The legal process can be a maze of confusion and fear for anyone that is not accustomed to navigating through it. When someone is involved in a personal injury accident they suddenly find themselves in need of a crash course in the judicial process. It can be scary and frustrating. Finding the right personal injury lawyer, locating a doctor that is willing to work with you regarding his charges and worrying about losing your job if you have to miss work are just a few of the concerns that generally go along with being the victim in a personal injury accident.
Once you have resolved the most immediate concerns, the often lengthy process of determining who was negligent (at fault) and then what your claim is worth begins. Lawyer use a number of tactics to try and determine who was at fault and then what the victim’s claim is worth. One common legal process used by attorneys in a personal injury accident case is to take the deposition of the victim. A deposition is a way for the lawyers to take the testimony of a witness prior to an actual trial. It is more formal than an office interview, but less formal than a trial. The testimony that you give at a deposition is taken under oath and can be introduced at trial in most cases. In some cases, a witnesses deposition testimony can even be introduced at trial if the witness later becomes unavailable. The idea of a deposition can be frightening for anyone that is unfamiliar with the process. If you are scheduled for a deposition, or have a personal injury accident case that could require a deposition, consider the following tips when preparing for the deposition.
1. Be informed. Your personal injury attorney should help inform you about the procedures involved in a deposition, who will be there, where it will be held, how long it should take etc. As a rule, the defendant, plaintiff and their attorneys as well as a court reporter will be present. The length of the deposition can vary greatly depending on the issues in your case. Spend as much time as you need asking your attorney questions so that you feel well informed prior to the deposition.
2. Practice. An experienced personal injury attorney will generally spend some time with his client practicing before an actual deposition. Time spent answering questions that are likely to be asked at the deposition will make you feel much more at ease during the actual deposition.
3. Tell the truth. Remember that a deposition is taken under oath. This means that the answers you give during a deposition may be able to be used in an actual trial if you answer the same question differently at trial. If you are unsure how to answer a question, or are afraid to answer a question consult with your attorney – that’s why he is there!
4. Relax! If you have informed yourself well and spent some time practicing before the deposition you should be ready when the day comes. Remember that a deposition is a normal part of a personal injury accident lawsuit and that in all likelihood it will help your attorney get you the compensation that you deserve for the injuries you have suffered.
If you have any additional questions, please schedule a free and detailed evaluation of your California personal injury accident case with attorney Emery Ledger of the personal injury law firm Ledger & Associates. He can be reached by calling 1-800-300-0001 or by visiting the firm’s website at www.ledgerlaw.com.