In most personal injury cases, the injured party and their lawyer come to a settlement agreement with the at-fault party and their insurance company, thus bringing the case to an end. However, sometimes negotiations do not end with an arrangement that all sides find agreeable. In such cases, the only way for the injured person to recover the compensation they deserve is to file a personal injury lawsuit.
One of the steps in the pre-trial process is for the plaintiff to sit for a deposition. If you file a personal injury lawsuit, you may feel anxious about being deposed. Knowing what happens at a deposition may help you feel better prepared when the time comes.
What Is a Deposition?
A deposition is a legal procedure that occurs before the courtroom trial begins. Anyone directly involved in the lawsuit, including the plaintiff, might be required to answer questions under oath from the opposing party’s attorney. If the opposing side wishes to depose you, you will be summoned to appear at a specific time and place. A court reporter will be present to record the question-and-answer session on a stenograph machine so they can prepare an official transcript afterward.
What Is the Purpose of a Deposition?
The purpose of a deposition is to help attorneys from both sides obtain information about the accident and the losses you have suffered as a result. The process gives lawyers from each side an opportunity to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your injury claims. As a result, the attorneys will have an opportunity to refine their strategies.
What Should I Expect During a Deposition?
You may find it helpful to know that your attorney will be present during the deposition. They will ensure that the other side’s questioning remains focused on relevant matters. They can also rehearse with you before the deposition to help you answer questions in a way that does not cause you to inadvertently assume any fault for the accident or your injuries.
You will be asked to swear under oath that the answers you provide to the attorney are correct and true to the best of your knowledge. The other party’s lawyer will ask about the accident and your injuries.
What Will They Ask Me?
To begin the interview, the opposing party’s attorney will likely ask simple questions regarding:
- Your name
- Your employment history
- Your medical background
- Whether you have filed any other legal claims
- Whether you have a criminal history
- Other aspects of your life and health
From there, they will move on to questions about the accident and the specific injuries you received because of it. These questions may require you to provide information about:
- Treatments you have received due to the injuries
- Physical disabilities the accident caused
- Whether your injuries have required you to take time off work
- Other consequences the accident might have had on your life
Most people feel nervous when they are under questioning in such a formal way, but you must conduct yourself as calmly as possible throughout the interview.
It is also crucial that you answer the questions as truthfully as possible. The answers to many of the questions you are asked will be matters of public record, so the opposing party’s attorney will know if you have not been forthcoming or are exaggerating anything. Doing so will throw your credibility into doubt, possibly putting your entire claim at risk.
What Happens After the Deposition?
After the interview, the court reporter will prepare the transcript, which your lawyer will have an opportunity to review. They may then give you their estimation of how the deposition might affect your case.
The opposing party’s insurance company may also request that an independent medical professional examine you. They will use the resulting reports to inform their decision about whether to offer a settlement at this point. If you choose to accept the settlement, the claim will come to an end. If not, you and your attorney can proceed with the courtroom trial.
Contact an Experienced Lake Charles Personal Injury Attorney Today
There are many steps in a personal injury lawsuit, and the deposition can feel like one of the most stressful. Having the right attorney on your side can help you feel more confident every step of the way. The experienced Lake Charles personal injury attorneys of Veron Bice, LLC can help prepare you for the deposition, and we will fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Contact us online today or call us at [phone-number linked=”true”] now for a free consultation.