What is a Deposition and How Important is It?
A deposition is a formal statement made outside of a court room but while the person making the statement is under oath. The person making the statement is referred to as the deponent. They can be questioned by one or more attorneys and must answer all questions to the best of their ability, unless their attorney objects to the line of questioning and wins that objection.
The deponent is sworn under oath by a court reporter just as they would in a courtroom. That reporter then recovers every word that is said during the deposition, both by the deponent and anyone else in the room. The deponent has a legal obligation to tell the truth. Depositions are often used in personal injury cases.
How Important is the Deposition Testimony?
Even though the deposition is not going to take place in a courtroom, it is just as important as if it were. If a deponent makes a statement during their deposition, only to later make a conflicting statement in court, the written transcription of the deposition will likely be used to show that the deponent has been inconsistent in their testimony. The result can be devastating to the credibility of the witness.
Depositions Can Be Considered Auditions for Court
There are many reasons that a party may require a deposition from another involved party. One of the advantages for both sides is that they get a chance to see how the involved players will look to a jury. For example, if a person is being sued for their part in a pedestrian accident and during their deposition they come across as hostile or untrustworthy, then their attorney will take this into account and it may make them more likely to settle their case.
On the other hand, if a doctor is deposed and found to be a particularly good witness, then this could make one side feel their case is stronger and be less likely to negotiate. Essentially, the way that all the key players come across during a deposition could affect whether the case is settled or goes to trial.
Do Not Go to a Deposition without First Talking to an Attorney
It happens all too often that a person may feel they have a strong and that the facts are on their side. As a result, they may believe they do not need a personal injury attorney. They may believe that all they have to do is go into the deposition and tell the truth and the case will be decided in their favor.
Unfortunately, it is not often this simple. Even the slightest difference between what you said to the police, an insurance adjuster, or anyone else compared to what you say in your deposition could significantly weaken your case. Before you go for a deposition, contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 877-982-0707 to discuss the options for your personal injury case.