How To Deal With Your Personal Injury Deposition

While not all car accident cases end up in a trial, it's helpful to understand something about the process if you are the victim. A trial can occur when the parties fail to agree on a settlement after an accident with injuries. Settlements are faster and easier; however, trials can result in more compensation for the victim when fault is in contention. If it seems that your case could head to trial, finding out about the deposition is a good idea.

What Happens with a Deposition?

A deposition is part of the trial preparation process. Accident victims and others who may be a part of a trial can be called to participate in the deposition. You may have seen a deposition on television but not realized what you were viewing. Depositions are not courtroom affairs—they are somewhat more casual than that. However, they are too important to pass off as routine.

Depositions consist of the parties being questioned one at a time. While you are very likely to be questioned, others that might be taking part in the deposition include medical personnel, police officers, witnesses to the accident, and more. Your personal injury lawyer will be present along with the legal team for the insurance company that represents the other driver. Your insurer is not as likely to be there, however.

Questions and Answers

A deposition is simply a meeting with lawyers asking questions. It's like what happens in court when people take the stand to be questioned. In fact, anything said at a deposition may be later used during the trial. Before you are questioned, you must swear to tell the truth. That means care should be taken when answering questions.

Tips on Depositions

You can do a better job of answering questions if you know what is expected of you:

  • Depositions can go on for several hours. Ask for a break by speaking with your attorney when you need one.
  • Review your case information to remind yourself of the accident and your treatment. You will be questioned about those things during the deposition and being able to answer confidently is important. Your attorney might suggest you review your medical records, for example, so you can speak about the impact of the injuries on your life.
  • If you are asked a question that you cannot answer, say so. You are not expected to know everything, and you should never make guesses or speculate about any aspect of your case.

To learn more about the deposition, speak to a car accident attorney