You might have heard about a deposition, but do they use them in car accident cases? Most car crash claims in Fort Lauderdale are typically settled out of court. A Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney can help you get maximum compensation for the losses suffered in a crash.
However, an out-of-court settlement may not be viable in some cases. This is when the insurer refuses to accept your valid claim or offers an amount that is too low. This is when you will need to take your case to a court. Once in the court system, you will be required to undergo deposition before a judge can hear the case.
What is a Deposition?
In a car crash case, a deposition is a statement given under oath either by the plaintiff, defendant, or a witness. The deposition typically takes place outside a court but under the supervision of a person recommended by the court. The basic purpose of the deposition is to allow both parties to get the necessary information about a claim before it can go to court. It is important to be suitably prepared for the deposition.
Who Can be Deposed in a Car Accident Case?
In a car accident case, the plaintiff and the defendant can both be deposed. This is different from other civil or criminal cases where the defendant can typically not be deposed unless he or she consents. In addition to the two parties, any witness to the accident, experts who have provided their testimony, and any medical staff involved in the treatment may also be deposed.
You will be deposed by the defendant’s side
If you are a plaintiff, you will be deposed by the defendant’s side. Defense counsel should be willing to work with you to find a suitable date and time for you. Attorneys for the defendant will ask questions related to the incident which will be recorded by the member of the court present.
Can you depose the other driver?
You can also depose another driver and obtain information from him or you can directly contact him to know which type of witnesses will be present at the trial on behalf of the defendant. When deposing the other driver, your attorney can ask questions to get the facts from the defendant and bring out the weaknesses in the defendant’s version.
How Does a Deposition Work?
Depositions are very helpful for recording evidence and cross-questioning for future proceedings. In felony cases, there is no need to get courts’ consent but in misdemeanor cases, the courts need to grant permission before a deposition can be conducted.
Where are depositions conducted?
Deposition can be conducted anyplace near to your home or at the office of one of the attorneys involved in the case. They may also be conducted at any public library, courthouse, conference rooms, doctor’s office, or even at your home.
Who will accompany you?
You will be accompanied by your lawyer and the defendant’s attorney will be seated across you. A court reporter will be seated between both sides.
Oath and testimony
You will be required to take the oath and from that point you will be considered under oath. The defense attorney may start asking questions from you. From there on, every word spoken by you or any other person present in the proceedings will be recorded by the court reporter who will then prepare a written transcript of the testimony so that each party has the record for future proceedings.
Questions You May be Asked at the Deposition
You will be asked different types of questions related to your personal information and car accident by the defense counsel during a deposition. These questions can be broadly categorized into three areas.
The defense attorney will ask you about your identification details, address, educational background, family background and family details, past injuries, and treatments you received, your work history, as well as whether you have any criminal convictions on your previous record.
Details of the Accident
After your personal information is covered, the attorney deposing you will proceed to question you about the accident itself. Questions in this area will pertain to when, where, and how the crash occurred. The attorney will inquire about the road conditions, your direction, speed, when you first saw the other vehicle, how did the collision occur, and so on.
Your injuries and treatment
Finally, you will be asked in detail about your crash-related injuries. The attorney may question you about your symptoms, treating physicians, medications you take, hospitals you visited, the impact of your injuries on your life, and any related past injuries.
Hiring a Reliable Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer
The deposition is a key stage during the discovery phase of a car crash claim. And you must have a good lawyer by your side at this stage. Here at Englander Peebles, we help car crash victims prepare for a deposition and seek the maximum amount of compensation for their damages. Contact us today to discuss your case.