Deposing a defendant in a car accident lawsuit: a COMPREHENSIVE guide

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Master Deposing Defendants In Car Accident Lawsuits To Build Stronger Cases & Uncover Crucial Evidence

Depositions serve as a critical turning point, shaping the trajectory of car accident cases. Precision in your questions and their follow-ups can dramatically impact the outcome of a case. At Georgia Trial Attorneys, we recognize these nuances and wish to provide fellow lawyers with the essentials to conduct successful depositions, guiding them toward victory.

Recognizing the intricacies involved in this process, as described in O.C.G.A. §9-11-30, we aim to equip fellow attorneys with an essential tool – a meticulously crafted deposition outline. With years of successful litigation experience behind us, this outline will guide you through a deposition, enabling you to uncover crucial evidence to strengthen your case.

However, depositions can be daunting for personal injury lawyers. Without a clear plan, the Defendant and their attorney can seize control of the deposition, hindering your ability to extract vital information. Frequently, Defendants may opt for evasive answers or complete denials, thereby avoiding any incriminating admissions. Yet, with a well-structured deposition outline, you can regain control of the situation.

Armed with a detailed plan, you as the Plaintiff's attorney can focus on the deponent’s responses and your follow-up questions, rather than worrying about the deposition's direction or your next line of questioning. Adopting a strategic approach typically expedites settlements, which often proves beneficial for clients.

Our free sample deposition outline is a powerful tool designed to guide you through the intricacies of O.C.G.A. §9-11-30. Use it to compel Defendants to reveal vital information and potentially lead to substantial settlements for your clients. Click 'Download Here' to begin. Remember, in personal injury law, knowledge is power. Arm yourself today:



Preliminary Information

  • Court: In The State Court of Hall County 
  • Style: John Doe v. Robert Smith
  • Deponent: Robert Smith
  • Date/Time: TBD
  • Location: TBD
  • Method: TBD

Parties Present

  • Plaintiff’s Attorney: TBD
  • Defendant’s Attorney: TBD
  • UM’s Attorney: TBD
  • Court Reporter: TBD (name & company)

Swear In Witness

This will be the deposition of [DEFENDANT] taken pursuant to notice and with the agreement of counsel. The deposition of [DEFENDANT] is taken by the Plaintiff’s Counsel on cross-examination for the purpose of discovery and all other purposes authorized by the Georgia Civil Practice Act.

I propose that all objections except as to the form of the question and responsiveness of the answer are reserved until the time of trial or such other time as brought to the attention of the trial judge – is that agreeable? (wait for counsel to agree)

Have you discussed reading and signing? (discuss off the record is need be)

Court reporter, please swear in the witness

Ground Rules & Opening Statements Of Law & Fact

1. Have you ever given a deposition before?

2.( inquire further as necessary)
3. Do you understand that you are under oath today?

4. What does that mean to you?
5. Do you agree that your testimony today has the same force and effect as if we were in front of a judge

and jury?
6. During today’s deposition, do you agree to provide audible responses to my questions?

    a.You agree to not say: 

      i.“Uh huh”

      ii. No shaking or nodding of the head
7. If I agree to let you finish your responses, will you also agree to let me finish my questions completely before responding?
8. Is it fair for me to assume that if you answer a question, you understood the question? 

9. If you have any doubts about the question that you are being asked, do you promise to let me know so that I can rephrase the question?
10. Will you let me know if you need to take a break?

     a.We can take as many breaks as you’d like. The only caveat is that you must answer a question that is pending before taking a break. Are you ok with that?

11. Any questions before we get started?

12. When did you first learn of this deposition?

13. How did you learn about it?

14. What did you do to prepare for the deposition today?
15. Did you review any documents in preparation for the deposition today?

     a.(follow-up and ask for copies of any non-privileged documentation)
16. Did you have any communication, written or oral, with anyone about your deposition today, other than your lawyers?
17. Is there anything going on in your life that would affect your ability to give truthful answers?

[DEFENDANT], my goal today is to find out whatever you know about this car crash. It is my only chance to ask you questions, which is why I want to be complete and take my time. I’m not trying to trick you. As I said at the beginning of the deposition, if there’s a question that you don’t understand, let me know and I’ll rephrase it. Is that fair?”

Now we are here about a car crash that occurred on [DATE]. Before we get there though, I want to start off with some basic rules of the road – these are all generally speaking:

1. Do you agree that:
     a.The rules of the road require you...

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We invite you to explore our other free resources and learn more about the art of drafting effective pleadings and letters. We firmly believe in the power of knowledge and the importance of sharing that knowledge with our peers.

If you have any questions, need additional resources, or require assistance with a case, don't hesitate to contact our team of skilled personal injury attorneys. Together, we can raise the bar in personal injury litigation and ensure justice is achieved in every case.