Sample Car Accident Defendant's Deposition

Below is an example deposition in a wrongful death car accident case Miller & Zois had in Baltimore County in 2014. This case ultimately settled with GEICO at a pre-trial mediation.

The set up is a pedestrian fatality case. The victim parked his car, got out of his car, and was hit by the defendant who is deposed below who never saw him. So the question is whether he walked out in the road or was hit right next to his car.

The good news for us was that he never saw the victim before he hit him (and some other wacky stuff you will see below). The bad news for is that he killed our witness.



Q. Mr. Manning, good morning.
A. Good morning, sir.
Q. My name is Bob Fiore. I'm an attorney, and I represent the Frederick family who have brought suit against you arising out of an accident that happened on March 13, 2013 on Main Avenue in Baltimore County. Do you know what accident I'm talking about?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Okay. I'm going to ask you some questions about yourself and about that accident. If at any time I ask you a question and you don't hear it or you don't understand it, please tell me that, and I'll repeat the question for you or I'll ask it a different way. You're sworn today with the same oath that you will take at the trial of this case. So, if you answer any question for us today, we all
shall take it that you heard the question and that you understood the question and that you then gave us your sworn answer. Is all that clear?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Okay. I'll ask that you always answer out loud. That is, please say yes or no or whatever your particular answer may be.
A. Uh-huh.
Q. The Reporter here is going to be taking down our voice sounds, and she can't necessarily record gestures between us or anything else. Fair enough?
A. Fair enough.
Q. Okay. What is your present address, sir?
A. 6126, Apartment 4, Rocky Mount Road, Huntington, Maryland 24789.
Q. You were living at that address back on March 13, 2013; were you not?
A. That's correct.
Q. Does anyone live with you at that address now?
A. No, sir.
Q. Did anyone with live you at that address on at the time of the crash?
A. No, sir.
Q. How long have you lived there?
A. I moved in there in 1988.
Q. Were you born and raised in Maryland or somewhere else?
A. Born and raised in Maryland.
Q. Okay. Did you attend high school in Maryland?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you graduate from high school?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Which high school was that?
A. Boys Latin.
Q. Following your graduation from Boys Latin, did you have any other formal education?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Tell us about that.
A. I attended University of Maryland University College, and I attended University of Maryland UMBC, University of Maryland Baltimore County. Then I attended American University in Washington, D.C. I have a Bachelor's degree in psychology and social work. I have a Master's degree in social work, clinical social work.
Q. Okay. You got the Master's at American?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you ever practice in the psychology or social work fields?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you now?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Are you presently employed then?
A. I'm self-employed.

Q. Tell us what you do in your self employment.
A. I counsel people with mental health issues and with substance abuse.
Q. Okay. Do you specialize in anything in particular, adolescents -
A. Persons --generally persons over the age --now over the age of 18. However, I have done evaluations for residential treatment centers in the past doing level of care independent evaluations to determine whether or not adolescents should be admitted to inpatient care.
MR. HUNTER: You want to stop rocking there, Mr. Manning.
Q. Where is your practice located?
A. Presently?
Q. Yes.
A. I work from my home.
Q. Okay. Back in -
A. And see people in the community.
Q. All right. Back on December 23rd, 2011, did you maintain an office outside of your
Apartment 4?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Where was that?
A. That was at 200 Jumpers Road, Hollywood, Maryland 21364.
Q. In that practice, did you have any associates or was it just you?
A. It was primarily myself. There were occasions when I would have someone helping me part-time as an independent contractor, and there were occasions when I proctored students, graduate
students from Towson University Department of Psychology.
Q. When did you give up the Jumper Road address?
A. June 2013.
Q. And why was that?
A. They sold the building, and I decided at that time I wasn't going to hire other people. I -and decided just to do a --do part-time semi -semi part-time practice for myself still doing the same type of work.
Q. Okay. How long have you been counselling? How long have you been engaged in that profession?
A. Well, I --I graduated in 1985, and I was still --I started part-time then. And then in 1996, I started doing that type of work full-time.
pedestrian death deposition Q. All right. Were you engaged in any other work besides the social work and counselling since 1985 up until now?
