Not all personal injury cases go to trial, but it's best to be prepared for the most important pretrial event of all when they do. The deposition is sort of a practice session for the real trial but is also so much more than that. Read on to find out what is expected of you during your deposition as your legal team prepares to take your personal injury case to trial.
Discovery Serves an Important Purpose
What happens prior to the judge banging the gavel can be just as important, if not more so, than what happens during the trial. Discovery is an age-old legal practice designed to give both sides, both you and the defendant, an opportunity to know what to expect when the trial begins. It involves the sharing of evidence and the alleged facts of the case. For example, your personal injury lawyer may be asked to provide the other side with copies of your medical records from your accident injury.
Your lawyer can ask for things too. For example, your side might be interested in seeing photographs or video footage obtained by the defendants that show what happened when the accident unfolded. This is particularly important if the fault is in dispute. Discovery can include some or all of the following:
- Medical examinations
Depositions Can Mimic Trials
The reason depositions are such a unique aspect of the discovery process is the way everything suddenly becomes more personal. All the other discovery actions involve paperwork and evidence, but the deposition involves all interested parties in the case. That is you, your witnesses, the other driver, and more. Just like a trial, you will be actively participating by answering questions posed by both your lawyer and the other side.
How to Be Prepared for Your Deposition Experience
Depositions are not as formal as trials and there is no judge present, however, all testimony is recorded by a court reporter and can be used when the trial does begin. All those testifying are under oath, just like at a trial. This experience can be a bit anxiety-provoking but if you are prepared, things will go quickly and easily. Keep these tips in mind:
- Review the paperwork you've accumulated. That might include your medical treatment records, the accident report, witness statements, etc.
- Review your evidence. That might include photographs taken at the scene.
- Learn how to answer questions. That means answering only what is asked and nothing more, not guessing at answers, and being sure of what you are saying.
- Work closely with your lawyer and the legal team so that you understand what will be happening and what is expected of both your lawyer and the defendant's lawyers.
Speak to your auto accident attorney services and get some more tips on getting through the deposition in the best way possible.