Most all personal injury cases never make it to the trial stage, but you might need to participate in an important pretrial activity known as a deposition. If settlement talks stall, your auto accident attorney might need to file suit against the at-fault driver. A deposition allows both sides an opportunity to interview the main players in the case and to be prepared to refute that testimony in court. Read on to find out more about what is expected of you before and during your personal injury deposition.
Prepare to be Disposed
You will be questioned under oath about the accident, your medical treatment, your damages, and almost every other aspect of your case. Since the deposition could occur several months after the day of the accident, you should plan to spend some time refreshing yourself about the facts of the case. Take a look at the following as you prepare yourself to be deposed:
- Your medical records, statements, and receipts for payment
- The results of all diagnostic tests and surgeries
- Your accident or pain journal or personal notes about the accident
While you can expect your attorney to provide you with specific advice about what to expect as far as questioning goes, you must do your part as well. If you have failed to fully disclose any past information to your attorney, now is the time to come clean. The other side will be performing a background check on you as part of their preparation for the deposition and the trial, so let your attorney know about your past criminal, educational, employment, financial, and other information that might come up in the case. Your attorney needs a fair opportunity to prepare a defense to anything negative in your past.
What to Expect
A deposition is not as formal as a trial, but it shares several similarities. For example, the testimony is under oath, parties are questioned by the attorneys for both sides, people can be subpoenaed to appear, and more. Unlike a trial, however, there is no judge there to rule on objections. A court reporter records the testimony, including the objections, and the contents of the deposition becomes part of the evidence. Everything said at a deposition may be used in the trial.
While a deposition can be a nerve-wracking experience for accident victims, if you are prepared to answer questions you can consider the deposition part of your own trial preparations. Speak to an attorney to learn more.