A. I worked for State of Maryland, Division of Parole and Probation.
Q. Okay. What did you do for the State of Maryland?
A. I was a senior agent, community criminal supervision.
Q. Have you ever had your deposition taken 19 before?
A. I've been in --I don't recall having a deposition taken before, no, sir. I've been in conferences, judicial conferences on cases. I've been a witness in both the District and Circuit Courts of the State of Maryland and Federal --U.S. District Court for the Federal District Court on cases over the years.
Q. How many times would you -
MR. HUNTER: Just answer the question. He asked if you were in a deposition before.
Q. How many times would you say you've testified in any of the courts, State courts or Federal courts over the years? Give me an approximation.
A. About 165 to 190 times.
Q. We were talking about other jobs you've held besides the counselling job. You told us about Parole and Probation. How about anything else between '85 and today?
A. I'm certified as a lead inspector. I have some interest in real estate. And on occasion, I will do an inspection. I had some interest in real estate; so, I took a course to be --for home inspector, and I certified myself. Although I don't actively do inspections, I'm familiar with it.
Q. Any other jobs?
A. Those are the jobs that I did.
Q. Did you do any driver training or driver instruction?
A. No, sir. Not driver training or driver instruction. Go ahead with your -
Q. In your response to a Request for 8 Production, you produced a large number of records pertaining to Glenn Manning, CPS, Driver Improvement Program.
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Also run out of 200 Jumpers Road. Tell me about that.
A. I had a contract with the Motor Vehicle Administration, agreement with --I guess you'd call it a contract or agreement with the Motor Vehicle Administration to provide as part of the counselling services that we did there, an adjunct to that to provide a driver improvement course to persons. And to provide an alcohol education course to persons who had foreign licenses and were applying for their Maryland license. It's a three-hour alcohol and drug education course, and to provide the driver improvement course.

Q. Did you ever --or how many times did you administer this driver improvement program to clients over the years?
A. I don't know exactly how many times, sir, we provided it. I provided the opportunity for people to come in once a month, first Sunday of each month for the community. It was a service that I provided. And on occasion, we would have three, maybe four people, five people come in for that course. It was a one-day course.
Q. Would you teach that course or present it?
A. I presented that course.
Q. The materials that you provided me, and for the record are sitting on the table here in front of me, more than an inch worth of materials did you write any of those materials yourself?
A. No, sir.
Q. Where did you get them?
A. They're from the Motor --that's the course that's proscribed by the Motor Vehicle Administration.
Q. Okay. And what training did you have to have in order to administer this program, to give this program?
A. For that program, sir, it was just my background, college education or equivalent. The fact that I was familiar with substance abuse and counselling services and how to present material, that was basically what was required back when we took it.
Q. What does CPS, Driver Improvement Program mean? What does CPS mean?
A. Comprehensive Psychosocial Services.
Q. Were all of the students in this class there because of substance abuse and using a motor vehicle? Give me an idea of who your students were.
A. Students were persons who --for that, for the driver improvement, those were persons who were required by the Motor Vehicle Administration to take a driver improvement course either because they received a citation or their license was suspended or revoked. And they were taking this course as a condition of either maintaining their license or having their --as a part of having their license reinstated.
Q. How many years did you do this program?
A. I think I was approved by the MVA to do that program in 1991 or '92. I'm not --I'm not certain.
Q. Do you still -
A. No, sir.
Q. --give this program?
A. No, sir.
Q. When did you stop?
A. I stopped --I think the last time we gave with one person was May of 2013. I'll just rest there.
Q. When you gave that program in May of 2013, where was the location?
A. That was still at Jumpers Road.
Q. Still at Jumps Road?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. All right. Any other jobs or different career-type things you've done over the years other than what we've discussed?
A. Well, when I got out of high school, I was a salesman for a while. And –
Q. How about after you got out of --got your Master's from Catholic?
A. No. I worked --I worked for the State. I stayed with the State of Maryland.
Q. Okay. Did you retire from the State of Maryland?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And when was that?
A. 1996.
Q. And these days, just so I'm clear, these 16 days what do you do as far as any employment?
A. I work for myself.
Q. Just for yourself?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Okay. And that's with the counselling service?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And that's done from Apartment D?
