Safety and Health Reporter
Brien Roche Law > Blog > Personal Injury > Defending Plaintiff’s Deposition

Defending Plaintiff’s Deposition

Defending Plaintiff's Deposition

Brien Roche

Insurance defense lawyers are typically seasoned trial lawyers.  They are also quite adept at taking depositions.  They take a lot of depositions.  Defense counsel tend to develop a routine.  Among the defense bar there tend to be certain questions that routinely are asked.

Those questions probably fall into several different categories:

Defending Plaintiff’s Deposition-Pain Rating

Defense lawyers love to ask the plaintiff about what their pain level was at some point in the past.  Typically when you go to the hospital for an injury, the healthcare provider is going to ask you what the pain level is on a scale of 1 to 10.  If during the plaintiff’s deposition the numerical rating that is given for that past treatment is different than what was given at the time of the treatment then that becomes a basis for impeachment at trial.  

Therefore it’s important that the plaintiff be aware of what those past ratings were.  

Vacations

Defense counsel love to ask plaintiffs about vacations they have taken since the date of the injury.  These questions are asked with the idea that if the plaintiff has taken some grand vacation mountain-climbing or some such thing, then that would suggest that of course there is no significant injury.  That is something that the plaintiff needs to be prepared for.  

Prior Symptoms

Defense lawyers also love to ask a plaintiff whether or not they have ever had pain in a particular body part that is now the subject of this current litigation.  The plaintiff will almost invariably say no.  That’s why it is so critical that you get the plaintiff’s prior medical records before the deposition.  Generally defense counsel will subpoena those records.  Sometimes they release those records to the plaintiff’s attorney.  Sometimes they don’t.  Whether they do or not, it’s important for the plaintiff’s lawyer to get those records so that you know everything about your client’s prior medical condition.  If they had a prior right shoulder problem, they need to be reminded of that if in fact they are claiming a right shoulder problem in this particular case.  

Defending Plaintiff’s Deposition-What Was Said To Providers About Accident

A favorite form of questioning is to ask about what the plaintiff said to a provider. Defense counsel will frequently hold medical records in hand. The suggestion being the records confirm what be is being asked. The plaintiff needs to be prepared for statements in the records made by the plaintiff.

What Was Said To The Police

Frequently at the scene of a crash the officer will ask abut injury. Sometimes the effect of the crash is such that the plaintiff may not appreciate the injury. The officer then reports this as a no injury case. It is best that the plaintiff not be at odds with the officer about that issue.

What Was Said To EMTs

An ambulance may be called to the scene. EMTs may decide on their own there is no need to transport anyone to the hospital. The plaintiff may refuse transport for a number of reasons. The plaintiff needs to be prepared to address this. Call, or contact us for a free consult. Also for more info onpersonal injury see the Wikipedia pages. Also see the post on this site dealing with personal injury issues.

Comments are closed.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Defending Plaintiff’s Deposition

Defending Plaintiff's Deposition

Brien Roche

Insurance defense lawyers are typically seasoned trial lawyers.  They are also quite adept at taking depositions.  They take a lot of depositions.  Defense counsel tend to develop a routine.  Among the defense bar there tend to be certain questions that routinely are asked.

Those questions probably fall into several different categories:

Defending Plaintiff’s Deposition-Pain Rating

Defense lawyers love to ask the plaintiff about what their pain level was at some point in the past.  Typically when you go to the hospital for an injury, the healthcare provider is going to ask you what the pain level is on a scale of 1 to 10.  If during the plaintiff’s deposition the numerical rating that is given for that past treatment is different than what was given at the time of the treatment then that becomes a basis for impeachment at trial.  

Therefore it’s important that the plaintiff be aware of what those past ratings were.  

Vacations

Defense counsel love to ask plaintiffs about vacations they have taken since the date of the injury.  These questions are asked with the idea that if the plaintiff has taken some grand vacation mountain-climbing or some such thing, then that would suggest that of course there is no significant injury.  That is something that the plaintiff needs to be prepared for.  

Prior Symptoms

Defense lawyers also love to ask a plaintiff whether or not they have ever had pain in a particular body part that is now the subject of this current litigation.  The plaintiff will almost invariably say no.  That’s why it is so critical that you get the plaintiff’s prior medical records before the deposition.  Generally defense counsel will subpoena those records.  Sometimes they release those records to the plaintiff’s attorney.  Sometimes they don’t.  Whether they do or not, it’s important for the plaintiff’s lawyer to get those records so that you know everything about your client’s prior medical condition.  If they had a prior right shoulder problem, they need to be reminded of that if in fact they are claiming a right shoulder problem in this particular case.  

Defending Plaintiff’s Deposition-What Was Said To Providers About Accident

A favorite form of questioning is to ask about what the plaintiff said to a provider. Defense counsel will frequently hold medical records in hand. The suggestion being the records confirm what be is being asked. The plaintiff needs to be prepared for statements in the records made by the plaintiff.

What Was Said To The Police

Frequently at the scene of a crash the officer will ask abut injury. Sometimes the effect of the crash is such that the plaintiff may not appreciate the injury. The officer then reports this as a no injury case. It is best that the plaintiff not be at odds with the officer about that issue.

What Was Said To EMTs

An ambulance may be called to the scene. EMTs may decide on their own there is no need to transport anyone to the hospital. The plaintiff may refuse transport for a number of reasons. The plaintiff needs to be prepared to address this. Call, or contact us for a free consult. Also for more info onpersonal injury see the Wikipedia pages. Also see the post on this site dealing with personal injury issues.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

    Contact Us For A Free Consultation

    [recaptcha]