Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson
Free Case Evaluation 304-263-0900 800-903-0901 304-LAWYERS

Understanding Depositions in a Personal Injury Case

American witness takes an oath before giving a testimony. A jury member standing near a male judge in the court room swears on the Bible that she will tell the truth. Law and justice in the US concept

If the insurance company isn’t settling your personal injury claim for a satisfactory amount, you have the option of filing a lawsuit in court, where ultimately a jury would decide whether the party you are suing is liable to you and for how much. A lot happens between the time a lawsuit is filed and the case is actually heard in court, and there are still many opportunities along the way to settle a case. In fact, only a tiny fraction of personal injury claims get all the way to trial; almost all cases settle first.

One critical juncture in the course of a lawsuit is the discovery phase in general and depositions in particular. Read on to learn more about the important role of depositions in a personal injury case. If you or a loved one has been hurt by the negligence of another in a West Virginia car or truck accident or other injury caused by the negligence or misconduct of another, contact Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson to speak with an experienced and successful Martinsburg personal injury lawyer.

What Is a Deposition?

A deposition is a formal process where witnesses provide sworn, out-of-court oral testimonies that are transcribed by a court reporter. These testimonies are used to gather information and clarify facts before a trial. During a deposition, attorneys from both sides have the opportunity to ask questions related to the case. The setting is less formal than a courtroom, but the legal obligations to tell the truth are just as stringent.

Importance of Depositions in Personal Injury Cases

Depositions play a vital role in personal injury cases for several reasons. They help both parties gain a detailed understanding of the case, which can aid in formulating legal strategies. Depositions also serve to preserve a witness’s testimony, which can be crucial if the witness is unavailable or unable to testify at trial. Additionally, they provide an opportunity for the lawyers to assess the credibility and demeanor of witnesses, which can influence negotiations and the trial’s outcome.

Once depositions of key parties and witnesses have been taken, both sides have a pretty good idea of how the evidence stacks up and the strengths and weaknesses of each party. For that reason, serious negotiations often take place in earnest at this time to settle the case and save the time, expense and uncertainty of a trial.

Who Can Be Deposed?

In a personal injury lawsuit, various individuals might be deposed, including:

  • The plaintiff: The person who has filed the personal injury claim.
  • The defendant: The party or parties being accused of causing the injury.
  • Eyewitnesses: Anyone who may have witnessed the event leading to the injury.
  • Medical professionals: Doctors or other healthcare providers who treated the plaintiff for their injuries.
  • Experts: Individuals with specialized knowledge relevant to the case, such as accident reconstruction experts.

Preparing for a Deposition

Preparation is key to a successful deposition. At Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson, we meticulously prepare our clients to ensure they understand the process and are comfortable with the types of questions they may be asked. Here are a few tips for preparing:

  1. Review Key Documents: Familiarize yourself with all relevant documents, including medical records, accident reports, and any correspondence related to your case.
  2. Understand the Facts: Be clear on the facts of your case. You should be able to recount dates, times, and details of the incident and your injuries.
  3. Practice Your Responses: While it’s important to be spontaneous and honest, practicing your responses can help you remain calm and collected.
  4. Listen Carefully and Answer Concisely: Listen to each question carefully before answering, and keep your responses clear and to the point.

On the Day of the Deposition

The deposition day can be nerve-wracking, but knowing what to expect can ease your anxiety. You’ll be asked to swear an oath to tell the truth, and then the questioning will begin. Remember, the opposing counsel may ask challenging questions, but staying calm and composed is key. Your attorney will be by your side to object to inappropriate questions and guide you through the process.

Contact Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson for Help With Your West Virginia Personal Injury Claim

Depositions are a critical component of the personal injury litigation process, offering a valuable opportunity for information gathering and witness assessment. At Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson in Martinsburg, West Virginia, our dedicated team of attorneys leverages depositions to strengthen your case, aiming to secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Understanding the deposition process and being well-prepared can significantly impact the outcome of your case. If you’re facing a personal injury matter and need legal guidance, contact us to ensure your rights are protected every step of the way. Call 304-263-0900 for your free consultation, and get started today on your road to recovery.

Designed and Powered by NextClient

© 2016 - 2024 Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson, Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved.
Custom WebShop™ law firm website design by NextClient.com.