When a car accident and injury sidelines you, you are likely entitled to monetary compensation from the at-fault driver. A settlement from the other side is always a good thing but some cases must go to trial before you can get paid. The trial is preceded by weeks of preparation and the deposition is one event that you will be taking part in. Read on for some tips on what to expect at your personal injury deposition.
What Is a Deposition?
When your personal injury lawyer tells you about the deposition, you may react by becoming a bit nervous. After all, you expected to testify in court but that is still weeks away. A deposition is a lot less formal and is not held in a courtroom nor is there any judge present. It's just a conference room with lawyers and those testifying. Only one deponent ( the person testifying) is present at a time. No one else is allowed to be present, except the court stenographer who records the testimony. Your attorney, who will be present with you, will prepare you ahead of time and you will know what to say.
What Is the Purpose of a Deposition?
A deposition is part of a pretrial exercise known as discovery. The deposition, along with interrogatories, document requests, admissions requests, and requests for mental and physical examinations, all help your attorney prepare for trial. It's part of building a case and by the time you appear in court, loads of information about the case has been assembled and prepared. Once a trial begins, there should be no surprises brought about by new evidence or a secret eye-witness.
What to Know About Your Testimony
You will be reviewing your accident-related documents in preparation for the deposition. This means looking over things like the accident report, eyewitness statements, photos of the accident scene, and your medical records. Everyone who testifies at a deposition does so under oath. This requirement helps assure the accuracy of the testimony and makes it fit to be presented at the trial later on.
More Than Trial Preparations
The final point to keep in mind about depositions is the way they give a preview of the upcoming case. Your attorney will be clued in, if they don't already know, about what the defense side is disputing in regard to your case. For example, if many of the questions revolve around whether or not you have an injury that deserves more treatment in the future, you can expect future medical care compensation to be an item that is challenged by the other side.
Speak to your car accident attorney to learn more about what to expect at your deposition.