What Happens At a Deposition In a Personal Injury Case?

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We’ve all heard the term “deposition” but when would you need to make one? When you suffer a personal injury due to the negligence of another person, you have the option of seeking compensatory damages with the help of a Charlotte personal injury attorney. However, recovering damages is not easy. Your first recourse for seeking damages is to reach out to the relevant insurance company. If the insurer baulks and refuses to pay up, it is time to reach out to your other legal options.

Typically, your final option after an insurer refuses to pay you damages is to file a lawsuit. When a personal injury lawsuit is filed, it becomes a matter of trial, judge, and jury. This means many new legal intricacies become involved in the claim. You must also become acquainted with many new legal terminologies when you take your case to a court. One of these is a ‘deposition.’

What is a Deposition?

A deposition is simply a legal process. During this process, the attorney of the other side asks you a series of questions. These are meant to bring out the truth, get your point of view and if possible, force you to make mistakes that can be used against you. You have the right to have your attorney present during the process.

Who is Present at the Deposition?

If you are being deposed, you are required to be present at the deposition as the plaintiff. The defendant’s attorney will depose you, so they will certainly be there as well. Whether or not the defendant also arrives is a matter of choice for the defendant. Likewise, you have a choice in whether or not you want to have your attorney in the room with you during the deposition. Generally, it is a good idea to have legal counsel with you while you are being deposed.

A court reporter or stenographer is also typically present during the process. It is the job of the reporter to type every word that is spoken during the deposition. In addition, the deposition may also be recorded in audio or videotaped.

Proceedings of the Deposition

During the process, you should expect to be asked virtually any and every question related to the particulars of your case. The defendant’s lawyer will ask you about yourself, the accident, your injuries, and treatment, as well as your losses.

Questions about your person can be about your basic information, family background, employment background, educational background and more. The defense attorney may further inquire as to whether or not you have suffered any injuries or health issues before the accident.

If you are claiming lost wages as a part of your claim, the defense may ask you about your employer, the nature of your job, your wages and so on. You will be asked about the time you were forced to spend away from your job due to the injuries you suffered in the crash.

A key part of the act relates to questions about the accident itself. The defense lawyer may ask you about the date, time, location and other specifics. Be ready to answer questions like ‘what was your speed when the crash occurred?’ and ‘how far was the other vehicle when you spotted it?’

As a general rule-of-thumb, you should respond to all the questions asked. Respond honestly but if you are not sure about a question, simply say so. Your lawyer may also object to some of the questions but you will still need to answer all the questions that the defense puts.

After the Deposition

Once the deposition is over, the court reporter or stenographer types it up. You can get a copy of the deposition. The judge and the jury involved in the trial also get access to the deposition during the hearings. Your lawyer can ask a judge to have certain questions and answers struck from the deposition over legal grounds.

Hiring a Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney

Before you go to a deposition in a personal injury case, it is critically important to consult a good Charlotte personal injury attorney. A good attorney will help you be prepared and ready for the questions the defense is likely to ask you.

Here at Ted Greve & Associates, we specialize in personal injury cases. Our personal injury lawyers in Charlotte, NC will accompany you to the deposition and advise you on how to proceed following a deposition. With our legal advice and help, you can turn the deposition into something that reinforces your lawsuit against the other party. Reach us today to schedule a free consultation.