What kinds of deposition questions are asked in a wrongful death lawsuit?
In a wrongful death case, a deposition typically focuses on the nature of the relationship between the survivor (the person making the wrongful death claim) and the decedent (the person whose death was caused by the defendant's wrongful action). Specific questions will depend on who is being deposed -- is the deponent a spouse, a child, a life partner?
Here is a brief overview of the kinds of questions you can expect as part of a wrongful death deposition.
Questions about how you prepared for the deposition. One of the first things that will be asked is what you did to get ready for the deposition. ("Have you discussed this case with anyone? If so, who? What did you discuss?")
Questions about your background. These will include basic inquiries (name and address) and questions regarding your education background and current employment.
Questions about your relationship to the decedent. In a wrongful death action, the survivors of the decedent -- including spouses, children, life partners, and others, depending on the law in your state -- can get compensation for things like loss of comfort, guidance, care, and companionship. So, the nature of the survivor's relationship with the decedent will be considered in play.
Questions about your financial situation and the decedent's role in supporting or providing for you financially. In a wrongful death action, family members and other dependents can make a claim for loss of the benefit of the victim's earnings, loss of potential inheritance, and other economic effects of the decedent's death. In some states, you don't need to be related to the decedent in order to bring a claim for lost care or support.
by: David Goguen, J.D.