If you’ve recently been in a car accident, you might need to be “deposed”. But what does that really mean? Who can be deposed after a car accident? For all these questions is imperative to hire a car accident lawyer.
WHAT IS A DEPOSITION?
A deposition is a method of discovery. Discovery is an early phase in a lawsuit in which the parties involved exchange information about their respective claims and defenses. In a deposition, one party gets to ask the other party questions relevant to the issue at hand. For example, if it is a car accident case, the injured party may “depose” the party who caused the injury.
WHO CAN BE DEPOSED AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?
Parties to the case are not the only people who can be deposed. In a car accident case, the following may be deposed:
- The plaintiff
- The defendant
- Lay witnesses
- Expert witnesses
- The Investigating Police Officers
- The Treating Doctors/Medical Providers
Any person that can offer a fact about the incident may be deposed. However, only expert witnesses are allowed to express their opinion about the accident and related injuries.
HOW DOES A DEPOSITION HAPPEN?
How and when a deposition takes place is usually governed by that state’s rules of evidence. However, most depositions will take place reasonably close to where the witness resides, usually in the office of one of the attorneys. In fact, the judge doesn’t even attend the deposition.
Deposition attendees will normally include:
- The person being deposed called the “deponent”
- The plaintiff/defendant
- Attorneys for the plaintiff/defendant
- A Court Reporter
The court reporter is an important attendee because depositions are given under oath as if the deponent was giving testimony in a courtroom. The court reporter uses technology to record everything the despondent says and create a transcript. The transcript of the deposition can then be used in court during the trial.
HIRE A LAWYER
If you’ve been involved in a car accident and anticipate being deposed, or having to depose someone else, don’t attempt to handle the case on your own. Depositions are considered the evidence and are therefore subject to specific rules and procedures. If you miss a deadline or don’t follow the rules exactly, you might lose valuable evidence in your case. Plus, if you are going up against an insurance company, they will have teams of experienced adjusters, investigators, and lawyers trying to settle your case for as little money as possible.
Experienced personal injury lawyers, on the other hand, know the ins and outs of the law. If you hire legal representation, you are more likely to receive higher compensation for your injuries than if you attempt to handle the case on your own.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact Kamper & Estrada, PLLC for a free initial consultation and let our family help yours.