Depositions in Auto Accident Cases
At some point after you’ve filed a lawsuit in a personal injury case in Virginia, you will probably be asked by the defendant’s lawyer to submit to a deposition. Short of trial itself, this is probably the most intimidating aspect of the litigation process for an auto accident victim. A deposition is the opportunity of the other side to sit down with you, your lawyer and a court reporter and ask you questions. Unlike your Interrogatory Answers, the attorney gets to ask follow-up questions to explore your case.
Depositions do not have to be scary. The attorneys at the Law Offices of David L. Marks will prepare you to give a deposition by guiding you through the process and then taking the role of the defense attorney and giving you the opportunity to understand what you’re in for. We’ve attended hundreds of depositions with just about every defense attorney in northern Virginia and so we know what to expect from them and can share that knowledge with you.
Again, the most important thing is to be totally honest. Remember that the defense attorney is thoroughly familiar with your case. In addition to the Interrogatory Answers that we sent over, they’ve probably subpoenaed your medical records, spoken with the police officer and also tapped into the large insurance company database to see if there are any auto accidents that you didn’t tell them about.
We also have the opportunity to take the deposition of the defendant. This often occurs on the same day as your deposition and is our chance to find out what the defendant is going to say at trial:
- Is he going to claim that his brakes failed?
- Had he been drinking before the crash?
- Did this crash occur after he’d been on the road for 16 hours?
- Does he have any witnesses that we don’t know about yet?
Though the deposition process can be intimidating, it really is one of the few chances that you have to express to the defense attorney, in your own words, how this case has affected your life. Giving a good deposition lets the defense attorney know how you would present at trial to a jury and encourages them to make a report back to the insurance adjuster that the offer to settle your case ought to be increased because of how well you did.