If you decide to take your personal injury claim to litigation, you will probably have to sit for a deposition at some point. Depositions are extremely important and can seem intimidating, but a good Irvine personal injury attorney will be sure to explain to what the process is like and what you can expect.
A deposition, briefly, is an out-of-court process in which a witness in your case provides testimony before the trial. Depositions are believed by many lawyers to be the most important discovery tool in their arsenal, as it they allow the attorney to observe the candor, mannerisms, and demeanor of the witnesses and the opposing party. An Irvine personal injury attorney will use the opportunity to determine how “marketable” or “presentable” a witness is to a jury and how good of witness they would be at trial. Unlike written interrogatories, depositions allow attorneys to ask follow-up questions and press for answers.
In addition, a deposition allows attorneys to figure out which issues in the case are particularly relevant and which issues can be narrowed or eliminated. In a car accident case, for example, the attorney may ask a chain of questions in order to delve into a specific issue, like the following:
Q: Do you agree that you were driving the white van when the collision occurred?
Q: Isn’t it true that immediately after the collision, you observed the plaintiff wearing her seatbelt?
Q: There was a stop sign where you entered the intersection, is that correct?
Q: Isn’t it true that you told the police officer that you were changing the CD in your car stereo just before the collision?
Q: Do you agree that the road where you say you saw the collision occurred is narrow and windy?
Q: You only glanced up for a split second prior to the collision, is that correct?
Narrowing the issues like this makes it easier for the insurance carrier to evaluate the case and makes things easier at trial.
Depositions also let the attorneys know what witnesses are going to testify to and how they are going to say it, which gives the lawyers the chance to test the evidence and try to counter it ahead of the trial.
If you have any further questions about how to act at your deposition, contact experienced Irvine personal injury attorney Samer Habbas at 888-848-5084 for a free initial consultation.