What to Expect at Depositions of Car Accidents

Lawsuits that seek damages from losses in car accidents are considered civil suits. The laws do vary between each state, but they are generally simple to follow. 

They occur in three stages: the commencement, the petition filed, and then the defending party filing answers to the documents to the court as well. 

What’s Discovery 

Once the filings are done, then, it moves to the next part of this, the “discovery.” This is the longest part of the lawsuit, which allows both sides to give one another information, and then documentation on the claims from the defense as well. 

This step usually involves the exchange of different documents that are created as a result of the ensuing accident. These include medical bills, statements, reports from the police, and photos and other information of the scene. There may also be interrogatories that are used, involving questions sent from one party to another. 

The Deposition 

Sometimes, information will be gathered through depositions, which is where parties answer questions of others that have the information that’s relevant to the accident. 

For example, the number of drivers involved in the incident that happened and their ensuring passengers that were there. they may also get information on any witnesses, the doctors who conducted the medical treatment, and the officers involved. 

There isn’t really a limit to how many people can get involved in this. The only requirement is that they need to be connected to the incident. 

Where are they Conducted? 

Most anywhere, but it needs to be in a place that’s reasonably close to the witnesses involved.  In New York though, there’s exceptions, and this is usually when they get the attorneys involved. 

Usually, they can be held in informal settings including doctor’s offices, courthouse libraries, conference rooms, or even in living rooms. 

Typically, the attorney requesting this deposition, any eyewitnesses, and other attorneys and the court reporter all meet up, and this is where the testimony is done. 

All Testimony is Given Under Oath 

The court reporter is one of the most important parts of this process. That’s because the testimony is given under oath.  The court reporter will use machines to get every word that’s said by the parties during this deposition. 

Testimony under oath does carry penalty, and that’s perjury. So if witnesses are found to not be giving correct testimony on purpose, this does escalate to a civil or criminal case and penalties. 

The Questions 

Typically, with a deposition, the attorneys begin with basic questions about who they are, and the relationship they have to the lawsuit. 

From there, questions do vary depending on the purpose of this.  At this point, they might ask about injuries, any details of what the witnesses saw, and pretty much anything that’s connected to the case at hand. 

If the witness for example was a treating physician, they might ask for medical prognosis and information about the injures and treatment this person got. 

At times, they might also utilize law enforcement to get more detail about the information involving the accident. 

This can take a few hours, or sometimes even longer, depending on the different rules and information that you need as well. 

Each state has specific rules that are important to follow. For an example of course, if you’re giving a deposition on car accident cases, you won’t have to worry about one-day notices.  Most of the time, you get about five business days’ notice on this. 

For larger cases, depositions are utilized. While it isn’t for everyone, there is still a lot that you can do with this questioning.