What Happens at a Deposition for a Car Crash Case?
When you file a claim against another driver for damages that resulted from a car accident, you may need to appear at three important proceedings. One may be a deposition, another would be mediation, and if the mediation fails to settle the case, you may need to go to trial.
Having a knowledgeable lawyer at your side could help you prepare for these proceedings and help protect the value of your claim.
If you need legal advice, contact a New Jersey car accident lawyer at the Lynch Law Firm, PC. Our lawyers are committed to helping the injured. There is no charge to speak with one of our lawyers in a Free Case Evaluation. We can help determine if you have a chance to recover compensation. There is no obligation to hire us to represent you, even after your free consultation. We only charge for our services if we win your case.
What is a Deposition?
In a deposition, the defendant or plaintiff is called in for questioning by a lawyer under oath. The questions and answers are recorded by a court reporter to be used later in the trial.
It is important to be honest, concise and consistent with your statements during this process because they can be used against you later. The other attorney may try to find discrepancies in your statements, which could be harmful to the outcome of your claim.
What is the Process?
Your deposition will likely be conducted in the office of one of the lawyers, however, it could take place at a courthouse, public library, conference room, hospital, doctor’s office or even in your own home.
At the deposition, your lawyer will be present, and the defendant’s lawyer will be seated across from you with a court reporter in between.
Before the process begins, you will be administered the oath to speak the truth. From that point on, you will be “under oath” and anything you say could be held against you. Every word spoken by all parties involved will be recorded by the court reporter and a written copy of the transcript will be provided to both lawyers.
Questions You Can Expect
The purpose of the deposition is to learn new information about the crash that could be critical to the outcome of the claim. If the defendant’s lawyer requested the deposition, he or she may be trying to find information that can prove his client was not at fault for the accident. On the other hand, if the plaintiff’s lawyer requested the deposition, he or she may be looking to strengthen the case to pursue more compensation.
Some of the topics for questioning at a car accident deposition may include:
- General personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, etc.
- The status of your physical and mental health before the accident occurred
- Information about the accident, including the date and time of the crash, what you did before the accident, what you did immediately after the incident, and if you spoke with anyone about the collision
- The medical care you received and your physical condition after the crash, including your diagnosis, treatments or procedures you have undergone or expect to receive, and any medications you are taking
- Ways the injury has changed your lifestyle, such as your ability to work in the same capacity as before the accident, whether you need assistance performing daily tasks and how it has affected your personal and professional relationships
It is important to meet with your lawyer before attending the deposition. He or she can go over some of these questions. If you are not prepared, you could end up hurting the value of your claim.
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