If you did not reach a settlement in your personal injury claim, then you will need to file a personal injury lawsuit. In all lawsuits, courts seek to uncover the truth by collecting and analyzing all the data and information related to the event that led to the lawsuit.
In personal injury lawsuits, the courts will need witnesses to give depositions to get a clearer picture of the incident during the discovery phase. According to a car accident lawyer at Roberts | Jeandron Law, a deposition can significantly influence the outcome of your case, mainly since California follows the comparative-fault system.
By the laws of this system, even if you win your case, if it is discovered and proven that you are partly at fault for your accident, then a percentage of fault will be assigned to you. If you win your case, that percentage of fault will be applied to your compensation, and you will lose a part of it based on that percentage. Therefore, a deposition plays an important role in personal injury cases in more than one way.
Understanding the Importance of Depositions in Personal Injury Lawsuits
A deposition can be used in your personal injury lawsuit’s discovery phase. It is meant to reveal information about your case before going to trial. During a deposition, a witness will be questioned under oath to reveal certain pieces of information about the event or situation at hand.
This is also used to determine their testimony at the trial. In personal injury cases, the information gathered through depositions can play a significant role in painting a clearer picture of what happened at the accident scene and who might be at fault. Therefore it plays a role in determining the appropriate amount of a settlement.
You, as the initiator of the lawsuit, referred to as the plaintiff or a witness or deponent, will provide testimony during the discovery phase, answering the opposing counsel’s questions.
While doing so under oath, you, or the deponent, will need to provide truthful and accurate information to the best of your knowledge, and court officials will write down every statement. A deponent can weaken or strengthen the case by revealing how the injuries occurred.
Another purpose of the deposition in discovering testimonies is to prepare lawyers to design legal strategies they may use to weaken or strengthen your case. Not all personal injury lawsuits have depositions, though, but as long as you follow your lawyer’s advice and answer truthfully, there is nothing to fear.
If a lawyer deems that a deposition can influence the outcome of your case, they have the legal right to use it for fishing out information that may be hidden by the opposing party.
Preparing for a Personal Injury Deposition
If you have eyewitnesses that can benefit your case and give testimony under oath, then your lawyer will ensure that they will be ready for the deposition. If you are about to give a testimony, then your personal injury lawyer will also help you out.
They will prepare you for questioning and explain different aspects that will be helpful. For example, your lawyer might walk you through all the possible questions that the opposing party might ask you.
A good lawyer will also prepare you for different strategies that most opposing parties usually use. For example, the opposing party’s attorney might use the silent treatment after you give an answer to make you nervous and say more than you need to. Anything you say can and will be used against you later, but there are also other tactics that might be used against you.
However, you shouldn’t fear depositions when it comes to personal injury cases. With a proper attorney by your side, you and your witnesses will be ready for everything that comes your way.