In our July post, we discussed the basic formula for success at a personal injury deposition. Here, we will apply those principles to bicycle accident cases. Our bicycle accident lawyers will (1) prepare you to address substantive questions you likely will face, and (2) make sure you are comfortable with the deposition process.
Prepare to Address Substantive Bicycle Accident Questions
At deposition, the defense attorney will ask questions to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case; assess how much sympathy your specific circumstances will garner from jurors; and lock in your testimony in anticipation of trial. The questions will cover the following areas:
- Your full name
- Your address
- Your family situation
- Your education
- Your work experience
- What happened? What is your version of events?
- What were the road conditions?
- What was the weather?
- How was the visibility?
- Did you do anything to contribute to the accident?
- Could you have prevented the accident?
- Were they witnesses?
- Did you talk to them after the accident?
- What did they tell you they saw?
- Did you obtain contact information for these witnesses?
Your bicycle will say as much about you as about the accident. You will be asked about:
- What type of bicycle were you riding?
- Where did you purchase it and when?
- How often did you ride it?
- Prior to the accident, when was the last time your rode that bicycle?
- Who performed repairs on it?
- Who maintained it?
- How well was it maintained?
- Is it equipped with lights? A bell?
- Do you have maintenance/repair records?
- What injuries did you sustain as a result of the accident?
- Where did you go to seek treatment?
- What treatment did you receive?
- Are you still receiving treatment and, if so, for how long do you anticipate needing to continue treatment?
- Will you need rehabilitation therapy or services?
- Do you anticipate a full recovery?
- Will there be any long-term effects?
- Were you wearing appropriate riding clothing?
- Were you wearing a helmet?
Your “Before” Picture
- Describe your physical condition prior to the accident.
- Have your ever suffered injuries in the same part of the body?
- How much of your injuries can be attributed to a condition from which you suffered prior to the accident?
Your “After” Picture
- What impact has the accident had on your daily life?
- Did you have to take time off from work as a result of your injuries?
- Are you working now? –
- Are you in pain now? Do you live with pain? –
- Are you able to do all the same things that you were able to do prior to being injured?
- What are you not able to do?
- Have you had to hire people to help you with what you can no longer do?
Our bicycle accident lawyers will practice with you, and point out the types of questions that offer you an opportunity to strengthen your case and reinforce your credibility. The better prepared you are, the more confident you will be walking into the deposition.
Be Comfortable with the Deposition Process
Prior to your deposition, our bicycle accident lawyers will remind you about the do’s and don’ts of testifying at a deposition. You may think you know the rules by heart, but these do’s and don’ts run contrary to everyday conversation. As the deposition proceeds and you relax a little, it is easy to forget them. Briefly, let’s review:
- Listen to the entire question before you answer.
If the question contains multiple statements, make sure you agree with every statement in the question. For instance, you may be asked: “On the day of the accident, you were riding the blue Brand A bicycle that you purchased on December 25, 2014 at Store B, correct?” Before you answer, check all the marks: Did you purchase the bicycle? Did you purchase it on December 25, 2014? Did you purchase it at Store B? Is it blue? Is it Brand A?
- Answer only the question asked.
Often, “yes” or “no” is all that is required. For example:
Q: You were traveling north on Main Street, correct?
A: Yes. [Not: Yes, I was on my way home from a lunch date with friends.]
- Do not guess or speculate.
If you guess wrong, you will have to explain yourself at trial.
- Ask for a break if you need one.
Your deposition may take the better part of a day. If you need a break – to stretch your legs, use the restroom, eat something, or consult with your lawyer – ask for one.
If you were involved in a bicycle accident, and you have questions about your deposition or any other aspect of your case, please contact our office by phone or email. We will be happy to answer your questions and explain your legal options.