You may feel a great deal of relief once you place your personal injury claim into the capable hands of an attorney, since it gives you much needed time to heal and recover from your injuries. However, having some knowledge about the personal injury process can benefit you by reducing stress about the unknown, and will help your claim in general by allowing you to be prepared for every step ahead of time. A major event in the process is the deposition, so read on to learn the facts about the key role that this meeting could play in getting you the compensation you deserve for your injury.
1. A deposition will be scheduled to take place soon after you have filed suit and your case is set for trial. The deposition is known as "discovery," and that is exactly what takes place at this meeting.
2. The attorneys for both sides (your attorney and the insurance company's attorney) will be questioning you, any witnesses to the accident and any other pertinent people, just like in a trial.
3. Help your attorney to be as prepared for the deposition as possible by being forthright about your past legal or financial issues, which may be brought up by the other side.
4. Prepare for being questioned at the deposition by reviewing your journal, notes, reports and medical records to refresh your memory about the day of the accident.
5. Keep in mind that you (and everyone else) will be questioned while under oath, just as in a trial, and dishonesty could result in a perjury charge.
6. While depositions do have similarities to trials, the entire proceeding is less formal and there is no one presiding over the meeting, like a judge. Attorneys are generally given more latitude to ask whatever they wish of the deponents, with any objections simply noted in the record.
7. Subpoenas may be issued to compel an appearance at a deposition, but people who live long distances away or are unable to appear in person may be accommodated by the use of online conferencing communication methods.
8. The way you and others behave under questioning can provide valuable information about the outcomes for trial for both parties. Your attorney can work with you to help you be more at ease if necessary.
9. The hoped-for outcome of a disposition is a settlement offer from the other side. If your evidence is compelling enough, both sides may be able to save time and money by settling before court begins.
10. Your deposition can be a successful tool for preparing you for trial. Count on your attorney to guide you and support you during your testimony and to faithfully negotiate on your part for a fair settlement for your injuries.
Contact a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases, such as Trammell & Mills Law Firm LLC, for more information about your particular case.