A. Well, I see people now in the community. I either see them at their home, I'll see a person at the conference room at the library, I'll see them at various convenient locations. I keep a small case load, between 10 and 15 people.
Q. Did you yourself have any counselling a result of the accident on December 23rd, 2011?
A. No, sir.
Q. Did you yourself have any medical attention or medical care as a result of the accident –
A. No, sir.
Q. --of 2011?
A. No, sir.
Q. Are you married, sir?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever been?
A. No, sir.
Q. Do you have any children?
A. No, sir.
Q. Did you ever live outside of the State of Maryland for any appreciable period of time?
A. No, sir.
Q. Were you ever in the military -
A. Yes.
Q. --service?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What branch?
A. Army.
Q. And where were you stationed?
A. I was in the Army Reserve. I was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. And then Fort Lenwood, Missouri.
Q. What years were these, sir?
A. I was in the Army from 1963 until 1969.
Q. Did you have an honorable discharge?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What was your rank upon discharge?
A. E-4.
Q. Were you ever outside of the continental United States in your Army service?
A. No, sir.
Q. I want to ask you some questions now 1 about the accident itself on December 23rd. You told us you remember the accident. Were you operating a 1990 Buick LeSabre on the date of that accident?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Was that your car?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. How long had you had it?
A. I bought that car, I think, in August, on or about August 2010.
Q. Okay. Do you remember what you paid for it?
A. Not exactly, sir.
Q. How would you describe its mechanical condition of your vehicle at the time of the crash?
A. Fine.
Q. When you bought the car in approximately 2010, did you have any work done on it coming forward to December of 2011?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What type of work did you have done on it?
A. Various routine maintenance. We replaced --I think we replaced an alternator, if I'm not mistaken. I'm --I --I submitted the work orders that were done. I don't recall exactly. We replaced tires on it.
Q. Okay. And when you're saying we, who do you mean?
A. Meaning myself. I'm just using the pleural as --as the singular.
Q. Did you ever replace a head lamp assembly on the vehicle before March 13, 2013?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you remember that?
A. Yes.
Q. I'm look at an invoice that you had provided. It looks like it's March of -
March 16th, 2011, and it looks like it says head lamp assembly. Do you remember the circumstances under which you replaced the head lamp assembly?
A. The car --I had loaned the car to someone. And they were in a line of traffic waiting for a --as I understand, for a train to cross. A vehicle in --a truck, I believe it was, at least from what I understand, was in front of them. And the truck driver apparently became impatient and didn't want --wish to wait for the train any longer and backed up in an attempt to make a U-turn to go back the other way. And when he backed up, it's my understanding that that truck damaged the front of the vehicle. And as a result of that, the insurance company for the driver of the truck paid for some repairs, paid for some repairs to the vehicle. And the repairs that needed to be done that were not cosmetic but needed to be done were done.
Q. Did you make the repairs yourself?
A. No, sir.
Q. Who installed the head lamp assembly?
A. I believe that was G&G Radiator.
(Whereupon Manning Deposition Exhibit 1 was 19 marked.)
Q. I'm showing you what's been marked for identification as Exhibit No. 1.
A. There or --either there or a garage that they sent us to on Reisterstown Road. I'm not certain, sir.
Q. Okay. Do you remember what head lamp it was, the driver's side or the passenger side?
A. It was the driver's side.
Q. I'm showing you what's been marked for identification as Exhibit 1. It's the Wal-Mart's tire and lube express itemization from September 19th, 2012.
A. Yeah. A headlight check, a bulb check. They just checked over the vehicle.
Q. Do you remember taking the vehicle in there around that time in September into Wal-Mart?
A. I took the vehicle in, sir, for maintenance, routine maintenance, which is what's indicated on the invoice.
Q. Do you remember specifically why you took the car in that time?
A. Probably needed --probably was appropriate to take it in and have it main --for maintenance.
Q. How many miles were on the car?
A. I don't recall, sir.
Q. Does it show it on Exhibit 1?
A. I see odometer 65,258.
Q. Okay. Do you remember the work you had done on the vehicle that day?
A. I took the car in, sir, to have an oil change and whatever their --their list of things that they do. They did a tire pressure check. They did --it says on here transmission fluid check, checked. Various --various things were checked and were okay.
