What Happens at a Deposition?
If you are injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. However, insurance companies do not always make this an easy process. When negotiations with an insurance company are not successful, you may choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
A personal injury lawsuit includes the discovery process. This is one of the most important phases and plays a large role in reaching a favorable settlement with the insurance company or verdict in court. Discovery allows both sides to see the evidence the other party has before they go to trial. A deposition is part of the discovery process.
What Is a Deposition?
Gathering information during discovery usually involves written answers to written questions or supplying recorded documents. A deposition involves questioning a witness about the case in a formal environment.
There are two purposes for a deposition. The first is to find out what the witness knows before going to trial, and the second is to preserve that testimony. The witness answers questions under oath in front of a certified court reporter.
The court reporter records the questions and answers and makes them into a transcript. Unlike court scenes on television, both attorneys generally know the information the witness will share on the stand during the trial.
During a deposition, the individual must answer the questions under oath. This allows the attorneys on both sides to understand the weak areas in their cases. They can also prepare for ways to strengthen them and potentially rebut the deposition testimony if it appears at trial.
This also gives the attorneys a chance to evaluate the credibility of a witness and estimate if a jury might find the witness trustworthy or not. Depositions are usually taken after other discovery tools have been used, so the witness can expand on the information gathered and clarify any discrepancies.
An attorney will ask the injured party, witness, or whoever is being deposed questions about the facts of the lawsuit. However, there is a wide latitude to ask questions that may be related to the lawsuit. The witness may not ask questions except to ask for clarification.
What to Expect During a Deposition
Depositions can be held in various locations. Some lawyers prefer to hold depositions in their law offices. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, video depositions have become more popular. Depositions can also occur in a court reporter’s office or another location.
At a minimum, the deposition includes the witness and their attorney, the deposing party and their attorney, and the court reporter. At the beginning of the deposition, the deposing party’s attorney will explain the instructions and then ask questions.
The early questions are general information-gathering questions. They’ll be about where you live and your educational background, among other things. In many cases, the deposing attorney will have evidence you may need to explain.
If you are the plaintiff being deposed in a personal injury lawsuit, you may expect questions about your background. This can include your education, work history, and whether you have a criminal history.
The deposing attorney may also ask about any other lawsuit you have been involved in and any prior injuries that you had before the accident that is the focus of this lawsuit. You will likely be asked to detail how the accident happened and the medical treatment you have undergone.
The deposing attorney can introduce medical records and ask you about any social media posts or images you may have been engaged with after the accident. You’ll be asked about any physical, mental, or emotional limitations your injury caused.
While you do not win a personal injury lawsuit during a deposition, you can lose your case there. Your attorney will counsel you on how to answer the questions and how much information to provide. For example, it’s always important to tell the truth, but it’s not a wise idea to provide your opinion or your analysis of the situation.
Contact Chris Hudson Law Group for Help with Your Personal Injury Claim
After an accident-related injury that was not your fault, you need a law firm with the experience and the skill to negotiate aggressively with insurance companies and skillfully litigate your case in court.
Personal injury lawsuits can be complex and have many moving parts. The legal team at Chris Hudson Law Group has the resources and the experience you need. Call our office today at (706) 863-6600 to schedule your free, confidential consultation and case evaluation.
Our award-winning and nationally recognized attorneys work on contingency to ensure our clients have access to high-quality legal representation.
This means that you are not charged any fees unless we win your case. Call our offices today at (706) 863-6600 and discover the benefits of working with an experienced Augusta personal injury lawyer from Chris Hudson Law Group.