A plaintiff in an automobile accident case can usually count on being required to be present at three specific proceedings associated with their case. These are, in the order that they will be expected to appear, the deposition, the mediation and (if the mediation delivers no settlement) the trial. This article discusses what to expect from the deposition in your car accident case.
What is a deposition?
A deposition is a process that entails the defendant or plaintiff in an auto accident case being questioned verbally by an attorney while under oath. The responses furnished in response to these questions will be recorded by a court reporter to be used in the trial.
Depositions are used as part of the discovery process in a case. They can be used used to “lock in” your testimony, meaning that the other attorney will attempt to use your deposition to uncover discrepancies between what you say in the courtroom and what you said while being deposed, and in so doing undermine your testimony. Depositions are also commonly used to enter into the trial the testimony of witnesses who are unable to be present for one reason or another.
Where and how are depositions conducted?
A deposition can be conducted anywhere that is reasonably close to where you live. They are often conducted in the office of one of the lawyers involved in the case, but can also be conducted in public libraries, courthouses, conference rooms, a hospital or doctor’s office, or even in your own home.
At your deposition, you will be accompanied by your lawyer and across from you will be seated the defendant’s attorney. A court reporter will be seated between you, and the defendant will either be present or not.
At the start of the deposition, you will be administered the oath to tell the truth. From that point on, you will be considered “under oath” and the attorneys for each party (if more than one) may begin to ask you questions.
During the deposition, every word spoken by anyone present will be recorded by the court reporter, who will then prepare a written transcript so that each attorney can have a written record of what was asked and how you responded.
As for the cost associated with conducting the deposition, the requesting attorney is typically responsible for paying the court reporter, while the other attorneys pay for their copies of the written transcript.
What kind of questions will you be asked at your deposition?
Usually, before your deposition you and your lawyer will go over the things you might be asked to make sure that you respond to the questions honestly, but in a manner that is in the best interest of your auto accident claim.
The following are examples of questions you might be asked during a deposition:
- What, when and where the automobile accident occurred
- Exactly what you did after the accident
- What safety measures you took before the accident
- What injuries you suffered
- How you suffered the injuries
- When did you initially noticed that you were injured
- If you have had any pre-existing injuries
- If you visited a physician after the accident and when
- What medical treatment you are currently receiving and/or will you need
- Just how the injury has impacted your life
- What financial losses you have suffered
- The reasons why you think the defendant is at fault
To preserve your right to be compensated for your injuries and losses, it is very important that you discuss your car accident with an attorney prior to giving a written testimony to anyone. Talk to an experienced Louisiana car collision, personal injury lawyer as soon as possible in order to protect the value of your claim and to discuss your best options. Call 504-581-4892 or fill out our free, no-obligation case review form.