The majority of car accident cases are settled out of court. For the ones that do go to court, they must follow due process of the law. Once a complaint has been filed, the case is entered into the legal system. Both sides must go through discovery, which is a formal investigation into all of the evidence and information surrounding the case. The discovery process occurs during the pre-trial phase.
For instance, the court can subpoena certain documents be released for the pre-trial proceedings. A subpoena is a formal request for documents or for testimony. Failure to respond to a subpoena may result in a fine or jail time. Another process is an interrogatory – questionnaires that consist of 30-45 questions. Each side is allowed to submit an interrogatory to the opposing party.
The last process used is a deposition. In this article, we will describe in detail what happens during a deposition for a car accident case.
What is a Deposition?
A deposition is testimony taken from an eyewitness, called a deponent. Anyone involved in the accident can be a deponent. This includes the drivers, passengers, medical professionals, police officers and witnesses at the scene. Depositions normally take place in an attorney’s office and are recorded by a court reporter. Both parties are present during this process and they are allowed to ask the witness certain questions.
Depositions do not have a particular time frame and they can last for hours or weeks. The purpose of a deposition is to learn new information about the incident that will be valuable to the case. The court reporter provides a written transcript of the proceedings before the actual trial takes place.
How Valuable is a Deposition?
Depositions provide key insight into a car accident. For example, medical deponents will be able to provide the attorney with in-depth information about the injuries and subsequent medical treatments. This information will be valuable to the insurance adjusters that are looking at your medical expenses. Eyewitness depositions allow both sides to learn what transpired from someone with a different vantage point. Depositions give a clearer picture of the car accident.
Getting a Lawyer After a Car Accident
Once your car accident case has begun the legal process, it is very important that you have a skilled attorney by your side. Once the discovery process begins, your car accident lawyer is very active in the case. An attorney understands the legality of a deposition and they are the only ones capable of conducting it properly. They will be able to ask the right questions that give key insight into the specifics of the accident. If you have suffered a traumatic car accident and you need legal support, contact Lewis & Keller. Our attorneys tirelessly inspect every piece of evidence needed in your case. We are skilled at working with eyewitnesses, doctors, and police officers to find out what really happened. If you or a loved one has suffered a car accident, contact Lewis & Keller today.