Q. What did they do with regard to the headlights on the car -
A. They didn't do anything, sir. It looks like here --at least from what I'm reading –
MR. HUNTER: Mr. Manning, let him --let Mr. Fiore finish his question.
A. Go ahead.
Q. What did they do with regard to the headlights on September 19th, 2012 at Wal-Mart*Mart?
A. It says here they checked them.
Q. Did you ask that they be checked?
A. It's part --apparently it was part of their routine.
Q. But I'm saying, did you ask them -
A. I don't -
Q. --to check the headlights?
A. No, sir. Not to my knowledge --not to my recollection, no, sir. They had a service, and they did their service.
Q. What was the reason you took the vehicle in that day? Was it -
A. Oil change.
Q. --just an oil change?
A. Oil change.
Q. Were you having any problems with the headlights on the 1990 Buick you were driving on March 13, 2013 back in September so that you were having them checked?
A. No, sir. No, sir. Not to my recall, no, sir.
MR. FIORE: All right. Can I see 1 back again, please?
MR. HUNTER: (Complies)
MR. FIORE: Thank you.
Q. So, come March 13, 2013, I think you indicated in your Interrogatory Answers you were home that day?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. You did not work in your practice that day?
A. That's correct.
Q. Okay. You had plans to --what were your plans for that evening had the accident not happened?
A. To go Christmas --Christmas shopping for someone.
Q. Okay. For whom were you going Christmas shopping?
A. A close friend that I've helped out over the years.
Q. And who is that?
A. Ms. Ryans. Jennifer Ryans.
Q. Okay. And how did you know Jennifer Ryans?
A. I've known her for a number of years.
Q. Does she have children?
A. Yes, she does.
Q. Were you going to go shopping with Ms. Ryans?
A. As I recall, I was going to meet her at Target. And she --and if she arrived before me, she would start shopping, whatever she wanted to get for the kids. And I'd be there and I'd pay for the bill. I paid --I helped her out.
Q. And was this something you had done before?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And how long had you known Ms. Ryans?
A. For several years.
Q. Was this a romantic relationship or -
A. No, sir.
Q. --just a platonic relationship?
A. I call her-- I Ithink of her as a goddaughter. Somebody that I know and I've helped out over the years.
Q. How did you make her acquaintance in the first place?
A. I can't discuss that, sir.
MR. HUNTER: You can give him a general description.
THE WITNESS: I can give a general description?
MR. HUNTER: Through your work.
A. Through my work.
Q. All right. How many children did she have?
A. She has one child that's adopted by her cousin. She has two children in foster care, and now she has a child that's with her.
Q. She's still a friend of yours -
A. Yes, sir.
Q. --and you still help her out?
A. Yes, sir, I help her out.
Q. So, on December 23rd, you had set this up with her. You were going to meet her at Target in
Glen Burnie?
A. That was my --that was my recollection, yes, sir.
Q. Okay. And that's where you were on your way to when the accident happened?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you ever contact her that evening after the accident happened to let her know you wouldn't be coming?
A. Right after the accident. Right after the accident occurred, I called from my cell phone and told her that I was in --that there was a serious accident, and we'd have to reschedule.
Q. All right.
A. Now, that was a very short conversation.
Q. Did you reach her?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. Okay. Did she ask you what happened at that point?
A. No. No.
Q. Did there ever come a time subsequently when you discussed with Ms. Ryans what happened that evening on December 23rd, 2011 that prevented you from getting over to Target?
A. Yes. I told her a gentleman had been injured and --you know. And then subsequent to that, I believe I told her that the gentleman had passed away.

Q. Other than your attorneys, have you had discussions about how the accident happened with anyone else?
A. No, sir.
Q. Did you give a statement to your insurance company over the phone or in person about how the accident happened?
MR. HUNTER: Objection. Go ahead, sir, you may answer.
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Have you ever seen that statement since you gave it -
MR. HUNTER: Objection. Go ahead.
