If you were injured in a car accident or your baby suffered an injury at birth, you may decide to pursue a claim against the negligent party in order to receive compensation for your financial losses, medical bills, and pain and suffering. One of the first things your attorney will want to do is to gather information about the incident from all parties involved. A tool he may use to do this is a deposition. A deposition is a formal proceeding during which sworn testimony is taken and documented.
How a Deposition Works
Once your attorney decides who the key parties are, he will most likely issue subpoenas to compel them to come to a designated place to be questioned under oath. Lawyers from both sides of the case will be present and will ask questions. A court reporter will be present to document the entire proceeding. Depositions often take place in the requesting attorney’s office, but can also be scheduled at a court reporter’s office. Once the deposition is complete, the court reporter will type up a transcript and it will be presented to the witness to double-check that all of the information is accurate and that he or she fully understood the questions and answered correctly. At this point, the witness may request that changes be made to the testimony if he or she feels like the facts have been misrepresented in any way.
How Depositions Are Used
Depositions are used during the discovery, or evidence-gathering, stage of a trial and are conducted very much like an actual trial. The attorney for the plaintiff will ask questions of the defendant and the defendant’s attorney may cross-examine. Testimony is given under oath, so everything said in a deposition may be admissible in court. If the evidence gathered during a deposition is compelling, the defendant may agree to settle the case out of court, saving everyone the time and expense of a trial.
You Want an Attorney Who Is Skilled at Taking Depositions
As it is in everyone’s best interest to avoid going to trial, you want an attorney on your side who knows whom to depose, what questions to ask, and how to use the depositions to negotiate a fair settlement. If the defendant refuses to settle, however, you want your attorney to be an experienced trial lawyer who can follow through by taking the case to trial. At the Holton Law Firm, our attorneys are trial attorneys who use their courtroom experience to take effective depositions. Fill out the form on this page to connect with us today.