When a personal injury happens, and a lawyer files a case, a deposition may be conducted. This involves a recorded session that can be legally binding, and if the wrong things are said it is easy to have your case challenged by the defending party., Taken by a court reporter, a deposition involves a legal representative in a civil tort lawsuit. The intention is to reveal information that might not be available within an official accident report. In many ways, a deposition is like a open hunting field where things could go in any direction. The following are a few things you should do during a deposition:
- Be prepared for questioning
Motorcycle drivers are typically considered a second class person on a roadway. When the legal issue involves a personal injury from a motorcycle accident, there are often assumptions that the biker acted dangerously and therefore is at fault. You should be ready for intrusive, detailed questions from a defending lawyer. Even if there is an obvious act of negligence on another party’s behalf, you may be “accused” of doing wrong. It will be a good idea to remain composed and in a basic frame of mind.
- Do Not Answer What is Not Asked
As you are questioned, your answered should be direct and simple. Do not offer any extra information because this is exactly what the defending lawyer is wanting. The purpose of these questions is to cast doubt on your claim of the incident and the severity of the injuries or contribution to the accident. Comparative negligence is a factor of most personal injury claims. It is probable that the lawyer will focus on a percentage of your own negligence – even if it does not exist. Depending on the state of occurrence, any contribution to the accident could eliminate the possibility of having a claim. In other states a modified comparative negligence model of around 50% may be required to make a claim invalid.
- Avoid Admitting Fault in the Accident
During your deposition, it will be in your best interest to avoid taking fault for your injuries. This can impact the amount of compensation available. Even if there is comparative negligence, or you are partially at fault, your answers should be minimal. Anything can be used as bargaining leverage in your settlement. The more you are found to be at fault, the less you will receive. The settlement will be discounted based upon the percentage of fault you are held at. If you are found to be 100% at fault, damages will not be available. That being said even if you are largely at fault, there is a good chance of receiving something when you have certain types of insurance. Ultimately fault is a crucial element in any claim regardless of the state or jurisdiction.
Remember that a deposition could be a precursor to a trial, particularly when a defending lawyer feels the claim can be dismissed. As a result, you may take the case to trial if large amounts of insurance coverage are available and gross negligence and punitive damages are a factor.
It should be clear that there is a need for an experienced lawyer, like a motorcycle accident lawyer Las Vegas NV relies on, especially during a deposition. He or she can ensure your rights are protected and give you the necessary preparations so you make the best decisions possible. As a rule of thumb, one should be well prepared when being deposed.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Nadia von Magdenko & Associates for their insight into motorcycle and personal injury practice.