A car accident deposition can be an important part of a case. In a car accident, the victim can seek compensation in two ways. The first is by filing an insurance claim, with the second a personal injury lawsuit. The latter comes in when an insurance claim fails, or there’s a delay, and you don’t want the suit to become statute-barred.
After filing a lawsuit, there are different steps involved before the trial process. One of such steps is known as “discovery.” During discovery, both parties and their attorneys assess each other’s position and gather evidence for the trial. One of the most critical stages of discovery is known as “deposition.”
A deposition is a question and answer session where the plaintiff and the defendant answer questions about the case. Here, both parties explore the factual basis of the lawsuit and discover the strength of the plaintiff’s claim or the defendant’s defense. This article brings you what you need to know about a car accident deposition. For more information, contact our Atlanta car accident lawyers.
Things To Note About a Car Accident Deposition
As a car accident victim, you should know that a deposition can make or break your case. This is where you see if you have a chance to win or lose if the case goes to trial. For this reason, you must take your deposition seriously, especially when getting deposed by the defense attorney.
Below are some of what you should know about a car accident deposition.
Say as Little as Possible
As the car accident victim and plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit, you will attend at least one deposition. During the session, the defendant’s lawyer or the counsel of their insurance company will ask you a series of questions. It might take a long time to get through, so try to say as little as possible.
Always remember that the defendant’s lawyer is trying to get as much information as they can out of you. They will hammer on questions relating to negligence and the extent of your injuries. So, only offer the required information; if you provide more, you’re helping the other side.
Note that you cannot refuse to answer a question. The best thing to do is stick with the basics and don’t volunteer information on something they did not ask. Your Atlanta injury lawyer will coach you on what to say and step in before you make a mistake.
Ideally, it is wise to go to a car accident deposition with your attorney. But if you choose to go at it alone, then you need to come prepared. You do this by reviewing all the documents you’ll use during the trial. This includes police reports, medical records, witness statements, and refreshing your memory for any information you may have missed.
If you have an attorney, they must have responded to the defendant’s request to produce documents and interrogatories. Ensure you review the answers provided and give answers that are consistent with the evidence. Lastly, be prepared to answer questions about your personal background, medical history, injuries sustained, etc.
The Defendant Wants To Trap You
No matter how friendly the defense attorney seems, they are not your friend. The defendant’s team wants to trap you and pin you down to one version of your story. They will pick apart everything you say to get you to make a mistake. So, no matter the pressure, you must stick with your account till the end. If you said you drove at 35 mph, you can’t change it at 25 mph or say you don’t remember.
The Defendant’s Attorney is Recording More Than Answers
As your Atlanta car accident attorney would tell you, communication goes beyond verbal. So, in addition to listening to you, the defense lawyer will be watching your behavior and mannerism during the car accident deposition. If you fidget a lot or don’t come across as believable, the lawyer will note it down in assessing the strength of your case.
The Defendant’s Attorney Will Go Fishing
During a car accident deposition, expect the defense team to go fishing. This is because there’s a lot of information that the lawyer does not know and would like to find out. So don’t be surprised or offended if they ask random questions that seemingly do not relate to the case.
Let Atlanta Premium Attorneys Help You!
As an accident victim, you don’t have to go into a car accident deposition alone. By hiring our auto accident lawyers at The Weinstein Firm, you have a team of legal experts watching for your interests. We will guide you throughout the entire process and go ahead to win for you at trial. Contact us today to schedule a free case review.