Preparing for a Deposition in a Mississippi Car Accident Lawsuit
Often, plaintiffs believe that a car accident lawsuit is as simple as filing the lawsuit, sending the defendant medical bills, and receiving a check. While some cases can be resolved fairly quickly based only on police reports and medical documentation, sometimes cases will drag on and resist settling. In these instances, the parties will exchange information in a legal process known as discovery, which can also involve bringing the plaintiff in to testify at a deposition.
What is a Deposition?
A deposition is sworn testimony provided by a witness in a case. Typically, depositions are held at the office of an attorney. A judge is not present at the deposition, but the attorneys for both the plaintiff and the defendant are. A court reporter will also be present recording every spoken word for the record. Your attorney may object to questions asked by opposing counsel, but questions are broader than what would be allowed at trial and usually objections are not sustained.
Testimony offered in a deposition is meant to be preserved and may later be admitted at trial. During the deposition, attorneys will ask questions to determine what you will testify to before the judge or jury. You may be shown pictures or diagrams of an accident scene and asked to identify certain objects or locations. Attorneys want to see if you will make a reliable witness and if your story has changed over time. Information provided in depositions may also facilitate settlement negotiations.
How to Prepare for a Deposition in a Personal Injury Case
Depositions can be intimidating, especially for plaintiffs who are unfamiliar with the legal system, so the most important thing about a deposition is to always tell the truth. Some other tips are to only answer the question that is asked – don’t volunteer information. Finally, try to go in relaxed. Then, just answer questions directly and clearly. Opposing counsel may attempt to confuse you or misstate your previous testimony. Remain calm and testify about events as you remember them. If you’re unsure about an answer, you can think it over before stating your response.
It is practically impossible to predict exactly what questions will come up at a deposition, but before a deposition, your attorney will likely meet with you and go over topics that may be covered. Anything about the accident and its aftermath is of course likely to be discussed. Ultimately, while a deposition may be nerve racking, more often than not it should not hurt your case, and may even help avoid a trial.
Contact Us For Help With Your Case
A personal injury lawsuit is intended to make you whole again, but sometimes receiving the compensation you’re entitled to is not an easy matter. It can require extensive litigation and depositions. Trying to handle a case like this without a lawyer on your side can be overwhelming Contact the experienced Mississippi personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy Guice today for a free consultation.