Depositions in a Car Accident Lawsuit

When a lawsuit has been filed following a car accident, a legal process called “discovery” would play a key role in obtaining information that could be important in helping both parties in the case. Deposition is one type of the discovery process, and this involved an out-of-court testimony which is still given under oath that can be used later in the trial. The person who is giving the sworn testimony for a deposition is called the deponent.

Deposition testimony can be used to impeach a witness or lower their credibility if the deposition testimony differs significantly. Those who are present in a deposition are the person being deposed, the two parties involved in the lawsuit and their respective lawyers, and a person who have qualifications to administer the oaths (usually a court reporter) who will also be tasked with recording all the testimonies during the deposition. After the deposition, a transcript of the deposition is done and will be available upon request, which will come with a certain cost, along with the cost for the court reporter’s time. Not directly involved in the deposition are the judge and the court personnel.

It is common for the defense party to ask you for a deposition, and although state rules regarding civil laws differ it is generally accepted and required that both parties involved in the lawsuit engage in a deposition, especially when the other party requests for it. This will be done in an pre-arranged time that is convenient to you and your lawyer can help in preparing your for the process, although their representation is not needed.

In order not to have your deposition held against you, you should listen to the questions carefully and properly and provide clear and honest answers. Some questions may seem irrelevant and intrusive, it is important to stay polite and patient. Being uncooperative may make the defense party contact the judge, which could cause a negative opinion and damage your case. Aside from the deposing the other party, Oceanside car accident lawyers should consider deposing any witnesses, treating medical providers, and possible medical providers that the defense party may call to court.