How Personal Injury Depositions Work in Pennsylvania

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If you are the plaintiff in a personal injury case, you are required to participate in all phases of the case. One of the most crucial aspects of a personal injury lawsuit is your deposition.

While it may be a stretch to say that the success of your case is riding on this deposition, a tough time providing it could make it much harder for you to obtain full and fair financial compensation.

The attorneys at Gibbons & Crichton, Personal Injury and Accident Lawyers work with our clients to help them prepare for key moments of the case and provide you with important legal advice. Contact our injury lawyers in Philadelphia for skilled legal guidance today.

The Role of Depositions in a Personal Injury Case

In each personal injury case, both parties have the right to conduct discovery. Here, they request evidence that is in the hands of the other party to use in their case.

One of the key forms of evidence gathering is a deposition. Instead of requesting documents from the other party, a litigant is speaking to potential witnesses and participants in the trial.

A deposition is when opposing counsel has the right to question a potential witness under oath.

They can ask them questions about facts in the case, both to learn about what they may have to say at a trial and to get them on the record. If a witness testifies in one way at a deposition, they cannot testify inconsistently with that at trial. If they do so, they may be impeached as a witness.

In the deposition, you would need to answer questions under oath for up to seven hours.

Depositions are, no doubt, exhausting experiences with high stakes. You must have a strong showing at your deposition that establishes you as a credible witness. The other party is evaluating you and how you may testify at trial. If you are credible and persuasive, they may think twice about taking your case to trial.

Do You Have to Give a Deposition for a Personal Injury Case?

If you are noticed to appear at a deposition, you would need to attend under most circumstances. There are very limited exceptions, as deposing relevant witnesses is a fundamental right that parties have before a trial.

These depositions are usually held at an attorney’s office in the presence of a court reporter.

Your attorney would be there to defend you during the deposition, although they may only object to certain questions in limited circumstances.

How Do You Prepare for a Deposition in a Personal Injury Case?

You must prepare thoroughly for a personal injury deposition. There is no such thing as a do-over, and what you say could have a serious impact on your case. If you get rattled or say something that may not be true, there can be consequences. Remember that you are under oath, and you must tell the truth.

The good news is that your personal injury attorney will work with you to prepare for the deposition. Your attorney has defended countless clients during their career, and they have likely spent thousands of hours in depositions. They can give you advice and help you practice how to answer opposing counsel’s questions.

A good personal injury lawyer who is fulfilling their professional obligation will never let their clients show up unprepared to a deposition because it can damage the case otherwise. Also, take the time to prepare on your own, practicing how you speak and how you may respond to questions. While depositions are not necessarily designed to be moments to put you on the spot, there are still high stakes involved.

What Happens After a Deposition?

After depositions are concluded, you have reached the tail-end of the discovery process. Now, both sides will assess the strength of their case and determine how they may want to move forward.

If you have had a strong deposition, and your lawyer has been able to build a compelling case, the insurance company may be more likely to make a more competitive settlement offer. They have now learned the stakes that are involved for them, and they are realizing that a jury can put them in a more difficult financial situation.

One way that you know that depositions have gone well is if the insurance company has drastically raised what was previously a low offer. If the two parties cannot reach a settlement agreement, your case will then proceed to trial. You may be called to the stand, where you would need to offer testimony that is consistent with what you said at your deposition.

Learn More About the Stakes in a Personal Injury Case

The team at Gibbons & Crichton, Personal Injury and Accident Lawyers work with you on all aspects of the litigation process. We provide attentive service to our clients, and no detail is too small. The one thing that you need to do is reach out to one of our injury lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation as soon as possible.

You can message us through our website or call us today at 215-274-0173 to begin the legal process.

You pay us nothing unless you are paid yourself through a jury award or settlement.

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