You have been involved in a car accident in New York. You're contemplating bringing a lawsuit seeking compensation for the harms and losses you suffered because of another driver's carelessness.
Today I want to share with you some sample questions I would ask during pretrial testimony when I have an opportunity to question the careless driver. You should know that questioning a witness during pretrial testimony is known as a "deposition." It is also known in legal circles as an “Examination before trial.”
Driver Physical History:
These questions are merely samples of questions that I asked during pretrial testimony in a car crash case here in New York. There are many others. Questioning a careless driver in a car accident case can take many hours. It's critical that an attorney who is questioning the witness has a clear-cut strategy for locking the witness into testimony that they can later use at trial.
Pretrial testimony can be very useful during settlement negotiations as well as at trial. In every car accident case it is critical for your attorney to establish speed, time and distance. Typically, a careless driver will not know the exact speed they were traveling. Nor will they know the exact time it took them to go from one point to another. In many instances, they will not know the exact distance they traveled from one point to the next.
However, when we lock in the witness to all three elements of speed, time and distance it becomes possible to actually calculate many missing items. For example, if the witness knows approximately how fast they were traveling and how long it took them to get there, we can calculate the distance they traveled.
If they know the time it took to travel and the distance that they traveled, we can calculate their speed. Even if we don't know what the exact speed was, we can calculate a particular range.
This type of pretrial testimony is absolutely critical to proving a careless driver violated the basic rules of the road. An experienced attorney who handles these types of cases on a regular basis should have no problem whatsoever asking hundreds if not thousands of questions during this pretrial question and answer session.
It's not simply an opportunity to learn new facts during this examination before trial. Instead, it should be used to control the witness and demand specific answers to specific questions. If done properly, it will form the foundation of establishing that you are more likely right than wrong that the driver you are questioning was careless in causing and contributing to this accident.