EXCERPTS FROM: DEPOSITION OR TRIAL FORM CHECKLIST MOTOR VEHICLE (Car or Truck) ACCIDENT DRIVER (Also useful for deposition of passenger in vehicle)


This is only an abbreviated sample of the pages in our MVA001 Driver Deposition form.
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VEHICLE BACKGROUND MATERIAL

You need the background on the deponent’s vehicle involved in this accident (“your vehicle”). Almost any answer can be used with effect at trial. For example, if the driver says his brakes were known to be “perfect”, his failure to stop is due to driver carelessness, but if the driver says he knew his brakes were “not perfect”, his driving with bad brakes condemns himself.

(Note on the use of this checklist: In all questions plaintiff’s counsel should chose to use the word “crash” instead of “accident”; defendant’s counsel should use the word “accident” in questions)

Describe the car [pickup-truck-use specific words in your questions] you were driving on the date of the crash? [Get deponent to describe not only make, model, year, but also color and other distinguishing marks, for your use in questioning fact witnesses later.]

Who was the owner of your vehicle?

If owner is not the deponent driver, get exact reasons deponent was driving this car, and with what permission.

Motor vehicle licenses held, duration

Deponent’s experience in operation of vehicles generally

Deponent’s experience before DA in operating “your vehicle”

What maintenance done on your vehicle in last year on items critical to the accident (e.g., brakes, lights, turn signals).

Any prior safety checks of equipment, or problems with the equipment.

Who has the repair records on your vehicle and service records?

When and where brakes last inspected (records?)

Was every relevant mechanical element of your vehicle the car in perfect order? Ask about each separately. E.g., Were the brakes on your vehicle in perfect order before the crash?

What was not in perfect order on your vehicle?

How long had you known that (e.g., the turn signals) were not working perfectly – correctly?

If witness claims the (e.g., turn signals) were perfect, ask “When was last time you actually walked around the car and saw that the turn signals were working?”

SITE BACKGROUND MATERIAL

Establish site of collision; and

His familiarity with it;

His prior knowledge of traffic controls at the site.

His prior experience in stopping or obeying traffic controls there.

His prior experience in stopping for other traffic there, or otherwise having to be observant or modify behavior because of other traffic at this site.

Character of area (residential, commercial, open farmland) and what could be expected.) E.g., you knew that farm trucks could come onto the highway. You knew that children sometime go into the streets in residential areas. You knew that cars might slow down suddenly because of traffic congestion. Et Cetera.

EVENTS AND SITUATION – PRE – ACCIDENT

Determine whether deponent was fatigued, not by asking him, but by determining the events of day

What time did you get up that day, and what did you do that day before the accident?

Any intoxicating liquors taken; any drugs or medicines

This is only a sample of the pages in our Driver Deposition form.

Click Here to Return to the page on Motor Vehicle Accident Deposition Checklist.