Depositions happen in virtually every personal injury case where a lawsuit becomes necessary. Depositions are sessions where the attorneys involved in a case take sworn testimony from the parties and many witnesses.
Depositions are very important from the perspective of the injured Plaintiff. Defendants in lawsuits need to understand how a particular incident or event happened. Perhaps more importantly, Defendants need to understand how badly the Plaintiff has been injured and the real-life impact that the Plaintiff's injuries have had on his or her function, activities, and lifestyle.
Most deposition questions are fairly straightforward - "How fast were you going at the time of the impact?" or "Please list all of the doctors you have seen since the crash." However, there are a few questions that are frequently asked by attorneys represent negligent parties that seem designed to trick or trip-up Plaintiffs.
The Trickiest Deposition Question In A Personal Injury Case
The trickiest question of them all (according to us), seems simple on its face: "Please tell me everything you can't do as a result of the crash." Most Plaintiffs probably hear that question and begin rattling off an answer. Doing that can be a big mistake.
The truth is - unless a personal injury Plaintiff has been catastrophically injured, there probably aren't many (if any) things that the person physically cannot do. If you look at the question, it literally asks about activities that cannot be done. Not taking this question literally can spell trouble for a Plaintiff.
Most of the people we represent are seriously injured, but not so catastrophically that that could not perform a physical activity if their life absolutely depended on it. Most injured people that we represent ultimately numerous activities because the activities cause of great deal of pain, because the activities are no longer enjoyable due to physical limitations. An example might be running for exercise. The jarring from running often bothers people suffering with low back injuries - so people just give up running. However, it would not surprise me if the mother of a young child who is suffering from low back pain could run down the street to a neighbor's house if her child was in danger there. If she told an insurance company lawyer that she couldn't run, and she was seen running down the street to rescue her child, she would face significant risk of being painted as a liar in her personal injury case because she said she couldn't run.
For a more graphic example, see the video above.
Credibility Is Key In A Personal Injury Case
Credibility is one of the most important aspects of any personal injury case. If an insurance defense attorney can characterize an injured person as someone who lies or exaggerates, a perfectly good personal injury claim can quickly become virtually worthless. Therefore, it always pays to be very careful in depositions, and to listen to every question and take every question literally.
If you have any questions about depositions or any aspect of a Florida personal injury case, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901. Consultations are always free.