If you were involved in an accident that resulted in injuries and eventually a personal injury claim, you may be required to testify in court. This would likely happen through a subpoena requiring you to provide testimony related to the lawsuit. Someone who may be called to testify could be the person who caused the accident that resulted in injuries, a witness at the scene of the incident, or an employee who helped to maintain the facilities where someone was hurt. Whatever minor or major role you may have played in the accident, if you have been called to testify, below is some general information you should know.
Most of us imagine depositions to be akin to being cross-examined in a formal court setting like we have seen in movies or on television. Most cases, however, settle before they go to trial before a judge and jury. If you have been called to testify, you will likely be doing so in a deposition. Unlike testifying in court, a deposition is a less formal setting; it typically takes place in an attorney’s office or business center.
Depositions occur during a phase in the litigation process known as discovery. Simply put, discovery is the investigative process during a lawsuit. All the named parties in the lawsuit will gather information to support their claim in order to make the most compelling case possible.
Discovery may involve:
- serving a subpoena to the other side, requiring them to turn over documents that provide more information on the case.
- sending written questions, known as interrogatories, about details in the lawsuit that must be answered and returned.
- A gathering verbal statements from parties who were involved in, witnessed, or were otherwise knowledgeable of the accident and surrounding events through a deposition.
What to Expect
If you or someone you know is asked to testify in a deposition, you will find out about this requirement through a subpoena that orders you to show up to a certain place at a certain time. The location is typically an attorney’s office or business center. The following individuals will likely be in attendance:
- The parties involved in the lawsuit (defendant, plaintiff, etc.);
- The attorneys of each party to the lawsuit;
- The witness, or the person being deposed;
- A court reporter who will transcribe everything said in the deposition; and
- A videographer if the deposition will also be recorded on video.
During the deposition, the questions being asked typically revolve around the witness’s personal, civil, and criminal background, the details of the accident, the injuries resulting from the accident, any treatment for injuries, and any other relevant information about the accident.
Our Attorneys can Help
If you are going to be deposed, you are likely nervous. You do not know what to expect, what you may be asked, and how to present yourself. A skilled Las Vegas personal injury attorney can help prepare you for a deposition to ensure you are answering the questions accurately, honestly, and completely without compromising your case. Contact Matt Pfau Law Group today to learn how we can help guide you through this confusing process.