or EBT, is another name for a deposition and it allows the attorney for the opposing side to gather testimony that assists them in preparing for a case. Testimony that is taken at this time can be used when a case goes to trial. In civil cases that involve negligence or malpractice, a deposition normally takes place during the Discovery phase. This phase follows a suit being filed and initial papers having been exchanged. When attorneys for both sides begin to exchange requested information, this is referred to as “Discovery”. The lawyers from the personal injury law firm that you choose to represent you will help prepare you for the Discovery phase and will be present with you while the interview is taking place.

In regards to a deposition, both the defendant and the plaintiff have the legal right to depose during Discovery. When a defendant is a business entity, the plaintiff’s attorney can depose any employees that may have knowledge of the claim. If medical injuries are involved, then the attorney for the defense has the right to have a physician of their choice conduct a medical examination on the plaintiff. This is referred to as the Defendant’s Medical Examination or DME. Depending on the nature of the injuries, a lawyer from your personal injury law firm may or may not accompany you to the exam.

Here are some samples of questions that can be asked in a deposition:

  • When did the awareness first strike you that an accident was going to occur?
  • In a slip and fall – How did your accident occur? Did you slip or trip, or catch your foot? Did your body contort or twist?
    • Was a foreign substance or an object present on the surface where the accident took place?
    • What part of your body did you land on and describe how you landed. Were you face down or face up and where were your feet and head pointed?
    • For auto accidents – Did you hear anything immediately prior to the accident?
      • Describe the motion of your body during the course of the accident. (Sometimes the way a plaintiff describes the accident may contradict certain laws of physics. This is what the defense attorney is hoping will happen.)
      • Explain what body parts made contact with what interior parts of your vehicle (or floor, sidewalk, etc.)
      • When did the pain begin? Did you experience swelling and when and where?
      • Did you sustain, scrapes, bruises or cuts and when did they become visible and to what parts of your body?
      • Did any individual get photos at the accident scene? If so, when and by whom? Have you seen these pictures?
      • Did anyone get pictures of your injuries?
      • How soon did you seek medical treatment and how did you get to a medical provider?
      • How did you select your physician and how long were you there?
      • Describe in detail the treatment you received.
      • When was the last time you saw your physician?
      • Did your physician prescribe medication and are you currently taking any medicine as a result of the accident?
      • Describe how you are feeling today.

Defense attorneys are widely known to try to trip a plaintiff up during the Discovery phase of a deposition, and may ask misleading questions where you answer can easily be misconstrued or taken out of context. This is why it is critical to work with a personal injury law firm that has experience litigating your type of case.  Most work on contingency fees and provide a free initial consultation.

If you live in Baltimore, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Island, New York City, Houston, Chicago, Boston, Tampa, Miami, Phoenix, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Philadelphia or anywhere else in the United States, call today for a free case review.

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