One of the most frustrating aspects of dealing with opposing counsel (after litigation has been commenced, of course) is the deposition of the injury accident victim. Defense attorneys feel it is necessary to ask everything under the sun regarding the victim’s background. Often times such information is completely irrelevant to the case at hand. However, the very liberal rules of discovery allow an attorney to ask irrelevant questions, and the deponent (the victim) must answer them. While it is a frustrating reality for both attorney and victim, the greater benefit is that the process is actually expedited (otherwise, motions to compel testimony will be filed, additional appearances in court will be required, and the timetable for settlement is delayed). The only time irrelevant questions don’t have to be answered is when the asking of the questions is meant to embarrass or oppress the victim. While fishing expeditions are allowed during a deposition, expeditions that serve no beneficial purpose and have the impact of, in some way, harming the victim, are objectionable. Indeed, the only times an attorney can advise his/her client not to answer a question during a deposition is when that question seeks to invade the personal privacy of the deponent or seeks information protected by the attorney/client privilege. Objecting on such grounds must be made during the deposition, or one risks losing that protection. What’s more, if irrelevant testimony is produced in a deposition, it does not mean that information will find its way into trial or before a jury. Motions in limine will be used to prevent any irrelevant evidence from making its way into the record. A big play card of the insurance companies following a car, truck or motorcycle accident involving litigation is to ask questions about the personal injury victim’s medical history. If the medical history is completely unrelated to any of the accident-related injuries in the present case, the information is strictly off-limits and your injury accident lawyer will make the proper objection based on medical privacy. If you have been involved in an injury accident and need assistance, contact The Steven Dhillon Law Firm today.
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