Q. --in a transcribed form?
MR. HUNTER: Sorry. Objection. Go ahead, sir, you can answer.
A. I don't recall. No, sir, I don't recall.
Q. Did you review any materials in preparation for the deposition today?
A. I saw the statement that I gave to the police officer.
Q. Okay. Anything else?
A. I don't recall seeing anything else.
Q. Did you review any photographs?
A. Other than the photographs that I took, no.
Q. Okay. When did you take photographs?
A. At the scene of the accident.
Q. You took photographs right at the scene?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. With a cell phone?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you have those photographs?
A. I submitted them to the insurance company.
Q. Okay.
MR. FIORE: Have those been produced?
MR. HUNTER: I think they have. And, Bob, I'm pretty sure they have. But if they haven't, obviously they will be.
MR. FIORE: Thank you.
Q. Did you ever give any other written accounts of what happened on the evening of December 23rd, 2011 other than to the police officer as part of his investigation?
A. Just what I gave to the insurance company, you know, the representatives.
Q. Did you give anything in writing to the insurance company, or was it by --orally, was it by phone?
MR. HUNTER: Objection. Can I have a continuing to the insurance company?
MR. HUNTER: That's fine. Thank you, sir. Go ahead, sir, you can answer.
A. I believe I did.
Q. That you wrote something out for them?
A. I think there was something written out for them.
Q. Were you dealing with the adjuster at that time?
A. I --I believe what the --to my recollection, the insurance adjuster when the gentleman passed away or shortly thereafter contacted me and informed me that the Law Offices of Blake Hunter & Associates would be the persons that I would be working with, and that all communication at that point would be through the law office and not through the adjuster. That was my recollection.
Q. Fair enough. Did you ever provide a written statement to the adjuster about how the accident happened?
A. I don't recall, sir. I don't recall providing anything in writing. I gave them a verbal statement over the phone. They asked questions. I gave a verbal statement over the phone. I don't recall being asked to provide a written statement separate from what was already submitted to --that I had already given to the police.
Q. Back in December of 2011, was it your practice to keep a journal or a diary in written form?
A. Not generally, no, sir.
Q. Did you keep one from time-to-time back around March, 2013?
A. No, sir. I was not keeping a diary.
Q. How about a journal of experiences or making notes of what happened for the day?
A. I may have made a couple notes to jog - you know, I kept a copy of what I --I wrote down maybe what happened for myself that --you know, for what happened that day, you know, after I had spoken with the insurance adjuster just to --just to keep my own --to know what I --to keep my memory fresh because –
Q. Do you still have that writing?
A. I think anything that I --anything that I had was given to Mr. Hunter's law office.
Q. Okay. But that writing was created before Mr. Hunter's representation?
A. No, sir. Anything was –
Q. Is that correct?
A. No, sir. Anything that I wrote would have been because I --anything I wrote down was probably after Mr. Hunter's representation because it wasn't anything --I didn't keep a note like
Q. All right. But you had said after you talked to the adjuster, you wrote it down for yourself?
A. Oh, it might have been some time afterwards. It wouldn't have been right then.
Q. Okay. But you did that for yourself?
A. Yeah. I may have written something for myself. But I --it wasn't --it wouldn't have been --it wasn't like, you know, an hour later or a day or two days later. It would have been some time later.
Q. And you still have that writing?
A. Anything that --again, anything that I wrote, anything that I have has already been submitted to --to the law offices.
Q. Did you ever have any discussions with anyone who said they witnessed all or part of the accident?
A. At the accident scene, a lady came over to me. I had --I was sitting, as I recall, or was standing on the grass on the lawn. I think probably that --and near where the gentleman was injured, not too far away. And a lady came over to me. She identified herself as a nurse. And she asked me if I was all right. She made a comment, it was an accident. It was --I know it wasn't your fault. It just occurred. And I told her I was okay. And it was a very short conversation. She gave me her identifying information. She said she saw --saw something. I don't know what she saw, but she said she saw something. And she gave me her identifying information, which I subsequently supplied to the insurance company. And I tried to supply it to the police officer, but they told me that they already had her information.

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