Lawsuits and the legal process after a Houston car accident are intimidating. It’s hard to know what to do, but if you have been contacted about a deposition or received court papers demanding you attend a deposition after a car accident, contact a Houston attorney today. This may be an expected part of a lawsuit you are involved with or it may come out of the blue. Either way, The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can help you prepare.
If you’re injured in a Houston car accident, call (281) 283-8500. We’re happy to set up a free consultation to review your situation, review if a deposition is necessary, and explain what comes next. There’s no risk because there are no upfront fees.
What is a Deposition?
A deposition is an interview, under oath, that requires answering questions regarding a lawsuit that you are in some way involved in.
You may be one of the parties named in the lawsuit, someone who witnessed an accident or injury, know about the events, or an expert regarding a situation within the case. A wide range of individuals can be deposed, though you will only be called to do so if you have pertinent information.
What Happens at a Deposition?
Depositions do not take place in a courtroom. Usually, they are held at an attorney’s office. Your deposition interview could be brief, less than an hour, or it could take place over several days.
The questions and answers are not in court, but they are on the record. Your testimony may also be recorded in some way, such as through a court reporter, audio recording, or videotaped. Video recording a deposition is often used if you may not be able to attend the trial in the future.
You Can Have an Attorney
You have the right to have an attorney present during a deposition. If you are a party to the lawsuit, you should absolutely have legal counsel.
Most of the questions you’re asked will make sense and be directly related to the lawsuit. However, lawyers have significant leeway to ask questions that may be indirectly or barely related. Your attorney can object to a question, but there is not a judge present. The objection is merely noted and you may be required to answer the question.
You are under oath during a deposition and should always tell the truth. There can be penalties if you are found to be lying. If you realize you made a mistake or gave incorrect information, you should immediately fix the mistake and provide an accurate answer.
When Does a Deposition Take Place?
Depositions occur during the discovery phase when both sides are attempting to build their arguments and defenses. Discovery can last months, so there is no way to tell exactly when your deposition will take place. Your attorney will need to be in contact with the other side’s attorneys to schedule your deposition within the appropriate time frame.
Why Do Attorneys Take Depositions?
The purpose of a deposition is twofold. One goal is to learn what a witness knows about the situation and another is to solidify that witness’s testimony for trial.
Depositions are crucial components of lawsuits because both sides want to have all the information before they head into a trial. Also, this testimony is important because it can be referred to during trial and used to determine if a person provides false or different information on the stand.
Depositions vs. Testifying at Trial
A deposition can seem like testimony at trial because witnesses must answer questions from both side’s attorneys while on the record and there may even be objections. However, deposition testimony is far different than what happens on the witness stand.
When witnesses are in court, their testimony has been planned with their attorneys. They know their attorney’s questions and how to best answer them. They also prepare for questions from the opposing party. Witness testimony during a trial is meant to bolster a certain side’s argument. This is not the case during a deposition.
Depositions are fact-finding missions. Attorneys want to know what all potential witnesses know about the circumstances. Some of this information will be good for their argument, some of it will be bad. It is crucial that both sides find out negative information before trial so that they can anticipate how it affects their case and the likely outcome.
Contact The Krist Law Firm for Help
If you have questions about filing a lawsuit after a car accident. call an experienced personal injury lawyer right away. Depositions can be a straightforward and useful tactic to get what you deserve or a tricky situation. A knowledgable lawyer from The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can prepare you and protect your rights during this process.
Call us today at (281) 283-8500 to schedule a free initial consultation.