If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be considering seeking compensation for your injuries. Personal injury attorneys are experts in getting you the settlement that you deserve, and making contact with an attorney should be accomplished as soon as possible after your accident.
Once you decide to proceed with a personal injury claim, your case will be scheduled for trial and you and your attorney will begin to prepare to go to court. Before going to trial however, there must be a deposition. A deposition is a part of your case referred to as "discovery." Read on for 7 important facts you need to know about depositions.
1. A deposition allows both sides to question you and the witnesses to the accident. Oftentimes, a settlement offer is made as a result of the information gathered at the deposition, which means that there will be no need for a trial.
2. You must be completely honest at the deposition, since you will be under oath when questioned and can be charged with perjury for lying under oath.
3. Spend some time before the deposition preparing by refreshing your memory of events and looking over police reports and your medical records. If you have been using a journal, re-read the entries from the beginning.
4. Depositions are not as formally structured as court, and lawyers can generally ask whatever they want with no need for a judge's permission. As in court, an attorney may voice an objection to certain questions, and the objection is noted in the record.
5. Be forthright with your attorney about the accident and any information about your past, especially any legal issues. Don't allow your attorney to be caught off-guard at the deposition.
6. Depositions can be a trial-run of a court proceeding, so a careful evaluation of your experience will be valuable for you and your personal injury lawyer as you prepare for trial.
7. You may need to force some witnesses to appear at the deposition by using a subpoena. Just as in court, a subpoena is a legal instrument to compel someone's appearance at a legal proceeding.
While not exactly the same as court, depositions are extremely important and the testimony you and others give while deposed will become part of your case. Preparation for the disposition is vital, and your attorney will be by your side helping you to prepare as you testify and move toward a successful personal injury outcome.