Welcome to the 5th instalment of our series on the typical process of litigation for a car accident. Read this entire series available here:
Ten Steps in the Litigation Process
- Litigation Step #1 – Filing a Statement of Claim
- Serving a Statement of Claim
- Work With Insurance Adjuster vs. Statement of Defence
- Preparing & Serving an Affidavit of Records
- Litigation and Questioning (a.k.a. Examination for Discovery)
- Attending Questioning by Defence
- Attendance at a Questioning on Undertaking Responses
- Attend at Independent Medical Examinations and Defence Medical Examinations
- Prepare & Attend Mediation – The Mediator Role in MVA Litigation
- Prepare and Attend Trial in Injury Law Litigation
‘Questioning’ is an opportunity for the lawyer for the other driver’s insurance company to ask you questions about the collision, your injuries, treatment and recovery (or lack thereof). There are two primary purposes for the Defence lawyer to Question you. The first purpose is to assess the ‘exposure’ in terms of the quantum of the claim. The second purpose is to obtain statements from you that they can use against you if the matter ever went to trial.
The date for the Questioning will likely be 3 to 6 months after your lawyer has received the Statement of Defence from the insurance company’s lawyer. A date will be chosen where all of the people involved are available (you, the Defendant and both your lawyer and the Defendant’s lawyer).
A typical list of questions asked by the Defence lawyer could include (but not limited to) the following examples:
- State full name for record
- You are the Plaintiff/Defendant name in Action No.: _______________ in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Judicial District of _____________
- Taken oath to tell the truth and will do so?
- Present address?
- Same address at time of accident?
- Age and date of birth?
- Any children or other dependants?
- Involved in motor vehicle accident on ___________________
- What time?
- What kind of vehicle (make, model, year)?
- Who was the owner?
- Who was the driver?
- Any passengers?
- Paying or gratuitous?
CONDITION OF THE VEHICLE
- When was the vehicle purchased?
- New or second hand?
- Purchase price?
- Condition at time of accident?
- Vehicle involved in previous accidents?
- How many?
- Previous damage still evident?
- When was vehicle last serviced?
- By whom?
- What type of work?
- What parts replaced?
- At time of accident, how were the:
- Brake lights?
- Signal lights?
- Windshield and windows?
CONDITION OF DRIVER
- Hold a valid driver’s license?
- For how many years?
- Taken any driving courses?
- Any restrictions?
- Restrictions observed?
- Required to wear glasses?
- Wearing them at time of accident?
- When had prescription last been checked/changed?
- Any illness or physical disability affecting driving?
- Consumed any alcohol or drugs?
- Physical condition that day?
- The night before?
- What time rise?
- What do during day?
- Where coming from?
- What time depart?
- What time supposed to be at destination?
- What route taken?
- Familiar with route?
- How often traveled?
- In a hurry?
- Weather eg. clear, sunny overcast?
- Facing the sun?
- Sun affecting visibility?
- Condition of road eg. wet, icy?
- Number of lanes each way?
- Lane markings/centre line?
- Traffic signs/signals?
- Point of impact?
- Distance to nearest intersection?
- Wearing a seat belt?
- Lap and/or shoulder style?
- Was belt available?
- Was belt in operating condition?
- Did belt restrain?
- Describe what happened
- When first notice other vehicle?
- What lane were you in?
- What direction of travel?
- Any other traffic? Where?
- What observations of other vehicles?
- Your speed?
- Speed of other vehicle?
- When first realize going to be a collision?
- What efforts to avoid collision?
- Activities in care before eg. smoking, radio, tape-deck, talking?
- Where did vehicle stop after impact?
- Move vehicles after impact?
- What happened at moment of impact?
- What happened to you?
- Thrown forward/sideways?
- Hit anything?
- Anything hit you?
AFTER THE ACCIDENT
- With others in vehicle
- With other driver
- With witnesses – names
- Were police called?
- By whom?
- When did they arrive?
- Conversation with police?
- Give a written statement
- Convicted of any offence?
- Was vehicle repaired?
- Nature of repairs?
- Was vehicle replaced?
- When decision made to total loss?
- When replaced?
INJURIES AT SCENE OF ACCIDENT
- Were you injured?
- Describe injuries
- Receive first aid?
- Taken to hospital?
- Which one?
- By whom?
iii. In ambulance or car?
- Anyone else injured?
- Nature of injuries?
- Hospital attendance
- Treating doctors?
- Nature of examination/x-rays?
- Other doctors visited? Who/when
- Nature of examination/x-rays/procedures?
- Treatment/medication/medical aids or supports?
- List of injuries
- Describe pain?
- Alleviated by treatment/medication?
- Reductions in severity of pain?
- Present health
- Visit chiropractor, physiotherapist, naturopath, acupuncturist, psychiatrist, psychologist, dentist, specialist eg. orthopedic, neurologist
- Health before accident?
- Any previous accidents?
- Nature of injuries
- Type of treatment/medication
- Previous related injuries or conditions?
- Any subsequent accidents?
- Nature of injuries?
- Type of treatment/medication?
- Subsequent related injuries or conditions?
- Completed life insurance or similar application referring to your state of health?
PAST LOSS OF INCOME
- Total amount claimed?
- Nature of employment?
- Name of employer?
- When started?
- Salary at time of accident?
- How long off work?
- Pay deducted?
- How much?
- Section B benefits
- Period covered?
- Any other insurance benefits?
FUTURE LOSS OF INCOME
- Employment prospects?
- Efforts to find other work?
- Employment history?
- Skills, interest and intentions?
- Amount claimed?
AFFECT ON RECREATION
- Interests, activities and hobbies before accident?
- Frequency and degree of involvement?
- Tried since accident?
- What can’t you do now and why?
- Amount of total claim and breakdown
- Any other
- Any amendments?