A deposition in a slip and fall case will generally consist of a visit to the defense attorney’s office where you will be questioned about the case under oath. The deposition is an extremely important part of a slip and fall case for a variety of reasons. Although you may already have filled out written questions about the case, this in person interaction will not only give the defense attorney a chance to hear the story first hand, but he will also get a chance to assess you as a witness. This is important because despite however good your case is, if you are a bad witness the insurer will offer you less money.
HERE IS WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN ATTENDING A DEPOSITION:
It will generally be separated into three parts; background information, the actual accident, and the damages and injuries. The background questions can include but are not limited to questions about the plaintiff’s family history, personal history, employment background and possibly more.
The actual accident itself is the central focus of the deposition. It will be a thorough and possibly even invasive line of questioning by the defense attorney trying to glean every bit of information about the accident even to the smallest detail. Questions can include any of the following; what shoes you were wearing, where you carrying anything, where were you looking while you were walking. The attorney will dive deep into each of these questions for example, they may ask whether you were looking down and if not, why were you not looking down. Other questions can include where and how did you fall, what body part hit the ground first and second, was there ice, and if so did you know about it, and when and where did you see the ice and so forth. You will be interrogated so comprehensively that you may even begin to become unsure yourself of the exact details of the accident. Because of this, it is of the utmost importance that you thoroughly prepare for this with your lawyer before the deposition.
The final part of the slip & fall deposition will pertain to the injuries, damages, and overarching effects of the accident. Questions that the defense attorney may ask might seem completely unrelated to the actual accident itself for example, the attorney may ask you to give your entire medical history. For this section it is important to rely on your lawyer in order to instruct you on which questions are in fact irrelevant to the case which you therefore don’t need to answer. Questions can include the following; what were your injuries, which healthcare providers were seen in relation to the accident, are you recovered, or when did the recovery process start. Questions can also include how the injury was a hindrance to your life and what specifically could you not accomplish as a result of the injury for example were/are you able to work or not. They may ask about monetary losses as a result of the injury, who took care of the medical bills, and just about the general effect the injury had on your life.
This article will hopefully give you a better picture of what to expect in a deposition and how to prepare.