If you have been unable to come to an agreement after a car accident, you may be headed for court. As part of the pretrial discovery process, you might need to take part in a deposition. While it can be a bit nerve-wracking, you can help to make the process less stressful and successful by knowing what to expect. Read on and learn more.
It's a Lot Like Court
Your deposition may seem like a dress rehearsal for court. However, don't expect a judge to preside over the deposition. In fact, only you, the attorneys, and a court reporter will be present when you are questioned under oath. However, the questioning that goes on is just like what happens in court and will probably help to prepare you for the upcoming court case. Also, depositions are not usually held in a courtroom but in a large conference room at an attorney's office instead.
Understand the Issues in Contention
Almost all personal injury cases settle outside of court. If your case did not, then the reason for that should be examined. Talk to your personal injury lawyer about your case and why you need to take it to court. In many cases, fault is the problem. You and the other driver disagree about who caused the accident and that may be the focus of questioning at the deposition. Or you might disagree about your damages. That means the other side doesn't want to pay you for your medical expenses, lost wages, wrecked vehicle, pain and suffering, and more. Whatever the issue may be, your lawyer will help you prepare for testimony by providing you with issues to review prior to the deposition. Then, you should review your paperwork, photos of the accident, your medical records, and other things to refresh your memory.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Follow these five tips for a better deposition experience:
- Ask your lawyer for a break whenever you need one during the deposition.
- Don't speak until the entire question is completely asked.
- Don't guess about anything — if you are unsure, say so.
- If you are not sure what is being asked, consult with your lawyer before answering. Never answer a question you don't understand.
- Take your time and get the facts correct, even if you must consult your documents to do so. If you realize that you previously misspoke, let it be known and make a correction.
To find out more, speak to a car accident lawyer.