To be paid the compensation they deserve, some accident victims must take the legal route. This way to be compensated involves a number of steps before you can plead your case in court. Trial preparation can take several weeks but you and your accident lawyer won't be idle during this time. Read on to learn more about the goings-on prior to the trial and more about what is expected of you.
Discovering Case Information
Before the gavel comes down on the first day of court, the lawyers begin to prepare. Discovery is the exchange of information about the accident case between the involved parties. That might include questions and answers and production, which are exchanges of evidence. Almost all discovery procedures are the territory of lawyers — except one. If your case calls for a deposition, you will be called upon to participate.
What Goes On At a Deposition?
This meeting is usually held in a conference room, and your lawyer will be with you at all times. You, and others, are questioned by both your attorney and the attorney for the other driver, and the answers are recorded by a court reporter. Depending on the complexity of your case, your time being questioned can last from a few minutes to a few days. Your lawyer can give you an idea of what to expect. Only the lawyers, the stenographer, and the person being questioned are present.
Why is a Deposition Needed?
Like all other discovery actions, the deposition is meant to bring facts to light. What is said is not only recorded but can be used later at the trial. In fact, the deposition might be seen as a practice session for the upcoming trial by you. For the lawyers, though, it's much more. A deposition serves important purposes:
- It helps the lawyers prepare for trial by giving them an idea of what the other side will present in court.
- It allows the lawyers an opportunity to form defensive maneuvers against damaging information.
- It demonstrates the skills and abilities of lawyers, the plaintiff, the defendant, and other witnesses. Demeanor, tactics, believability, and more can be judged.
- It presents yet another opportunity for a settlement offer. The hope is that the other side will see what is in store when the trial begins and will make an offer that is acceptable.
Your accident lawyer will help you prepare and be at ease during the deposition. For more information about working with an accident lawyer, contact a local law firm, like Siben & Siben LLP.