From the time of your accident until you finally get some financial relief can be a long, drawn out process. Nothing that concerns the legal system is meant to be quick, and you may wait months for your personal injury trial to ever begin. There is a bright spot in your near future, however. Read on to find out how one vital meeting that occurs before your trial begins could hold the key to fair and quick compensation.
What is the purpose of this meeting?
In the U.S. legal system, trial preparation can take months and months, and many people are not prepared for the time-suck that the discovery process can be. Both sides are entitled to have a pretty good idea of what they will be facing in court, once it begins. The "surprise" witness that walks in the courtroom door at the last minute or that secret bit of evidence that is suddenly presented to the court just does not happen that often, and neither side wants it to happen. That is why both sides share their evidence, witness statements, and even more during the discovery process. One of the key parts of the discovery process is the deposition.
What happens at a deposition?
All concerned parties participate in the deposition, and indeed, those who refuse to take part can be subpoenaed to appear. The deposition consists of the attorneys for each side questioning you and your witnesses and the other side as well. Yes, the driver who hit you will be deposed. Unlike a courtroom, however, the testimony is generally given in a conference room, and participants are interviewed individually, one at a time. Everything said in a deposition is under oath, recorded, and admissible in court, so this is a serious and important event, not to be taken lightly. Your attorney will prepare you for questioning, so do your part and review your notes before the event to refresh your memory.
What could happen after the deposition?
The most valuable part of the deposition, for you anyway, is the potential to have a settlement offer be submitted at any time during or after. Once the other side gets a good look at what they'll be facing in court, they may decide to make you an offer, hopefully one you cannot refuse. Taking cases to court is expensive for both sides, and, in fact, the vast majority of suits are settled out of court.
To learn more about the importance of the deposition, speak with your personal injury attorney from a law firm like The Jaklitsch Law Group.