What Happens At a Deposition In a Personal Injury Case

A deposition is a session that includes questions and answers used as part of the pre-trial in a civil lawsuit. Depositions are used to gain details about the case and explore ways to uncover evidence that the plaintiff or defendant can use. Here is how the deposition process works, as well as what you can expect if you have to testify in a personal injury case.

What Is a Deposition?

At a deposition, an individual will appear at a predetermined time and location to give sworn testimony under oath. This event usually occurs with a court reporter to make a record of the deposition.

A deposition usually occurs during the discovery stage of a personal injury case once the lawsuit is filed but before the trial/settlement phase. Like what occurs during a trial, an attorney will ask questions to the deponent. Sometimes, the deposition details will be used in court.

Prompting a Witness to Attend the Deposition

There are some limited exceptions, but you can depose any individual who might know about the facts about the lawsuit. Of course, many individuals won’t volunteer to appear at a deposition on their own since the process can be lengthy and stressful. However, witnesses can be compelled to attend the deposition through a subpoena.

The subpoena can be served via service of process, which usually involves a process servicer. If you have a personal injury attorney, they are likely very familiar with the serving procedure.

A subpoena orders a person to appear at a specific time and location to provide testimony. The subpoena has to adhere to strict rules, including naming the court and the title of the action. However, the person who is subpoenaed does have certain protections such as modifying the order for several reasons, allowing a reasonable time for the person to respond, or when attending the deposition requires the person to travel far.

Why Are Depositions Part of Personal Injury Cases?

There are several reasons for taking a deposition in various personal injury cases, such as obtaining important details about the case and gathering details about the strengths and weaknesses of both parties’ arguments in the personal injury case. Depositions also allow attorneys and legal professionals to figure out how credible a witness or plaintiff will be when testifying at the personal injury trial.

How Deposition Work In Injury Cases

When the plaintiff or defendant in a personal injury case wishes to schedule a deposition, they have to give notice in a reasonable amount of time to all involved parties according to the local court’s rules. The deposition can occur in almost any location. Many lawyers opt to have depositions at their law firm offices or the office of a court reporter.

Just like at an actual trial, one lawyer will start the questioning, and other lawyers have the opportunity to follow up with some of their own questions. Opposing attorneys can object to certain subjects or questions while the examining attorney conducts their portion of the deposition. The objection will be noted in the deposition record, but the questioning will proceed. The deponent may be advised not to answer a question in very limited situations.

Bottom Line

Suppose you were hurt in a car accident or another negligence context in the Birmingham area. After receiving medical care, you should talk to a Birmingham personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Do the same no matter the state/city where the accident occurred. An attorney will help you prepare for your deposition and give you insight into the evidence and information you’ll need to submit in court to increase your chances of winning a fair settlement. When you receive compensation for your case, you can replace or repair your vehicle and take care of the medical bills and other financial obligations you may need to tend to after an accident.

Schedule your consultation with a qualified attorney as soon as possible if you seek damages from the entity whose negligence caused your injuries and losses.