If you have been injured in an accident and are now seeking compensation from the at-fault party, you may be considering filing a personal injury lawsuit. You can expect to be compensated for your personal property damages, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and more, if your claim is strong and valid. A major part of the personal injury process takes place before the case even comes before a judge. Pretrial preparation includes the discovery phase, in which information about the case is gathered. A deposition is a legal proceeding, and part of discovery, that allows both sides to get a preview of how a trial might proceed. Read on to learn more about this important part of your personal injury case.
1. You may be able to avoid a trial altogether if your deposition is successful. Since witnesses to your accident are interviewed and evidence is presented (just like in a trial) during the deposition, the other side may want to avoid taking a case to court that they might lose. Trying cases in court is time-consuming and expensive, for both side. An offer to settle the case out of court could come your way at any time, but particularly after a successful deposition.
2. A deposition is very similar to a court case, but is a little less formal and perhaps less intimidating. You, and other participants will be interviewed under oath, however, and all recordings of the deposition are admissible to court should your case go to trial.
3. Since you will be closely questioned about the events of the accident and the resulting medical treatments, a review of past events may be in order, especially if it has been some time since the accident. Review your medical documents and your accident journal, if you have been keeping one. If not, try to create a summary of everything you can remember from the accident scene, your medical treatments and the manner that your injures are still affecting you. Other helpful reminders include the accident report and photos taken at the scene.
4. Your attorney will be with you for the deposition, but the real support should come as you prepare for this meeting, which sometimes lasts for hours but sometimes, days. Your attorney's legal team will assist you by setting up practice sessions where you will learn how to properly answer questions. Depositions give attorneys for both sides a great deal of information about how the participants will behave in court.
5. Make sure that you don't allow your attorney to be blindsided by a past legal or financial matter during the deposition. It's vital that you be forthright and honest beforehand, giving your attorney an opportunity to be prepared for any issues the other side raises.
Consider your deposition a chance to showcase your claim against the defendants. Count on your personal injury attorney (like those at Shaw Leslie Law Office and other firms) to not only prepare you for this important meeting, but to stand by your side throughout the process to help you get the compensation that your are entitled to get.