The Simple Guide For Your Personal Injury Deposition
Once you place your personal injury case in the hands of an attorney, you can focus on healing from your injuries and getting your life back to normal. While this case is now mostly up to your lawyer, you will need to participate in an important meeting called a deposition, where you will be questioned by both your attorney and the at-fault side's attorney. As you might imagine, this can be a very stressful situation, so knowing some basic facts about depositions could help you to be better prepared. Your deposition could turn out to be the most important part of your personal injury process, so read on.
1. The deposition is part of "discovery," where both sides share information, evidence and witnesses prior to the court case. The information used will help the lawyers on both sides prepare for trial.
2. You, and others involved in the accident, will be questioned about the accident, just like you may have seen in a trial.
3. You can help ensure that your attorney is not caught "off-guard" by the other side by being as forthright as possible about any past legal or financial issues.
4. A quick review of your case documents could help freshen your memory of the accident and it's after-effects. Take a new look at the accident report, your medical records and any notes or journal entries to help you prepare to answer questions.
5. All deponents (all those being questioned) must be sworn in and answer questions under oath. Just like in court, you can be charged with perjury for being dishonest
6. Unlike a trial, there will be no judge or anyone else presiding over the proceedings. Attorneys are allowed to ask almost anything they wish, with any objections simply being noted in the record. The testimony provided in a deposition is admissible in court.
7. Just like a court case, witnesses and others may be compelled to appear at the deposition by a subpoena. Online teleconferencing may be used to accommodate those who are unable to appear in person.
8. The behavior of the deponents during questioning can provide attorneys with valuable insight into their behavior on the actual witness stand, and thus help them determine the potential outcome of a court case, should it come to that.
9. Your attorney and your legal team will work with you to prepare you for the deposition. The deposition will, in turn, help you to be prepared for trial.
10. The very best possible outcome of a deposition could be an offer to settle outside of court. If the evidence presented is compelling enough, the other side could prefer to settle rather than go to the expense and time required to take a case to court.
Speak to a local injury lawyer for more about this topic.