Wording Trends: The Motorized Vehicular Accident, Discovery and Litigation

DianeyellowMGScan      Questions about cell phone use are now standard in these kind of cases. I say motorized because people driving heavy machinery use their cell phones while driving. I’ve seen park landscapers on the phone while driving commercial sized mowers. I’ve seen people on their cell phones while driving combines in fields. Vehicular-pedestrian accidents happen when the pedestrian is on their cell too.
Cell phone use is so common now that we reference it in the comprehensive phrase “being on your cell phone” that includes all the functions performed on a cell phone. People can do any of these tasks with their cell phone: talk, text, read emails, respond to emails, listen to voice mail messages, view maps and other content and listen to music. Did I forget anything? If so, please let me know. I want to be ready to interpret those words.
Attorneys word their questions in a variety of ways. But as accident causes evolve, new vocabulary and phrasing appears. In order to provide the best representation of their clients, lawyers get more and more specific in their questions so the respondent doesn’t overlook a fact not referred to in the question. So, I am already seeing the trend of the all-encompassing question “Were you on your cell phone?” or “Were you using your cell phone?” being rephrased by specifying cell phone functions. Interpreters should become familiar with all the different service providers, the different brand names and styles of phones and the and setting options.
Additional vocabulary for this line of questioning includes, distraction, line of sight, paying attention and focus. All of these terms would be conjugated into the simple past, the present, imperfect indicative, and the conditional tenses. You are going to use the subjunctive for the questions about instructions, necessity, urgency suggestion, preference, possibility, regret and doubt.                                 For examples of accidents and the process of resulting lawsuits and comprehensive training take a look at this excellent book.
The Interpreters Guide to the Vehicular Accident Lawsuit. By Josef F. Buenker