VEHICLE BACKGROUND MATERIAL
[You need the background on the deponent's vehicle involved in this accident.
(In this form "your vehicle" means the vehicle of the deponent.)
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
[General note: 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 -
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
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
Any intoxicating liquors taken; any drugs or medicines